Emergency rooms in Denver, Colorado reported a surge in visits related to synthetic marijuana in the late summer and early fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. Experts say similar patterns may emerge in other parts of the country.
Between August 24 and September 19, area emergency rooms saw 263 patients, mostly young men, with symptoms related to synthetic marijuana. Most patients were treated in the emergency room, but seven were admitted to intensive care units.
In a letter in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Andrew A. Monte of the University of Colorado School of Medicine writes synthetic marijuana appears to be growing more potent. “Although the effects of exposures to first-generation synthetic cannabinoids are largely benign, newer products have been associated with seizures, ischemic stroke and cardiac toxicity, possibly due to potency,” he wrote.