Synthetic Cannabis Linked to Third Death in Midwest

A Chicago man in his 40’s became the latest victim of synthetic cannabis that has been causing severe illnesses throughout the Midwest. There have been over 100 reported cases of symptoms such as bleeding gums, coughing up blood, blood in urine, severe bloody nose, and internal bleeding. The ingredient added to these synthetic cannabinoids is brodifacoum, an anti-coagulant often found in rat poison.

An anti-coagulant is an agent that prevents the body from stopping itself from bleeding when injured. In other words, things started bleeding a lot, and the bleeding could not be stopped.

With cannabis legalization on the rise, despite opposition from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, why would anyone risk their lives on such a deadly synthetic product?
According to the latest data found on, cannabis legalization in the United States looks like this:

Unlike here in California, Illinois has decriminalized cannabis, but not legalized cannabis. The difference may seem like an insignificant play on words, but in legal terms, it is significant. The penalties for possession in California are vastly different from those in Illinois.

Other Midwest states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, have taken similar steps toward decriminalization, but not legalization. These states have seen spikes in emergency room visits for symptoms of synthetic cannabis use.

This means that the average consumer is going to try to find the cheap, easy way around the system. They’re attracted to synthetic knock-offs that promise similar effects but deliver few, if any. These synthetic cannabinoids can be found in gas stations and convenience stores, usually at the counter next to the male enhancement supplements and stimulants used by truckers to stay awake for days at a time.

These synthetic cannabinoids, often referred to as “fake weed,” are usually sold as “Spice,” “K-2,” or “Herbal Potpourri.” The only similarities they have to actual cannabis is that it’s often made from dried leaves. Synthetic THC, which includes the chemical found in rat poison, is then sprayed onto the leaves, which are packaged for sale.

While the quick and easy option often seems tempting, it’s hardly worth the kind of risk synthetic cannabinoids present. It’s important to know where your cannabis is grown, how it’s cultivated, and how it’s distributed. A little bit of Google research can save you from potentially massive side effects.


Featured image via ABC7 Chicago