More seizures, intubation from microdose candies: 12 sickened, 10 hospitalized

Enlarge / Diamond Shruumz’s “extremely potent” infused cones in “sprinkles” flavor.

More people have reported severe poisonings in an ongoing outbreak marked by people seizing and needing to be intubated after consuming microdose candies made by Diamond Shruumz, the Food and Drug Administration reported Tuesday.

There are now at least 12 reported cases across eight states. All 12 people were ill enough to seek medical care, and 10 needed to be hospitalized. The symptoms reported so far include seizures, central nervous system depression (loss of consciousness, confusion, sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea, and vomiting, the FDA reported.

In Tuesday’s update, the FDA also expanded the products linked to the illnesses. In addition to all flavors of Diamond Shruumz’s Microdosing Chocolate Bars, the agency’s warning now covers all flavors of the brand’s Infused Cones and Micro Dose and Macro Dose Gummies.

According to the FDA, the most recent case fell ill on June 9. On June 7, the FDA issued its initial warning on Diamond Shruumz’s chocolates, reporting that eight people had been sickened in four states, with six people hospitalized. The agency advised the public not to sell, serve, buy, or consume the chocolates and instead discard them.

The candies are available nationwide. They are sold online—where they remain available for purchase as of Tuesday evening—and can also be found in various retail locations throughout the US, including smoke/vape shops and retailers that sell hemp-derived products.

The current tally of cases includes one from Alabama, four from Arizona, two from Indiana, one from Kentucky, one from Missouri, one from Nevada, one from Pennsylvania, and one from South Carolina.

Diamond Schruumz has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Ars. The New York Times also reported that the company was unresponsive.

It remains unclear what exactly is in the candies and what could cause such severe toxicity. The company does not provide ingredient lists for its products on its website. The term “microdosing” typically suggests a small amount of psychedelic compound is present, and Diamond Shruumz markets its products as “trippy,” “psychedelic,” and “hallucinogenic.”  But lab reports posted on Diamond Shruumz’s website indicate that its candies do not contain the notable mushroom-derived psychedelic compound, psilocybin.

The company only says that its candies contain a “primo proprietary blend of nootropic and functional mushrooms.” Nootropics are compounds said to affect cognition, though supplement makers have used the term dubiously in marketing.

In an April 2023 blog, Diamond Shruumz said its chocolate bars contain a blend of Lion’s mane, Reishi, and Chaga mushrooms, which are all non-hallucinogenic mushrooms used in herbal and traditional medicines and supplements. “Lion’s mane is a natural nootropic that can enhance cognitive function, while Reishi is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress and boosts the immune system,” the company claimed. “Finally, Chaga is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in the body.”

The FDA, along with America’s Poison Centers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is still investigating the cases and working to determine the cause. The FDA did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Ars about the state of the agency’s investigation or a possible recall of the company’s products.

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