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Increase in Adverse Health Effects Related to Synthetic Cannabinoid Use


Synthetic cannabinoids include various psychoactive chemicals that are sprayed onto plant material, which is then smoked or ingested to achieve a “high.” These products are sold under a variety of names (e.g., synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, black mamba, and crazy clown) and are sold in retail outlets as herbal products and are often labeled not for human consumption. Law enforcement agencies regulate many of these substances; however, manufacturers may frequently change the formulation and mask their intended purpose to avoid detection and regulation.

On April 6, 2015, automated surveillance algorithms via surveillance through the National Poison Data System (NPDS), a web-based surveillance system of all calls to United States (US) poison centers (PCs), identified an increase in calls to PCs related to synthetic cannabinoid use. To identify risk factors and adverse health effects, CDC analyzed all calls to PCs about synthetic cannabinoid use from January to May, 2015.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed all calls to poison centers about synthetic cannabinoid use from January to May 2015 to identify risk factors and adverse health effects related to this emerging public health threat.

Submitted by teresa.hamby@d… on