Baltimore Health Official Warns of Fake Marijuana’s Dangers

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s health commissioner is joining the call urging people to stay away from fake marijuana as cases of severe bleeding by users tick upward.

Dr. Leana Wen says synthetic cannabinoids, frequently touted as natural products, are in fact “extremely dangerous.” In a statement, she says the substance has untested chemical compounds that can have “devastating effects for users.”

Fake marijuana likely contaminated with rat poison has recently killed three people in Illinois. It’s caused bleeding in more than 100 others in at least four other states, including Maryland.

Symptoms include excessive bleeding, elevated blood pressure, and bruising.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Maryland health authorities have reported four hospitalizations of synthetic weed users.

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals sprayed onto dried plant material or sold as liquids to be used in e-cigarettes.