The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports 22 individuals since March 7 suffering from severe bleeding following the use of synthetic cannabinoid products.
Millewich added that a change in the formula used in the drug could be behind the bleeding, but because health officials don't know the exact makeup of the products, exactly what's causing the bleeding is unclear.
"Synthetic cannabinoids contain hundreds of chemicals, and it is hard to know what's in them or how people will react to the ingredients", said State Health Commissioner Kris Box.
Some of those experiencing the symptoms purchased the drugs in convenience stores.
Anyone who has a serious reaction to synthetic marijuana should call 911 or immediately go to a hospital, the IDPH said. Do not walk or drive yourself.
Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. Although banned in IL, state officials say manufacturers of synthetic pot are tweaking the ingredients of the drug to allow them to be sold legally.
Patients should share with medical personnel what and when they used so that they can be treated quickly and effectively.
Health care providers, schools and health departments encountering unusual cases of bleeding in individuals should inquire about potential exposures to synthetic marijuana, the release said.
The products are also known as "Black Mamba", "Bombay Blue", "Genie" and "Zohai" - and may be sold under popular brand names.