As a follow-up to a recent post about synthetic marijuana on The PediaBlog (Feb. 5, 2013 — “Not For Human Consumption”), Rachael Rettner opens our eyes to another danger:

Synthetic marijuana, already known to cause a number of serious side effects in users, has now been found to cause kidney damage, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, 16 people in six states suffered serious kidney damage, requiring a visit to hospital emergency departments after smoking synthetic marijuana, the report said. Nearly all individuals affected were young males (ages 15 to 33), and most experienced nausea, vomiting and abdominal or back pain, which are symptoms of kidney damage. None of those sickened  had a history of kidney disease. All the patients had high blood levels of creatinine, a breakdown product that is removed from the body by the kidneys.

Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of herbs and chemical additives that are typically smoked, and referred to by a number of names, including K2, Spice and fake weed, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The product was declared illegal in the U.S. in July 2012. Synthetic marijuana acts on the same brain cell receptors as natural marijuana, but are more likely to cause hallucinations and heart problems. Synthetic marijuana has also been linked to an increased risk of seizures.


Read more at here.

CDC report on synthetic cannabinoid use and kidney damage here.