April 8, 2021

Michigan Poison Center issues warning about Delta-8 THC products

The Michigan Poison Center at the Wayne State University School of Medicine is warning the public about products containing delta-8 THC -- a compound that can cause adverse health effects -- due to misleading packaging and the possibility the products can be mistaken for CBD products.

Early in March 2021, poison centers throughout the United States were made aware of both adult and pediatric exposures to products containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol. These products have been mistaken for cannabidiol (CBD)-containing products. Delta-8 THC is a component of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) but is chemically different from delta-9 THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and can cause psychoactive effects similar to delta-9 THC. The Michigan Poison Center notified the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services of the substance being reported near Michigan.

Products containing delta-8 THC are sold in vape shops as vaping liquids and gummy supplements and are marketed as a “legal high.” Shortly after this notification, in late March, the MDHHS alerted the Michigan Poison Center at the Wayne State University School of Medicine that Michigan law enforcement agencies had seized delta-8 THC sold as CBD products in the state. Because products containing delta-8-THC are packaged in similar forms as CBD, young children and teens have a higher risk for accidental use of the compound. The Michigan Poison Center is warning the public about these products due to misleading packaging and adverse health effects from accidental use.

Delta-8 THC can be extracted and made from CBD in the hemp plant. Delta-8 THC has been sold legally throughout the U.S.. Federally designated as a Schedule 1 non-narcotic, delta-8 THC is unregulated in Michigan.

Although delta-8 THC is less psychoactive than delta-9 THC, it still has psychoactive properties that can cause significant toxicity. Recently in a nearby state, two cases of severe adverse reactions were reported in children who ingested their father’s gummies purchased at a vape shop. The children developed sedation, slowed breathing, low blood pressure and slowed heart rate, requiring admission to the intensive care unit.

Anyone who has purchased CBD-labeled products and experiences adverse effects should seek immediate medical care. Any child who ingested or has otherwise been exposed to products containing delta-8 THC or other forms of THC should be seen immediately by health care professionals. THC use in children can cause low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, severe sedation, coma and psychological effects. Long-term effects in children are not known.

For questions regarding delta-8 THC or any other substances, call the Michigan Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to speak with poison information specialists. Health care professionals seeking information and/or treatment recommendations for symptoms related to this or any other substance can request to speak with board-certified toxicologists.

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