FDA Issues Warning Statement About Contaminated Illegal Synthetic Cannabinoid Products

Jul 20, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement this week (1) about reports of severe illnesses and deaths resulting from the use of synthetic cannabinoid products that have been contaminated with brodifacoum, a very long-acting anticoagulant commonly used in rat poison. According to the statement, these unapproved products are being sold in convenience stores and gas stations as substitutes for cannabis under names such as “K2” and “Spice.”

The statement came from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, Peter Marks, MD, PhD, who is the director for the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Janet Woodcock, MD, who is the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. They stressed that the presence of brodifacoum in these illegal and unregulated products poses severe health risks because it can cause severe bleeding. They also explained that in recent months, hundreds of individuals in about 10 states (many in the Midwest) have been hospitalized after experiencing such complications.

“Today, we’re joining together to send a strong warning to anyone who may use synthetic marijuana products that these products can be especially dangerous as a result of the seemingly deliberate use of brodifacoum in these illegal products,” they said in the statement.

The statement also stressed that the use of these illegal products poses significant public health concerns for both individuals who use them and the U.S. blood supply because there is the potential for contamination of blood products donated by those individuals who have used these substances...

For more information, please read the full press release.