Synthetic cannabinoid products being sold in convenience stores and gas stations across the US are contaminated with an ingredient commonly found in rat poison, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says.

These products, often sold under such names as K2 and Spice, are marketed as alternatives to marijuana. According to a statement issued by the FDA they are illegally marketed for their psychoactive effects.

Some also contain brodifacoum, “a very long-acting anticoagulant commonly used in rat poison”, which is thought by drug producers to extend the high. Since there is no way for consumers to verify which of these products have been contaminated with brodifacoum, the agency adds, they should avoid synthetics altogether.

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