Pam Dudding Contributing writer
The Virginia Department of Health is sharing much information on the new findings of Delta 8. Sadly, this has already harmed several children.
On October 27, Attorney General Mark R. Herring warned Virginians about the dangers of cannabis edibles and hemp derivatives in packaging designed to look like well-known snack foods and candy, which are marketed towards children.
“Please note that these products are unregulated, illegal and may be extremely dangerous, especially if they are ingested by children,” Herring said.
Blue Ridge Behavioral Health has created a flyer that warns parents about Delta-8 products that copy the look of products kids normally use such as, Fruity Pebbles, Skittles, and Nerd ropes, just to name a few.
The flyer includes a quick blurb about Delta-8 and signs of an overdose.
They told the story of the “terrifying truth about a local child and the consequences of accidentally eating Delta-8 Apple Jackz treats. The two-year-old was rushed to the hospital and placed on oxygen and days later she was still suffering from hallucinations.”
WDBJ-7 spoke with Amina Serir, concerning her two-year-old daughter, Maya, as they were uncertain if she would ever recover after she ate what looked like Apple Jacks cereal, but were unaware that they contained high levels of Delta-8.
Serir stated that the small package of cereal was in a basket of snacks the family had brought home from an area pool.
Said Serir, “All of a sudden, she comes to me saying, ‘my face is burning.’”
They said that when her symptoms grew more severe, she and her husband checked the expiration date on the cereal.
They were shocked as they read the ingredients and seen it contained cannabis.
Maya fell asleep and her lips were turning blue, so they rushed her to the ER, where she was placed on oxygen.
It was a scary 30-hours before she finally woke up and even worse, that she would not talk. She would only stare, but only for short moments, as they said she would only hold her eyes open for about 30 seconds.
There is no fear greater than ones for your child, especially when there are great unknowns.
“I started to worry, like is she ever going to walk again,” Serir said.
It was said that in later days, Maya also suffered from hallucinations, thinking there were bugs in her bed, screaming, shaking and being hysterical.
Maya is doing better now, and Serir says she’s back to her normal activities.
However, it is situations like these that the Prevention Council of Roanoke is working to negate, by educating parents.
“What we know is that none of it is regulated. So that, if you purchased this, for anxiety or for whatever reason, you have no idea what’s in this. And we’re now learning that there are a lot of very terrible, terrible, very scary chemicals that get mixed,” says Nancy Hans, Executive Director of the Prevention Council of Roanoke.
Delta-8 THC products are not FDA-regulated, and some packages contain 500 milligrams of THC.
These are being sold in convenience stores, as well CBD and tobacco shops across the state.
Pratt, a pharmaceutical representative stated that her friends, a psychiatrist and rescue squad worker she calls on, told her about the effects Delta-8 is having on youth, “He said that they see a lot of kids coming through the emergency room who are just completely out of their minds, and the parents have no idea what’s going on. They have no idea if they’ve taken anything. And as it turns out, a lot of them had been using Delta-8.”
BRBH states that it is important that all Delta-8 products are locked up and out of reach of every child.
The link suggested as a good read is:
Edible cannabis products may contain high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and if eaten by children, can lead to accidental overdose. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the most common overdose incidents among children involve ingestion of edible cannabis foods.
Herring stated, “Look-alike cannabis products are unregulated, illegal, and unsafe, especially if they get in the hands of children. While Virginia has now legalized adult-use cannabis, we must remain vigilant and ensure that our children are protected from accidentally ingesting edible cannabis products.”
He added, “Edible cannabis products are of significant concern because they are often deliberately packaged in a manner to resemble products familiar to children, such as cereal, snacks or candy. My office is committed to ensuring that when the lawful sale of cannabis products begins in the Commonwealth, it is done so in a safe and responsible manner. I hope to work with the legislature in the upcoming session to make sure that we’re appropriately addressing and regulating dangerous synthetic cannabis look-alike products.”
The BRBH shared parents are encouraged to speak with their children, including young adults, and provide age-appropriate guidance about the dangers look-alike products pose.
It has been noted that some symptoms of THC overdose can include respiratory distress, loss of coordination, lethargy, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect your child has eaten a food contaminating high amounts of THC and becomes sick, call the Virginia Poison Center Hotline at (800) 222-1222.
So far, 19 states, including Colorado, are banning, restricting, or regulating Delta-8.
Some counties are having a drug take-back for these items.