Hemp Products May Be Harmful to Children
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In 2018, Congress legalized hemp farming and the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) products as long as they contained less than 0.3 percent of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical in cannabis plants that produces a high. As a result, companies began making CBD drinks, foods and other products, some of which may concentrate the delta-8 THC in manufacturing to levels nearing the potency of marijuana-derived delta-9 THC. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither approved nor regulated delta-8 THC, it has issued warnings about potential dangers. Oversight by states varies.
Between January 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022, national poison control centers have responded to 2,362 exposure cases of delta-8 THC-containing products, 41 percent of which involved children. Most of those childhood exposures were unintentional and 45 percent of these kids required hospitalization. During the first 11 months of 2023, poison control centers managed 2,105 cases related to CBD. The FDA cautions that the marketing of these products may be appealing to children, and parents should be wary. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911. If there is a question about what a child has ingested, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.