The U.S. Center for Disease Control released a report Friday linking smoking synthetic marijuana with kidney damage in some teens and adults. The CDC report said that 16 synthetic marijuana smokers have turned up in emergency rooms with kidney problems.
"All 16 patients initially visited emergency departments and subsequently were hospitalized," the report said. "The 16 patients included 15 males aged 15–33 years (median: 18.5 years) and one female aged 15 years;."
Of the 16 the report said that 15 suffered from nausea and vomiting and 12 reported having "abdominal, flank, and/or back pain. None of the 16 patients, the report said, reported having "preexisting renal dysfunction or use of medication that might have caused renal problems."
Synthetic marijuana: mimics effects of marijuana
Synthetic marijuana is defined by Wikipedia as a "psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, allegedly mimic the effects of cannabis." The drug was initially developed to study the pharmacology of marijuana but in recent years has turned up on the streets.
The six states which have reported users of synthetic marijuana turning up in emergency rooms with kidney damage are Kansas, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The CDC says it does not know what caused the kidney damage but the report notes that some of the chemicals that make up synthetic marijuana are banned in some states and some are banned federally.