‘The hallucinations are horrific:’ Jacksonville Poison Control seeing more Delta-8 related calls

Duval County is seeing an uptick in the number of teens over-ingesting THC-related products.

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It’s called Delta-8, but as some medical professional point out, it looks more like candy. The psychoactive substance is derived from hemp. It contains trace amounts of THC, and it’s perfectly legal under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Better know as the Farm Bill, it legalized the sale of hemp and removed it from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances.

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“All of these products are products parents should be concerned about,” Dr. Dawn Sollee said. “I’m a parent myself. It’s something I’m concerned about.”

Dr. Dawn Sollee is the Director at the Florida Poison Control Center in Jacksonville. She said Delta-8 products are becoming more available on the shelves, nationwide. In some cases, it’s ending up in the wrong hands, resulting in more calls to poison control center.

“Every year becomes more than the last year,” Mike McCormick said. He’s the Media Specialist and Education Coordinator with the poison control center. “What we really see is especially in the younger children, the hallucinations are horrific. And, the case reports that we read from the hospital-- a child will think they’re covered in ants or in spiders and honestly there’s no antidote.”

RELATED: Florida House advances bill that would ban hemp products with psychoactive THC derivatives

Right now, there’s a bill on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed that would get rid of Delta-8 products, because many aren’t regulated.

“It’s not like FDA is overseeing this,” Dr. Sollee said. “There have definitely been cases where they’ve had contamination or the products don’t contain what they say they contain.”

The short-term solution is to keep an eye on what your kids purchase and lock up medication, THC products, even vitamins.

For Poisoning Emergencies Call: 1-800-222-1222 V/TTY.

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