Poison Centers See a Rise of Delta-8 Poisoning in Children

January 4, 2023

View original article here: https://missouripoisoncenter.org/rise-of-delta-8-poisoning-in-children/


As cannabis becomes legal across more states in the U.S, it’s essential to know about the new cannabis products that slip under the radar or try to pass as “legal.” Today, there is a new compound, “delta-8 THC,” which is raising questions. Is this substance safe? Why doesn’t it follow the same regulations as other cannabis products? Delta-8 is readily available and easy to purchase. But more worrying, the packaging looks similar to food items. Now, we are seeing an increase in poisoning in children from delta-8 products.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 is a psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. This substance is made synthetically from CBD or delta-9 THC because it is not naturally found in large enough amounts in the plant. While it has a similar chemical structure to delta-9 THC, the “high” it produces is less potent.

Is This Substance Safe?

There is still more to learn about this substance. One concern is that there are additional chemicals needed to produce delta-8, so contamination and sanitation may be an issue. Additionally, the FDA has not evaluated or approved delta-8 products for use. The FDA has received reports of adverse effects such as hallucinations, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and more in the past two years.

What Does Delta-8 do to the Body? 

Delta-8 can cause similar feelings to delta-9, which is the substance that produces the “high” feeling from cannabis. Most describe this “high” as milder than traditional cannabis, but experts are concerned about variations in the strength and lack of product evaluation. Additionally, it can cause side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, slowed reaction times, anxiety, and memory loss.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System? 

It’s important to remember that delta-8 is an isomer of delta-9. This means it will take around the same amount of time for delta-8 to leave your system as delta-9 THC. If you are an occasional user, it may stay in your body for four days to a week. If you are a regular user, it could stay in your system for about one month or longer. The research is still unclear about the accuracy of this timing because of the limited studies of this emerging substance.

Does Delta-8 Show Up On A Drug Test?

Delta-8 has a similar chemical structure to delta-9 THC. THC is the compound that produces a “high.” Since delta-8 is similar, it’s best to avoid it before drug testing. The amount of time for any cannabis to leave your system depends on how often you regularly consume it and how your body metabolizes the substance.

Rising Risk of Children Poisoning with Delta-8

There are several risk factors when it comes to children accessing delta-8 products. The largest reason is that there are no federal or state-level regulations on this substance. Additionally, there are no guidelines for proper labeling or packaging. Without appropriate guidelines for packaging, users will not know what the product contains and risk overdosing. Packaging is also made appealing to children by featuring bright colors, cartoon images and often mimics store-bought candies and sweets. Most children eat these products because they find gummies or brownies that they thought were okay to eat. Frequently, the packaging looks almost identical to common candy brands and other food items.

According to KSDK News, “in the first seven months of 2021, the National Poison Data System received 660 reports of adverse reactions in people exposed to delta-8. About 41% of the calls were unintentional exposure, and 77% of the unintentional exposures were kids younger than 18.”

How to Prevent Children from Ingesting Delta-8

If you use delta-8 products and have children in your home, keep your edibles locked away and stored separately from other child-safe treats. Keep your edibles in their original packaging and store them in a locked cabinet or drawer out of a child’s reach. Inform your teens of the risks associated with delta-8. Teach your kids to never ingest something with no ingredient list on its packaging or no packaging at all.

Have Any Questions? Call Now

Our poison center’s nurses and pharmacists are certified specialists in poison information and are ready to take your calls, no matter the situation. The Poison Help Line is free and confidential, and our number one priority is to keep you and your family safe. Call us at 1-800-222-1222 for questions and poison emergencies.