Synthetic Marijuana Linked to Acute Kidney Injury
The use of synthetic marijuana, sold as Spice, K2, Spice Gold and other names, has been linked to Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in several cases recently. These instances of kidney failure have occurred in healthy young adults who have recently used synthetic marijuana which is sold legally in convenience stores and gas stations making it highly accessible to users. The “legal” sale of synthetic marijuana may add to its potential use as the drug is easy to obtain and does not involve an illegal transaction. However the dangerous effects of synthetic marijuana can be widespread with the potential for significant neurologic injury as we have seen with patients in our care at the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital and now with several “casual users” found to have Acute Kidney Injury in medical centers.
The editors of the Brookhaven blog caution individuals who may use synthetic marijuana products to think about the health risks involved in ingesting chemicals which allegedly have the properties of cannabis but may be toxic and cause unknown damage. Substance use is a risky business and the risks go up dramatically when the ingredients in a synthetic drug could work like a poison.