Hepatotoxicity associated to synthetic cannabinoids use

R. Solimini, F. P. Busardò, M. C. Rotolo, Serafino Ricci, L. Mastrobattista, C. Mortali, S. Graziano, M. Pellegrini, N. M. Di Luca, Ilaria Palmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are psychotropic compounds, chemically created in laboratory to mimic cannabinergic brain activity of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.The consumption of these compounds for recreational purposes can lead to a variety of adverse effects on health including overdose and deaths. Increasingly popular as substances of abuse since the 2000s, SCs were produced initially to bind and study cannabinoid receptors (they also can be called synthetic cannabimimetics) failing in eliminating the psychoactive effects. Currently, SCs are misused by students and young adults as "natural products" because of their herbal aspect. Actually, these apparently innocuous recreational substances hide toxic effects to health. Reported side effects are cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, renal, metabolic, ophthalmologic, pulmonary and psychoactive including dependence and withdrawal. A few cases of SCs ingestion have also been associated with liver failure.We herein review the recent literature on the SCs toxicity with particular attention to liver damage aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Illicit use
  • Synthetic cannabinoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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