Severe bleeding linked to synthetic cannabinoid use

Posted in:
Tweens / Teens
Substance Misuse
Synthetic Drugs


The CDC, local health departments, and local poison control centers are actively investigating more than 100 cases of severe bleeding among people who have used synthetic cannabinoids.

  • The first case was reported in Illinois on March 10, 2018, and several other states have reported cases.
  • If you have purchased a product like K2, Spice, or Synthetic Marijuana, do not use it. It may contain brodifacoum, a rat poison that causes severe bleeding. This severe bleeding disorder can be fatal.
  • If you or a loved one experience excessive bleeding and have used a synthetic cannabinoid product, contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) and get medical help right away.
  • Tell your health care providers about the possible link between your symptoms and synthetic cannabinoid use.
  • Symptoms specific to the current bleeding outbreak include: bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding of the gums, blood in the urine or stool, excessive bleeding from cuts/wounds, vomiting blood, heavy menstrual bleeding, or excessive back pain.
  • If you are not currently experiencing severe bleeding but are worried symptoms may appear, call your local poison control center for guidance (1-800-222-1222).


  • Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals sprayed on to dried plant material. They may also be available in liquid form to vaporize in an e-cigarette or other electronic device.
  • Despite the name synthetic cannabis or “fake weed,” these products are much more potent than marijuana. Using them can result in serious and unpredictable effects.
  • Names and brands of synthetic cannabinoid products include Spice, K2, Mr. Happy, Kush, Scooby Snax, and more.
  • Use of any synthetic cannabinoid can result in rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations.