Lifestyle & Belief

Texan teenager stricken with brain damage after smoking synthetic marijuana


A marijuana plant growing at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in in Los Angeles, California.


David McNew

 A Texas 17-year-old has been stricken with permanent brain damage after consuming synthetic marijuana, a chemical substance meant to simulate the high caused by the naturally grown plant.

Emily Bauer, a resident of Cypress, Texas, had been taking synthetic weed marketed as "potpourri" at a gas station, says CNN, and then began developing painful migraines after consuming the substance over the course of two weeks.

Read more from GlobalPost: Fake marijuana sends thousands to the emergency room

After consuming synthetic weed in December, she had a series of strokes that left her in a psychotic state, writes the Independent, forcing doctors to put her into a medically induced coma. It was thought that Bauer wouldn't survive.

However, Bauer pulled through, and although she remains "confused," she is now able to move her limbs and consume solid food.

Read more from GlobalPost: Synthetic marijuana "Spice" blamed for attack on elderly couple

Synthetic marijuana is illegal in Texas, but the makers of "Spice," which Bauer consumed, adjusted the level of chemicals in the drug so that it was not covered by the law, says CNN.

According to Texas Defense, Texan authorities are finding it hard to enforce the ban, due to the subtle differences between legal and not-illegal variants of the drug.

A recent US government study found that faux marijuana sent thousands to the emergency room in 2010 alone, and can cause symptoms such as "agitation, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), elevated blood pressure, tremor, seizures, hallucinations, paranoid behavior and non-responsiveness."