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52 people poisoned by fake CBD oil

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SALT LAKE CITY — A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that at least 52 people in Utah were poisoned by bottles labeled as CBD oil, or cannabinoid oil.

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Barbara Crouch, Executive Director of the Utah Poison Control Center, said they were first informed on December 8th when people began experiencing seizures, hallucinations and confusion.

“CBD does not generally cause psychoactive effects. So these were adverse effects that were clearly out of the realm of what we expected from CBD oil,” she said.

Picture: Utah Poison Control Center

The Poison Control Center reported it to the Health Department, who then reached out to the CDC.

“State and federal health and law enforcement officials established a task force on December 11 to investigate cases and identify the source product,” the CDC said in their report. “Eight of the tested products were branded as ‘Yolo CBD oil’ and indicated no information about the manufacturer or ingredients.”

As they began to investigate, Crouch said they tested the oil and learned it didn’t contain any CBD oil.

“The product that was sold in several smoke shops in the area, that was labeled as CBD, was a synthetic cannabinoid,” she said. “This was completely mislabeled.”

Of the 52 people poisoned, the CDC reports that 31 went to the emergency room, 19 experienced “seizures or shaking” and 12 reported hallucinations. At least 15 of the patients were under 18 years old. All of the patients were poisoned in December 2017 or January 2018.

While recent legislation has changed the law concerning CBD oil, Crouch said at the time both the oil and synthetic marijuana was illegal and there were no state regulations to help protect buyers. Even when buying legalized marijuana she said it’s important to consider how much you trust both the manufacturer and the seller.

“This is a wide open and difficult area. Consumer beware. We don’t always know what’s in these particular products,” Crouch said.