'These products are not safe:' Milwaukee Health Department alerts public about dangers of K2, Spice

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Health Department is re-issuing an alert to the public about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids, most commonly referred to as K2 or Spice. There are five confirmed cases, and five probable cases of synthetic cannabinoids in Milwaukee as of Wednesday, June 20.

The use of synthetic cannabinoids can cause severe bleeding, unexplained bruising and possibly death. Synthetic cannabinoids consist of a number of mind-altering chemicals that are made and sprayed on dried plant materials, or sold as liquids to be inhaled in products like e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.

Angie Hagy, director of disease control and environmental health issued this statement in a news release:

"These products are not safe. If anyone has purchased these products recently, they should not use them."

Synthetic cannabinoids go by a variety of different names including: K2, Spice, fake weed, and Black Mamba. Officials say these products can be found in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops and online. They are sold for recreational drug use with claims that they will provide the user with similar effects of cannabis. The products are marketed as a safe alternative to marijuana, but officials say they are not safe – the effects of the products can be unpredictable, harmful and life-threatening.

If you have purchased synthetic cannabinoids, or K2, officials urge you to follow these instructions:

    The MHD encourages people to call 911 or immediately go to an emergency room if they or someone they know are experiencing a serious reaction to synthetic cannabinoids.

    CLICK HERE for more from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.