Fairfax County

Several Students Sickened After Taking Delta-8 THC Edibles at Virginia Middle School

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue sent several ambulances to Liberty Middle School in Clifton after seven students were ill after apparently ingesting edible Delta 8 gummies

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At least seven students at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia, reported feeling ill after apparently eating Delta 8 THC gummies, the principal of the school said in a letter to families.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and police officers were called to the school in Clifton shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Fairfax Fire confirmed they sent several ambulances to the scene. Fairfax police have a school resource officer on scene.

The students were having symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and slurred speech, Principal Adam Erbrecht wrote.

Three of the students were taken for medical treatment, and the rest were taken care of at school or were sent home with their families, he said.

It wasn't immediately clear who may have purchased or distributed the gummies.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

According to the FDA, delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also called delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties.

Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, but not in significant amounts. "As a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD)," the FDA said. The FDA said it's concerned that delta-8 THC products may expose consumers to much higher levels of the substance than are naturally occurring in hemp cannabis raw extracts.

The FDA cautions that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA and "may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk." They should be kept out of reach of children and pets, the FDA said.

Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects, similar to delta-9 THC (the component responsible for the "high" people may experience from using cannabis), the FDA said.

Is Delta-8 Legal?

Thanks to a loophole in the 2018 farm bill, delta-8 THC is unregulated at the federal level, NBC News has reported. However, some states have prohibited it from being sold.

The products may be purchased online, as well as at a variety of retailers such as convenience stores and gas stations, the FDA said, which may not have age restrictions on who can buy them.

Disciplinary Action Possible, Principal Says

On Thursday afternoon, Principal Erbrecht said that police determined that there was no crime committed, but there may be disciplinary action.

"We will be using this as a learning opportunity at school to discuss the importance of making good choices," he wrote to families. "I ask you to have the same conversation at home and remind students to talk to a trusted adult when they are feeling unsafe at school."

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