Blue Ridge Poison Control noted spikes in Delta-8 THC calls

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Staff at the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center said Thursday the number of calls they’re getting about Delta-8 THC products has increased five-fold.

These are products Center leadership say are extracted from hemp and marijuana plants or created synthetically.

From 2020 to 2021, the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center at UVA Health got 20 calls about people having adverse reactions to Delta-8.

In the same time frame from 2021 to 2022, they got 112 calls. Most of the calls were for edible Delta-8 THC products.

Last year, 37 of the calls were for kids younger than 18.

“The other is we’re getting health care professionals contacting us asking also what to do because they’re seeing these products for the first time too,” said the Center’s director Dr. Christopher Holstege.

He said the Center doesn’t always know what kinds of chemicals may be in the products. He sees the main reason for the pediatric overdoses and the marketing and the fact most packaging is not child proof.

“We’ve had products recently look like Skittles, look like Nerds ropes,” he explained. “But they are really trademark infringements to those companies but I can see where the kids are getting confused and I think that’s really dangerous to have these products look like candy.”

Now, it appears as though state leaders are working to crack down on Delta-8 products, though it can be confusing.

Language in the budget also addresses how THC products should not be packaged in child-friendly shapes or that are counterfeit products.

There is also language about age restrictions for buying the products.

Then a few weeks ago, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said anyone who sells chemically-synthesized cannabinoids, including Delta-8, as a food or drink would violate Virginia’s Food and Drink law.

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