Advisory issued after chemically-altered THC found in medical marijuana

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority issued a patient advisory recently after confirming the presence of THC analogs, including THC-O-acetate, in a rising number of medical Marijuana products.  

According to the OMMA, the manufactured THC compound is not a medical Marijuana product and has been shown to be harmful when added to products already containing THC. Side effects can include seizures, difficulty speaking and vomiting.  

Metis, the OMMA’s quality assurance lab, is monitoring for the presence of this chemical compound in a concentrate known as Platinum OG Sugar in surveillance samples.

Kelsey Pagonis, OMMA communications manager, said that THC-O-acetate can be one to three times as potent as naturally occurring THC. 

“It’s very intentional. It’s a dangerous process to make THC-O-acetate. This isn’t something that happens by accident,” she said.  

Those purchasing medical Marijuana products can ask dispensaries to see the Certificates of Analysis (COAs) which show the lab test results to ensure the safety of the product. 

“We encourage people to see that the number on the COA for potency matches the product they are buying,” she said. 

OMMA’s licensed labs do not currently test for THC analogs. Pagonis said this would have to be added to the rule-making process which might require statutory approval. 

Scott Schaeffer, managing director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, said they have received eight calls from people suspecting or wondering if they could have been sickened by medical Marijuana. Since the chemical has not been scientifically reviewed, Schaeffer said they do not know too much about it yet. 

“There is really not a good way to associate an illness with this,” he said. “I’m not sure if it is even doable.” 

The OMMA asks individuals to report any Dispensary that refuses to provide a product’s COA by calling 405-522-6662 or email [email protected] 

People who have had side effects after using a medical Marijuana product purchased from a licensed Dispensary are urged to contact a health provider or the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Control at 800-222-1222.  

Author: Sunny Dupree
Sunny Dupree is a seasoned journalist, keynote speaker and founder of Weed America: A Journalism-Minded Agency, which handles public relations, content marketing, social media, events and thought leadership for brands and executives in legal cannabis, hemp technology, alternative healthcare, and other new industries.