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Synthetic Cannabinoids

December 13, 2018
By: Illinois Department of Public Health

In mid-March 2018, IDPH began receiving reports of individuals who suffered severe bleeding and reported using synthetic cannabinoid products.
Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS). NPS are unregulated mind-altering substances that have become newly available on the market and are intended to produce the same effects as illegal drugs. Some of these substances may have been around for years but have reentered the market in altered chemical forms, or due to renewed popularity.
Individuals reported acquiring the contaminated synthetic cannabinoid products (i.e., K2, spice, synthetic marijuana, and legal weed) from convenience stores, dealers, and friends, in counties across the state.   Cases of adverse reactions associated with illicit drug use are not required to be reported to IDPH.  After IDPH determined that the cause of the severe bleeding outbreak was linked to synthetic cannabinoid product use, the outbreak investigation concluded at the end of May. Although there may be future cases, IDPH will not report numbers.


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