52 People In Utah Were Poisoned By Fake Cannabis Oil, CDC Claims


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report focused on a severe poisoning case that took place in Utah.

Poisonous Cannabis Oil

CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was released on May 24, revealed a health scare affecting 52 Utah residents, who were apparently poisoned in October 2017 and January 2018 after consuming synthetic cannabinoids.

Synthetic cannabinoids are hazardous human-made chemicals that can alter users' minds through numerous methods, such as smoking them through e-cigarettes. While they are marketed as a "safe" alternative to marijuana, health experts state that synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous and even life-threatening.

Findings Of The CDC Report

The CDC revealed that the Utah Poison Control Center received word in December 2017 that five people visited emergency rooms across the state after consuming what they thought was cannabidiol (CBD). The victims who complained had symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. Eventually, a task force comprised of Utah authorities and state and federal health officials discovered that 52 people suffered from the same case.

Scientists found through lab testing that a majority of the cases involved a synthetic cannabinoid known as 4-cyano CUMYL-BUTINACA. 4-CCB was found in eight of the tested products labeled as "Yolo CBD oil." They did not have any information as to who manufactured the poisonous counterfeit or listed the ingredients.

4-CCB Statistics

The CDC noted that a majority of the victims were men over the age of 18 who lived in Salt Lake County. A significant number of the people purchased the 4-CCB at a smoke shop and used it for recreational activities. The majority of victims also consumed the fake cannabis oil through vaping. Only a minority of victims reported that they did visit the emergency room.

Dr. Roberta Horth, the report's principal author, stated that the Utah outbreak has been contained. However, she noted that it could happen again, probably due to the creation process involved and what happens after they are in stores.

"Because CBD is illegal at the federal level there is no regulation of product quality at that level. Some states allow for the sale and possession of CBD; however, regulation differs in each jurisdiction. Products being sold in Utah at the moment are not done so legally, so there is no way to ensure that these products are safe," said Dr. Horth to Gizmodo.

Cannabis News

Researchers from both the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the City University of New York found that American parents' usage of cannabis rose from around 4.9 percent in 2002 to approximately 6.8 percent in 2015. They noticed that cannabis consumption was four times common among parents who smoked cigarettes over those who chose not to smoke.

Meanwhile, Washington State University claimed in a study that marijuana could be used to help people who struggle with mental health. The scientists stated that those who consumed marijuana were able to reduce their anxiety, depression, and stress temporarily. They warned, however, that depression could increase over time if the users continued to take the drug.

Tech Times reached out to Dr. Horth for an additional comment on this story.

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