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  1. source
    Over 16 new cases of people suffering from acute kidney injury after smoking synthetic marijuana have been reported in six states across the U.S.

    The report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), identified an association between the use of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs), such as "Spice" and "K2", and kidney damage.

    The sixteen patients began to experience symptoms of kidney failure within days of smoking the substance, complaining severe abdominal pains as well as vomiting and nausea.

    All of the patients visited emergency departments and were subsequently hospitalized. Most of the them, except one fifteen year old girl, were males aged 15-33 (at average age of 18.5). Fifteen of them suffered from nausea and vomiting and twelve experienced abdominal, back, or flank pain. None of the patients had pre-existing renal dysfunction.

    Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug derived from natural herbs which are sprayed with certain chemicals, mildly mimicking the psychoactive effects of the active ingredient in cannabis called THC.

    The health effects of smoking SCs are thought to be riskier than regular cannabis. In fact, last year at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, researchers revealed findings to suggest that recreational use of synthetic cannabis might lead to psychosis lasting for up to months.

    People often smoke synthetic forms of marijuana as it can be cheaper and not appear on drug tests, making it an appealing alternative to regular cannabis.

    According to the CDC:

    "The expectation of a more intense high than that induced by marijuana, easy access, affordability, and avoidance of detection by many commonly used urine drug tests all contribute to the growing abuse of SCs, especially among male adolescents"

    They added:

    "Public health practitioners, poison center staff members, and clinicians should be aware of the potential for renal or other unusual toxicities in users of SC products and should ask about SC use in cases of unexplained AKI.

    Health-care providers should be aware of renal and other unexpected toxicities from use of SC products, especially with newer SC compounds."

    In 2010, a total of 11,406 emergency department visits were associated with synthetic marijuana use, according to the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

    The symptoms linked to SC usage included:

    Paranoid behavior
    Rapid heartbeat

    Written by Joseph Nordqvist, 15th February 2013.
    Medical News Today


  1. Phenoxide
  2. Phungushead
    UAB doctors: synthetic marijuana dangerous for kidneys

    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=31560&stc=1&d=1362156101[/IMGL] University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) nephrologists have reported for the first time in medical literature cases of acute kidney injury directly linked with synthetic marijuana use. The case studies are reported online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and will appear in the March 2013 print edition of the journal.

    The authors report that nephrotoxicity — the poisonous effect of a substance on the kidneys — from designer drugs such as SPICE or K2, which mimic the effects of marijuana but are man-made and cannot be detected in routine drug tests, should be considered when a patient presents with acute kidney injury and no other evident cause. This is especially true for young adults with negative urine drug screens, said the paper’s senior author Denyse Thornley-Brown, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Division of Nephrology.

    Thornley-Brown said the use of relatively cheap synthetic marijuana preparations has increased significantly over the past few years, mostly among young adults who have a desire to experiment with a substance that is difficult to detect. The relatively low cost, about $20 per gram, is another reason for its popularity.

    In the journal, Thornley-Brown and colleagues outlined four different cases of previously healthy young men whose acute kidney injury was linked to ingestion of synthetic marijuana. All the patients were residents of the same northeastern Alabama community and presented to UAB or a community hospital within a nine-week period showing symptoms of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain after using synthetic marijuana.

    “Cases of acute coronary syndrome associated with synthetic marijuana use have been reported, but our publication is the first to associate use with acute kidney injury,” said study co-author Gaurav Jain, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology. “Tachycardia and seizures have also been reported with synthetic cannabinoids.”

    Three of the patients had acute kidney injury marked by the excretion of an abnormally small volume of urine, known as oliguric acute kidney injury, and the fourth had a decrease in effective blood flow to the kidney, known as prerenal acute kidney injury. Three of the patients underwent a kidney biopsy that showed acute tubular necrosis, which is the death of cells that form the minute canals in the kidney that secrete, reabsorb, collect and transport urine. Left untreated, this can cause the kidneys to shut down. In these four cases, the patients recovered kidney function, and none required dialysis.

    Thornley-Brown said the patients’ common history of synthetic marijuana ingestion suggests a possible pathogenic role of its preparation in these patients’ acute kidney injury. The time of occurrence and geographic clustering of the cases is consistent with a common toxic exposure. However, due to the small number of patients, the inability to obtain a sample of the synthetic marijuana involved and the patients’ serum and urine samples being discarded by the time of the investigation, the researchers found it difficult to argue for a causative role of the preparations in acute kidney injury.

    But, Jain added, given that synthetic marijuana preparations involve using several additives, the causative agent of the acute kidney injury in these cases may have been an additive rather than the cannabinoid itself.

    “There is very little information regarding the ingredients in synthetic cannabinoids that are sold on the streets, although it is known that additional compounds are added to the preparations,” Jain added. “It is very likely that a possible nephrotoxin adulterated the preparation used by our patients.”

    The authors recommend that physicians inquire about the use of designer drugs when evaluating patients with acute kidney injury — especially in cases where the etiology is unknown and the urine drug screen is negative. For young people, the take-home message should be that these drugs may have unanticipated and potentially life threatening side effects, and they should be avoided.

    “If they don’t get to a physician in time, the damage to their kidneys could be permanent, and they could end up on dialysis,” Jain added.

    Gautam Kantilal Bhanushali, Huma Fatima and Leah J. Leisch, all from UAB, were co-authors on the study.

    Friday, February 08, 2013

    Jennifer Lollar
  3. SpatialReason
    I am very curious on the level of use and how habitual it was. Were these folks who were hitting the pipe every hour on the hour? Or were these folks sporadic users?

    If they were sporadic users, we are going to have a very sick generation. A lot of people... perhaps even myself...
  4. Isodimorphism
    I'd like to know this as well. I'd also like to know how much (quantity, not frequency) they were smoking, although it's unlikely that we'll ever find that out.

    One of the problems with the current state of synthetic cannabinoid use, and the use of novel drugs in general, is that there are lots of people who don't seem to inform themselves about appropriate dosage. And it doesn't help that a lot of smoking blends don't actually tell the user how much of the active ingredient there is, or even what the active ingredient is.

    Given the potency and price of many synthetic cannabinoids, the people suffering from health problems could have been consuming massive amounts in a way that wouldn't be possible with cannabis itself.
  5. MikePatton
    I gotta admit as a daily user this just scared the shit out of me. I am very intersted in hearing the extent to which they have used, as well as the specific cannabinoids and/or other substances involved.
  6. SpatialReason
    Yeah, if this isn't a reason to quit, let me tell you: the fear of dialysis should be enough to go grab a bible, live in a monastery, and never talk/see/do drugs ever again. I have watched my friends mother get it daily for the end-term of her life. It's just not even funny to consider a strapping young man hooked up to those machines because of his own dumbass pursuit for a high.

    As for my own dumbass usage, I keep my use down to one or two hits every other night. Nothing truly severe when you consider it. There are weeks I go without it because it is simply a novelty to me. I also have feeling that overall kidney health, exercise, and a lot of that has everything to do with a person's ability to succumb to medical issues. I'd like to see if these kids were Dr. Pepper+Cheetos+Fake Bake-24/7'ers. I know sedentary people who smoke this stuff and they incur severe health problems from their lifestyle alone. Add a serious drug and a no true way of making the body "healthy," you will decline extremely quickly.

    I believe firmly in "sweat detox," consuming a lot of water, and taking my vitamins as a harm prevention means. If I am going to incidentally harm my body, I am at least going to be sweet to it concurrently. If I hadn't done this over the time I have been playing with research chemicals, I'd probably look like I am ruined. Not to mention, the notion of healthy activities keeps are person more apt to use less as it is a real pain in the butt to be on stims or have smoked something while trying to run a mile.

    This is still furthering the real evidence that "this stuff is bad for you." People have been saying it, such as myself, and to the addicted smokers. I used to be addicted, saw the negative health decline after becoming fit and healthy for once in my life, so I got a good feel for what it can do.

    If you have a notion to quit, I'd quit. I am finishing out the last 5 grams of what I have left. I say a gram per month is not a deadly amount, but god if I come on here telling you guys I have renal failure, I could only hope no one shakes their head in disappointment over these words. I know I should probably flush this crap down the toilet, but it is that notion of "everything in moderation." Even though it is a good intention, it could be my death.

    Let it be known: if you are a user of this crap, either blends or straight alkaloids, just stop using it and smoke cannabis if you can. If you can't smoke cannabis, find something more productive to do than getting high. Sometimes it isn't worth end-of-life care. This is coming from an ex-abuser and now a slight user with more trepidation than enjoyment.
  7. MikePatton
    Agreed, granted this is my last bag, I have 2-3 grams left. The fact that I can literally buy an ounce of Spice for the price of one gram of cannabis has kept me going for a long time, though I've only used it when I couldn't afford Cannabis, usually about a week every month. The phrase "this shit is bad for you" has been thrown around so much people don't pay much attention to it unless they hear the gruesome details.
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