first marijuana overdose in colorado

First Marijuana Overdose?

Say What? A Marijuana Overdose?

Back in 2015, a very sad and unfortunate incident was reported when a baby boy died in Colorado. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be myocarditis, a condition which causes the heart muscles to become inflamed and stop working. However, the boy also showed high levels of THC in his urine, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana.

The situation stumped doctors at the time, one of them writing: “Autopsy findings in this patient were consistent with noninfectious myocarditis as a cause of death. …the presence of THC metabolites in the patient’s urine and serum, most likely secondary to ingestion, is the only uncovered risk factor in the etiology for his myocarditis.”

The report continued, “A possible relationship exists between cannabis exposure in this child and myocarditis leading to death.”

2 Years Later

However, the story took a turn when two years later, this November 16th, The New York Daily News, via Fox News, ran this headline:

“Baby boy is first marijuana overdose death, doctors claim.”

Apparently someone at the Reno Gazette Journal saw this case report, from March of 2017, and decided to exploit the situation and ran with a headline that pinned the infant’s death on marijuana. That story was picked up by Fox News, and then The New York Daily News.

However, the very next day, both doctors came forward via the Washington Post.

“We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” said Dr. Thomas Nappe and his colleague, Dr. Christopher Hoyte. Nappe also told the Washington Post that the word “associated” does not necessarily indicate there was a cause and effect.

The doctors behind this case report did not make such a bold claim, they simply wrote a narrative account of an infant boy who died within a window of time plausibly related to marijuana ingestion. They made a note of it for the scientific community, in case a similar situation should arise, and further study can be justified.


Echoes Of Yellow Journalism

According to, claims of the “first ever” death from marijuana are frequently made by scientists or doctors regarding adults, heavily reported on by media, and often rejected by the larger scientific community. These types of headlines are sensational in that marijuana has never been attributed to an overdose death.

These types of “journalistic” actions are highly reminiscent of “yellow journalism”, propagated in the early 30s by Harry Anslinger and William Randolph Hearst. In an effort to change the public’s opinion, the mega publisher and drug czar influenced public opinion and law makers causing cannabis to be classified as a schedule 1 narcotic in the Uniform States Narcotic Act (1934).


HempMeds products only contain trace elements of THC. In the U.S., CBD derived from hemp is considered a dietary supplement and is legal to purchase across the United States. Because our CBD hemp oil is an imported hemp product and contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, it is exempt from the Federal Controlled Substances Act prohibition on marijuana.

Our products are all made with high-CBD, low-THC hemp oil. CBD itself is non-psychoactive, and THC, marijuana’s psychoactive compound, is only present in trace amounts – not nearly enough to cause the high associated with marijuana.

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