The Associated Press tested 30 samples of CBD vape products at a private lab to determine how much of the compound was actually present and also to check for the existence of any of 371 types of synthetic marijuana.
For its investigation, the news outlet also received results of testing done by law enforcement agencies across the country, on a variation of types of CBD products, such as edible CBD and vapes.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from the cannabis plant and, unlike THC, does not cause any known psychoactive effects.
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia police officials reported positive hits. In total, 128 out of the more than 350 samples tested positive for synthetic marijuana, while three tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Of the 30 samples that the news outlet commissioned to be tested, 10 contained synthetic marijuana. Out of 28 tested for the presence of CBD, eight detected no CBD at all, according to the report.
The news outlet also told the story of South Carolina college student Jay Jenkins, who, in May 2018, fell into a coma after trying a CBD vape product for the first time.
Jenkins and a friend bought a blueberry vape oil, called “Yolo,” at a 7 to 11 Market in Lexington, South Carolina. Shortly thereafter, the teen suffered respiratory failure and fell unconscious. He was released the next day after coming to.
At least 33 people in Utah also fell ill after using Yolo CBD oil, which was formerly sold by an employee of Mathco Health Corporation, according to the report. The employee, identified as the “exclusive salesperson,” no longer works for the company.
The FDA is advising vapers to avoid inhaling Vitamin E acetate and THC oil, and not to buy vaping products on the street or modify vape juices purchased in stores.
When an AP reporter went back to the store where Jenkins had purchased Yolo, the tainted CBD oil was no longer for sale. Instead, a clerk encouraged they buy the owner’s “top seller,” called “7 to 11 CBD.”
The reporter bought three – all of which tested positive for synthetic marijuana.
The Associated Press contributed to the reporting for this story.