Vapes spiked with illegal drugs show dark side of CBD craze
By HOLBROOK MOHR
An Associated Press investigation shows a dark side to booming sales of the cannabis extract CBD. Some people are substituting cheap and dangerous street drugs for the real thing.
As a result, vapes and other products marketed as helping a range of ailments instead have sent dozens of people to emergency rooms because they were spiked with synthetic marijuana.
Lab testing commissioned by AP shows some CBD vape products available at stores or online contain synthetic marijuana commonly known as K2 or spice. Unlike real CBD, which doesn't have psychoactive qualities, synthetic marijuana gives an intense high.
Industry representatives acknowledge spiking is an issue, but say many companies are reputable.
But with drug enforcement authorities busy fighting the opioid epidemic, manufacturers of spiked products operate with impunity.
Contact AP's investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.
Mohr reported from Carlsbad, California; Panama City, Florida; and Jackson, Mississippi. Contributing to this report were Allen Breed in Lexington and Ninety Six, South Carolina; Juliet Linderman in New York, Philadelphia and Towson, Maryland; Reese Dunklin in Dallas; Krysta Fauria in Carlsbad and Los Angeles; Carla K. Johnson in Seattle; Justin Pritchard in Washington and Los Angeles; Rhonda Shafner in New York; Ted Warren in Grants Pass, Oregon; and Mitch Weiss in Lexington, South Carolina.
People experiencing problems with a product labeled as CBD can reach a local poison control center by calling 1-800-222-1222.
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