Taiwan’s Reefer Madness extends to hemp seed oil: Public cautioned

Narcotics control authorities in Kaohsiung City warned the public not to purchase oil of unclear origin after traces of THC were detected in flax seed oil imported into Taiwan.

After being informed by a member of the public, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government Department of Substance Abuse Control and Prevention were shocked to find that people were openly selling hemp seed oil products on the Internet.

The bureau also cited a case of a woman who imported flax seed oil from the United States that customs officials found contained traces of THC. Prosecutors determined that the packaging did not mention cannabis, the woman did not understand the foreign language packaging, and had no intention of importing drugs, and dropped charges.

However, the drug prevention officials warned that if THC of more than 10 parts-per-million (ppm) is found in hemp seed oil products, the purchaser could be charged with importing a Class 2 drug and face a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Hemp seed does not contain THC, however, traces of the compound may be found in hemp seed oil due to small amounts of leaf and flower tissue clinging to the seeds during processing.

A concentration of more than 10 ppm constitutes a hazardous drug, according to officials, who said that cannabis contains more than 400 kinds of chemical substances, including the psychedelic THC, which is addictive, and causes people to feel “high” and “drunk” by stimulating the central nervous system.

The excitement of the nervous system causes hallucinations and other health hazards, the authorities warned: causing teenagers to lose memory and cognitive functions. Because marijuana is so addictive, youth are susceptible to becoming drug victims.

As such, the Department of Substance Abuse Control and Prevention warned the public not to buy oils of unknown origin and composition, due to the fact that hemp seed oil may contain THC, endangering people’s health, and breaking the law.

One of 85 hemp oil products found for sale on Taiwan’s online shopping Ruten network.

Sources: United Daily News, Taiwan News Review. Cover picture: Wikimedia Commons.

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