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Teen Dies After 'One Hit' of Fatal Synthetic Marijuana

Connor Eckhardt, 19, had smoked a readily available product known as ‘spice’ before falling into a coma.

He passed away on July 16, just ten days later after taking ‘one hit’, his family said.

The product is considered by users as an alternative to cannabis and is made from plants treated with chemicals that bind to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, much like the drug.

While illegal in California, it is often marketed as incense and is reportedly sold under code names by retailers.

Mr Eckhardt’s parents issued an emotional plea on a Facebook page dedicated to her son’s memory.

“Our son is gone forever from one hit of SPICE!!! Which is legal. How can that be?” the post read.

“So many people have messaged me that their loved ones died too. My son is gone forever.

“Something has to be done!!! Please share our story.”

Another Facebook tribute, by family friend Sarah Sailer, has been shared over 445,000 times on the site.

“This 19 yr old (sic) is dead because of taking ONE HIT of a substance that is readily available in many smoke shops, even convenience stores around the country,” Mrs Sailer said.

“If you know anyone who has tried or uses SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA (aka SPICE, K2, POTPOURRI) - please tell them it may kill them.”

Doctors warn that synthetic marijuana substitutes can be many times more powerful than the drug itself, potentially leading to kidney failure, psychosis, heart attack and overwhelming brain circuitry.