Duval County

Florida Poison Control Center warns parents of Delta-8 gummies amid rise in marijuana calls

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This National Poison Prevention Week, the Florida Poison Control Center in Jacksonville is warning parents about the uptick in calls they’re getting related to Delta-8 gummies.

They’re brightly colored and tasty. Delta-8 gummies — unregulated candy-like products that contain some of the chemical makeup included in marijuana — have been popping up everywhere, from vape shops to gas stations.

STORY: Is there a gas stimulus check coming? State gas tax holidays are more likely

“We don’t know how much Delta-8 is actually in the product,” Florida Poison Control Center Medical Director Dr. Sophia Sheikh said.

Sheikh says while Delta-8 is legal at the national level, it’s not regulated by the FDA. A hemp-derived compound, Delta-8 is less potent than Delta-9, which is what’s found in the cannabis plant that produces a high.

Sheikh still worries about Delta-8′s effects on children. The Poison Control Center says small children easily mistake gummies for candy. The concern is that a child could eat a whole bag of edibles that could contain multiple doses.

“We tend to see these more serious effects in children at lower doses than what we would expect in adults,” she said.

Serious symptoms include seizures, comas, and sedation.

All three of Florida’s poison control centers have noted a rise in marijuana calls. Just under 300 calls were made in one week earlier this month, the centers report.

STORY: ‘Totally unexpected’: Jacksonville couple learns home builder increased cost before construction

Sheikh says there has been a tremendous spike for calls involving children.

“It’s really confusing for a child to know is this medicine? Is this candy?” she explained.

The Poison Control Center says the best thing parents can do is keep medicine and other substances they don’t want their kids getting into up high and locked away.