As Legal Marijuana Grows, More Kids Are Getting Sick From Edibles At Home!
A study published on Tuesday found that as marijuana became legal in more parts of the United States, the number of cases in which young children, especially toddlers, mistakenly consumed marijuana-laced edibles increased dramatically during the preceding five years. There will be an increase from around 200 to over 3,000 annual reports to poison control centers across the country of children younger than 6 who have consumed Marijuana threats between 2017 and 2021-2.
According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, about a quarter of the kids ended up in the hospital, with several of them in critical condition. Dr. Marit Tweet, a medical toxicologist at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, who oversaw the research, noted that these numbers only account for confirmed cases.
More states are legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis use, and this coincides with reports of children consuming cannabis-infused foods including candy, chocolate, and cookies. Currently, medical Marijuana is legal in 37 states, while recreational usage is legal in 21.
Tweet advocated for increased parental vigilance and for restrictions similar to those passed in various states to reduce the attractiveness and availability of cannabis goods, which are commonly disguised as children’s candy and snacks.
People don’t view it with the same concern whether it’s in a candy form or cookies, she explained, compared to home chemicals or other things a youngster could get into. People should consider it a drug, though. Reports from the United States 55 regional poison control centers were evaluated by Tweet and her team for this study. It was found that more than half of the kids were toddlers (ages 2-3).
Most of the edibles were delivered to private residences, where over 90% of the population now has access. Those children are the ones “beginning to explore and get up and move around,” she explained. Out of over 7,000 reports, approximately 5,000 cases had follow-up research.
About eight percent of children, or roughly 600, were brought to intensive care units, with the most common diagnosis being respiratory depression or coma. More than a third of all patients were seen in emergency departments, and over 15% were admitted to non-critical care units.
Most people experienced drowsiness, difficulty breathing, a rapid heart rate, and nausea or vomiting. According to Dr. Brian Schultz, a pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, these findings do not come as a surprise. He used to work at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he and his coworkers saw “nearly on a daily basis” cases of children who had consumed marijuana in edible form.
A rise in both reports and hospitalizations occurred in the latter two years of the research, coinciding with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tweet speculated that this was because there were more kids at home and so more chances for them to find pot goodies.
She also noted that the widespread legalization of marijuana may have reduced parental hesitation to seek medical attention for their children. The Science and Educational Media Group at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute funds the Associated Press Health and Science Department. All information is the sole responsibility of the AP.