Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
The Mississippi Poison Control Center turned on the alert lights due to the considerable increase in cases where children ate candies and chocolates with marijuana at homeresulting in emergency room visits.
According to data from the State University Medical Center, while in 2019, the medical center received two calls for ingesting edible marijuana products. By 2022, the total number of calls had skyrocketed to 36, of which 14 were from children 0-12 years old and three from adolescents 13-19 years old.
According to Jenna Davis, managing director of the Mississippi Poison Control Center, “In the last 10 days, we’ve already received four calls for children ages 0-6.”
Davis also cautioned that THC-laced products such as candies, gummies and chocolates appeal to children and adults should store them like medicine, in a safe place out of the sight and reach of children.
“It’s hard to overdose on marijuana, but some of these gummies contain very large doses and some children eat large amounts of them,” Davis said.
In addition to central nervous system depression, overdoses can cause rapid heartbeat, vomiting, confusion, difficulty walking and drowsiness and, in extreme situations, respiratory distress and seizures. Davis said.
Davis said there are a growing number of children getting their hands on Delta 8 THC-containing products that are available online and in convenience stores and are unregulated.
“It has very similar effects to the other euphoric components of marijuana,” Davis said. “We get tons of calls about this, and it’s increasing, for all ages.”
A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this month found that there was an increase in reported cases of children exposed to edible cannabis resulting in acute toxicity from 2017 to 2021.
In 2021, 3,054 cases were reported, compared to only 207 cases reported in 2017, representing a 1,375% increase in cases. 70 percent caused central nervous system depression, according to the article.
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