Health experts are warning of a new and dangerous form of synthetic marijuana that is laced with rat poison.
Dubbed “bleeding pot,” it has been linked to five deaths in the U.S. and over 200 cases of excessive and uncontrolled bleeding.
“It is especially dangerous right now, because there is a product on the market that contains rat poison and it is impossible for somebody to know whether or not the product that they are using contains that ingredient,” said Dr. Tegan Boehmer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rat poison is an anti-coagulant that kills rats with internal bleeding and has now been linked to four deaths in Illinois alone, and cases of excessive bleeding on the eastern half of the U.S.
“They may present at the emergency department, with bleeding from their nose, gums, coughing, or vomiting blood or having blood in their urine or stool.” Said Dr. Boehmer in an interview with our sister station WSB-TV in Atlanta.
Many states including Ohio have banned synthetic marijuana sales, but it used to be readily available at convenience stores.
Tyler Clackum is a former synthetic pot user and he was able to purchase it from a store when he was 18.
“I was addicted to it for about six months,” Clackum said, “I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t eat. I almost needed it to live.”
Then an overdose sent him to the emergency room.
“I had a kind of hallucination and a weird, really evil experience. All of a sudden my heart felt like it was exploding. I was certain I was dying and all I could do was pray,” Clackum said in an interview with WSB-TV.
He wasn’t surprised to learn rat poison has been found in some fake weed.
“For all we know it is some random guy trying to add a little something to intensify the high,” Clackum said.
Those sickened by synthetic pot laced with rat poison can recover, but it is a long and costly process, according to the C.D.C.
Clackum said people who smoke fake weed probably don’t care what’s in it, but they should.
“It’s like poisoning yourself with a chance to get high and hoping nothing bad happens. It’s foolish,” Clackum said.
Anyone who uses synthetic pot and experiences unusual bruising or bleeding should seek immediate medical attention because the condition could be life threatening, according to the C.D.C.