Four people in Florida died after using synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs) containing brodifacoum, which is typically used as rat poison.
According to the CDC, there were a total of 52 cases of people affected with coagulopathy, a bleeding disorder, in December 2021.
A total of 47 people reported using synthetic cannabinoids with similar purchase locations before symptom onset.
The most common symptoms were hematuria (blood in urine), abdominal pain and hematemesis (vomiting blood).
The cost and turnaround time for tests, along with limited supplies of pharmaceutical treatments, presented challenges for treating patients.
The CDC warns that synthetic cannabinoid products can be toxic.
“These seemingly innocent little packages of ‘fake weed’ can cause serious side effects that are very different from those of marijuana,” the CDC said.
The agency worked with local law enforcement to minimize future distribution of brodifacoum-laced SCB products.