Alert issued for fake weed causing uncontrolled bleeding

- An alert has been issued for a new fake weed product that has potentially deadly effects.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is warning health care providers and users about numerous cases that have been reported in Illinois from the synthetic marijuana, containing brodifacoum.

Users have suffered from persistent and severe bleeding leading to 60 hospitalizations and two deaths. 

Brodifacoum has been identified as the cause of 70 cases of uncontrolled bleeding reported between March 7 and April 2 being investigated by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Brodifacoum is an off-white, odorless powder poison. It was first introduced in 1975 to eliminate rodents that had become resistant to existing poisons. It is one of the most widely used pesticides around the world. 

To date, the illnesses have been associated with the use of synthetic marijuana products. 

Synthetic marijuana is a human-made, mind-altering chemical that is either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material to be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. Also known as fake weed, it is sold for recreational drug use under brand names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, Zohai and others. 

“While public health officials in Michigan have not been made aware of any cases to date, the fact Illinois is a neighboring state gives us cause for concern,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We are urging anyone who has a reaction to synthetic marijuana, such as severe bleeding, to call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately.”

When correctly identified, cases can be treated with doses of vitamin K.

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