(HealthDay News) — Calls to poison centers for issues related to synthetic marijuana have risen more than 220 percent since last year, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
According to the report, between January 2015 and May 2015, poison centers in 48 states logged 3,572 calls related to synthetic marijuana use. During the same period last year, these centers received 1,085 calls. In April of this year, 1,501 calls were made to poison control centers, up from 349 in January 2015.
The researchers found that 15 deaths have been reported in 2015 — a three-fold increase over the five deaths reported in 2014. Most of the people who call poison centers for adverse reactions to synthetic marijuana are between 20 and 29 years old. Eight-one percent of callers are male.
Officially known as synthetic cannabinoid and sold under such names as Spice, K2, Black Mamba, and Crazy Clown, the products are made by spraying psychoactive chemicals onto plant material. Report coauthor Royal Law, M.P.H., of the CDC in Atlanta, told HealthDay that the most frequent calls to poison centers about reactions to synthetic marijuana were for agitation, tachycardia, drowsiness or lethargy, vomiting, and confusion.