Fake pot poses serious health risks
Already banned in 38 states, synthetic marijuana poses a number of health threats and now kidney damage can be added to the list.
The Centers for Disease Control reports those who use the fake pot risk permanent damage to their kidneys. Nearly 20 people, mostly teens and young adults were admitted to the hospital with kidney problems in 2012. Five of the patients ended up needing dialysis.
The victims included 15 boys aged 15–33 years and one girl aged 15 years; all but one but one were experiencing nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC report. Three patients had unusually low urine levels and another had reduced blood flow to the kidney. Tests showed that those patients experienced significant damage to their kidneys ultimately requiring dialysis.
The CDC report was the first time use of synthetic marijuana has been linked to kidney damage.
“Cases of acute coronary syndrome associated with synthetic marijuana use have been reported, but our publication is the first to associate use with acute kidney injury,” study leader Dr. Gaurav Jain, said in a statement.
Popular brands such as K2 and Spice were originally sold in scores of convenience stores but an increasing number of states have banned all sales.
Researchers are not entirely clear how the substance causes kidney damage but suspect one of the many chemical compounds that are sprayed on the plant material.
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