Children Are At Higher Risk Of Accidental Poisoning From Edible Marijuana Products, Study Finds

Children are at high risk of accidental poisoning from eating edibles and other marijuana products, according to a new study looking at calls to poison control centers from January 2017 to December 2019. .

According to the study, poisoning calls that resulted from consuming products such as concentrates, extracts, beverages, vaping liquids, and marijuana edibles more frequently involved children under 10 years of age, compared to poisoning calls for dried or pre-rolled cannabis plants.

The largest proportion of the calls analyzed, 36.6%, involved the consumption of grocery products, the study found.

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How does the legalization of marijuana impact?

It’s a trend pediatricians and emergency physicians have seen as more states legalize marijuana, said Dr. Brian Johnston, a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention Council. , who was not part of the study.

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Children are especially vulnerable to cannabis poisoning in edible products. These products look like cookies, brownies, gummies, candy, or soda. There are many that are even intentionally packaged to look like popular candy, ”said Johnston, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.

Products made from marijuana often have “higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than raw cannabis plant materials,” according to the study. This could lead to greater short-term effects, for example ‘cognitive and psychomotor impairment’.

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“Despite its common appearance, a single cannabis cookie or candy can contain several times the THC dose recommended for adults. Anyone who eats one of these products, especially a child, may experience overdose effects such as intoxication, impaired perception, anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, and weakness. Also slurred speech, poor coordination, or even breathing and heart problems, “said Johnston.

The study, which was published Monday in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that exposure to the marijuana plant was reduced during the investigation period. In contrast, exposure to marijuana products “increased overall and for each specific product type.”

The study also found that more calls were made to poison centers in states where marijuana was legalized. “Higher rates in states where it is legal suggest that continued increases can be expected with the legalization of cannabis use by adults in more states,” wrote a team of researchers.

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In addition, even more “novel” products may be created, which “could present additional health risks,” the study authors wrote.

Tips to avoid poisoning children by marijuana edibles

Parents living in states where marijuana is legal “can set a good example and never use these products in front of children,” Johnston said. He also added the following tips:

Don’t buy groceries that can be mistaken for candy or other common and common products.
Store these types of products safely, in a locked place and away from children (and make sure that family or friends who take care of your children do the same).
Always keep edible products in their original packaging.

Johnston added that more needs to be done to protect children.

“Pediatricians believe that if cannabis for recreational use is legalized, there should be strong regulations requiring edible products to be sold in child-resistant packaging,” he said.

These must be resealable, opaque, even after opening, and must not contain more than one serving. And manufacturers must stop making products that look like candy, soda or dessert, “said Johnston.

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