Synthetic cannabinoids have recently gained popularity as a recreational drug because they are believed to result in a marijuana-like high. This investigation compared synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana exposures reported to a large statewide poison center system. Synthetic cannabinoid and marijuana exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2010 were identified. The distribution of exposures to the two agents with respect to various demographic and clinical factors were compared by calculating the rate ratio (RR) of the synthetic cannabinoid and marijuana percentages for each subgroup and 95% confidence interval (CI). The proportion of synthetic cannabinoid and marijuana exposures, respectively, were 87.3% and 46.5% via inhalation (RR 1.88, 95% CI 1.38-2.61), 74.9% and 65.7% in male (RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.87-1.51), 40.2% and 56.6% age ≥19 years (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52-0.98), 79.2% and 58.6% occurring at a residence (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.02-1.82), 8.4% and 16.2% managed on-site (RR 0.52. 95% CI 0.28-1.00), and 59.3% and 41.4% with serious medical outcomes (RR 1.43, 95% CI 1.03-2.05). Compared to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoid exposures were more likely to be used through inhalation, to involve adults, to be used at a residence, and to result in serious outcomes.
- poison center
- synthetic cannabinoid