A teen had a stroke and nearly died after smoking synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as “spice.” The 16-year-old from Cypress, Texas was near death in December but has made a miraculous recovery from a stroke and other medical issues caused by smoking the synthetic weed.
Synthetic marijuana refers to a variety of herbs or “potpourri” that have been sprayed with chemicals that are meant to simulate the effects of smoking marijuana. Until recently, packages of synthetic marijuana with brand names like K2, Moon Rocks, and Yucatan Fire were readily available.
The chemicals sprayed on the variety of herbs had not previously been classified as Schedule I controlled substances. The synthetic weed could be purchased in gas stations, head shops, and on the internet. As reported by drugabuse.gov, spice became increasingly popular with teens as it was easily obtained and it could not be detected by drug testing.
Emily Bauer, who purchased the spice at a gas station, had no idea that she would have stroke after smoking the synthetic marijuana. Her symptoms started in the form of migraines.
As reported by CNN, there are a wide variety of side effects produced by the synthetic weed. Dr. Melinda Campopiano of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administrations describes some of the more serious side effects:
“People can become very agitated or can be come unresponsive — conscious but not reacting normal to situations. Generally, strokes are caused by restricted circulation, or a blood clot that blocks circulation. What we would be looking at with Spice, or K2, is the restrictive circulation model.”
As Emily’s symptoms grew worse, including hallucinations and violent behavior, her parents took her to the hospital. Hospital staff eventually had to resort to putting her in an induced coma. Once sedated, the doctors were able to run several tests and determined that Emily has suffered several strokes.
By December 16, Emily’s condition grew even worse. Doctors removed all of Emily’s breathing tubes, nourishment, and medication other than morphine. Her parents expected the worst.
Fortunately, Emily surprised everyone by waking up and speaking the next morning. Emily has since been transferred to a rehabilitation facility where she can work on occupational. physical, and speech therapy.
As of July 10 last year, the chemicals found in synthetic marijuana have been classified as Schedule I under the controlled Substances Act. The legislation was presented as an attempt to prevent teens from having a stroke, or worse, after smoking the synthetic drugs.