An AP investigation shows that a troubling number of CBD products are spiked with synthetic marijuana, which can cause comas, psychotic behavior, and death. The third death associated with marijuana edibles could not have come at a worse time for the state’s 15-month-old legal pot industry. Services are being
Some CBD Tainted With Substance That Causes Death, Comas, Insanity
Thanks to patchwork regulation, a number of CBD products contain stuff that could cause a psychotic episode — or even kill you.
A troubling trend: vapes and other products advertised as containing CBD are actually spiked with synthetic marijuana, a dangerous drug that’s been linked with deaths, serious hospitalizations, and psychosis.
Poring over a collection of police records and the findings of its own investigation into CBD products, The Associated Press found that many products labeled as CBD products only contain trace amounts of the chemical, which advocates claim treats a range of medical maladies.
But many contained dangerous synthetic marijuana — and tracking down the perpetrators meant leaping down a rabbit hole of weak government regulations and shady business practices.
In a separate report, the AP found that 128 of the 350 CBD products tested by American law enforcement agencies contained synthetic marijuana, as did ten of the 30 tested by the AP.
“It’s Russian roulette,” James Neal-Kababick told the AP. He’s the director of Flora Research Laboratories, which the AP commissioned to run the tests CBD products. Synthetic marijuana poses an ongoing problem that’s unrelated to recent cases of a mysterious “vape lung” illness.
The AP also profiled cases like one in which a college student fell into a coma after two hits of a spiked CBD vape. In Utah, that same brand hospitalized 33 people. In another case, an eight-year-old boy was hospitalized when his parents tried to treat his seizures with spiked CBD oil. In Europe, the synthetic marijuana that popped up in the AP‘s investigation has killed 11. In those and other cases investigated by the AP, the products’ packaging made no mention of synthetic marijuana.
The FDA is in charge of regulating CBD because it’s approved at least one pharmaceutical that uses the drug as an active ingredient. A spokesperson told the AP that if synthetic marijuana is found in a product, it becomes the DEA’s problem. But a DEA spokesperson told the AP that synthetic marijuana is a low priority for the agency.
“As long as it remains unregulated like it currently is,” Virginia Commonwealth University researcher Michelle Peace told the AP, “you just give a really wide space for nefarious activity to continue.”
Third Death in Colorado Linked to Marijuana Edibles
The third death associated with marijuana edibles could not have come at a worse time for the state’s 15-month-old legal pot industry. Services are being held today in Tulsa, OK, for Luke Goodman, 23, who reportedly killed himself last Saturday night in a condo at Colorado’s Keystone Ski Area, where he was staying for two weeks with his family. It will be a few weeks before toxicology reports will be returned, but Goodman’s family and friends suspect that edible marijuana was a factor in the self-inflicted gunshot death. His mother, Kim Goodman, blames her son’s death on “a complete reaction to the drugs.” Another controversy from a death linked to marijuana edibles was not what the industry needed, especially this week when it was making legislative moves to kill a regulation taking effect in 2016 calling for all marijuana-infused foods to have a distinct look. The bill to loosen the coming requirement that marijuana-infused cookies or candies be clearly identified as pot-infused did not get a single vote in the committee. The outcome was hailed as a bipartisan agreement that pot-infused food is going to look different than regular food in Colorado come 2016. It left the conservative Colorado Springs Republican who sponsored the bill to repeal the requirement, state Sen. Owen Hill, charging his colleagues with “micromanagement.” Edibles account for about 45 percent of Colorado’s newly legal pot market. Goodman and his cousin, Caleb Fowler, reportedly purchased $78 worth of marijuana products, including edibles, last Saturday afternoon. They began ingesting peach tart candies, each containing the recommended dose of 10 mg of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. Fowler says his cousin ate at least five of the candies and later became jittery and was talking incoherently. Goodman did not want to leave the condo with the family later in the evening and got the handgun out that the family used for protection when traveling. The two other Colorado deaths associated with pot-infused foods were: