State health officials issued an advisory Tuesday warning residents of a “potentially contaminated cannabidiol oil” that has caused a recent spike in hospital emergency room visits.
Along with being consumed as an oil, a similar product has been found in electronic cigarettes and vaporizing pens, officials with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release.
State health officials are working with Carolinas Poison Center to investigate more than 30 reports since December of consumers of the product who were treated in emergency departments across the state for serious symptoms, including altered mental status, hallucinations, seizures, loss of consciousness and rapid heartbeat.
No deaths have been reported.
“People should be aware that products labeled as CBD oil might contain other substances,” State Health Director Betsey Tilson stated in the release. “The symptoms we are seeing that result in these emergency department visits are not typical for CBD oil use.”
Health officials say the number of patients is double those who sought emergency medical care in the previous year. Similar serious symptoms related to CBD oil use have been reported at medical facilities at Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, where military health authorities have also raised concerns.
CBD oil is made from hemp plants and is used when vaping, eaten with food or drink or placed under the tongue. CBD oil is widely available under various brand names that can be purchased in stores or online. State health officials have not identified a specific brand or source associated with the emergency department visits.
Health officials say people who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention and call 911 if immediate assistance is needed.
To report symptoms or get answers to questions related to CBD oil, call the Carolinas Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald