SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)– A powerful and potentially harmful chemical compound has been found in synthetic marijuana tested in several states that saw a huge spike in the number of people hospitalized because of the drug last month.

Recent tests have turned up a synthetic cannabinoid that mimics the effects of the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Officials say it’s one of several cannabinoids that can cause severe health problems including seizures, elevated blood pressure and death.

Dr. Steven Marcus of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System has been monitoring the recent hospitalizations spike. He tells The Associated Press that the same compound has been found recently in synthetic marijuana seized in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states.

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