Mississippi law enforcement and health officials are issuing a public safety warning about the use of CBD and vaping products. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi officials say they're worried the public is using CBD products and vaping, not knowing they aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration nor the state. CBD oil is derived from the hemp and marijuana plant and is illegal in Mississippi. Now the state Departments of Public Safety and Health are warning people not to use CBD or vaping products. John Dowdy is with the state bureau of narcotics.
"People are acquiring these products. They're getting behind the wheel of a car. They're driving. They maybe impaired in their driving. A lot of these products that we've tested over the last couple of years contain high quantities of THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana which causes you to get high," said Dowdy.
Dowdy says nearly all the CBD and vaping products they've tested are mislabeled. He says they've also found fentanyl and liquid spice, which is synthetic marijuana, in some of them. In 2015, 17 Mississippians died after smoking spice and more than 1,400 became ill. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says CBD is sold as oils, tinctures and used in vaping devices as a cure for ailments including pain. But he says they can be contaminated with dangerous drugs.
"We haven't had any reports of severe illness from people using the oral supplements but when we look at what's in these, it's spice and sometimes it's THC or fentanyl, so we know that people will get deadly ill from these things based on our historical experience," said Dobbs.
Dobbs says they now know vaping isn't as safe as originally thought. In Mississippi one person has died and six others have suffered lung injuries. Dobbs says some vaped THC, others used CBD or nicotine. The Mississippi Vaping Advocacy Association has said people are getting sick from drugs that are added to illegal vaping devices. They say those sold at vaping shops are sealed and supplied by reputable dealers.