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Acute Kidney Injury Linked With Synthetic Marijuana

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A new report links acute kidney injury with use of synthetic marijuana. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham say doctors should consider the possibility of synthetic marijuana use in young adult patients with negative urine drug screens who have acute kidney damage.

In the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the researchers describe four cases of previously healthy young men, whose acute kidney injury was associated with synthetic marijuana, such as Spice and K2. The men came to the hospital with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain after using synthetic marijuana, Science Daily reports.

All four men recovered kidney function, and none required dialysis, the article notes.

Study co-author Gaurav Jain, MD, said that synthetic marijuana generally includes several additives, and these ingredients could have caused the kidney injury, rather than the synthetic marijuana. “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,” Dr. Jain noted in a news release.

The researchers said doctors should ask about the use of synthetic drugs when evaluating patients with acute kidney injury, especially when the origin of the injury is unknown, and the patient has a negative urine drug test.

Although these four patients did not sustain permanent damage, synthetic marijuana has the potential to cause lasting damage, Dr. Jain observed. “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,” he said.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Donna
    Donna / June 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    The reason these people are showing a negative on marijuanna drug test is because the spice drug is not marijuanna. Spice is a dangerous drug marijuanna is not lethal. I dont know what this spice is made of but if we dont examine the facts correctly & state the facts then your not helping anyone. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to know that if a drug test is negative for cannabis then dont use marijuanna as an excuse. Physicians that do this are not trustworthy. come on people, kids are dying & its not marijuanna thats killing them & doctors can find out thru tests what is in this spice that they call synthetic marijuanna. Thats decieving info & doctors are doing this to make weed look bad so I want to know who is paying you off to lie? This is bad doctrine & I aim to educate people abt this & be educated . Please contact me with any info you have or questions so we together can help others understand whats going on here. email me missunderstood24seven@yahoo.com

  2. Avatar of ae em
    ae em / February 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    DEA should be blamed for the health problems caused by (desperate) K2 experiments. Many states have indicated its time for regulated medicinal and recreational use. Cannabis has been around as long as tobacco and alcohol. There are no surprises waiting around the door.

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