Cannabis laced cookies, candies, chocolates, gummies, or cakes are packed just like regular savories, which is why it might be really hard for your kid to distinguish them from the real ones. Now that weed can be bought and sold legally for both medical or recreational use in Canada and over half of the USA, there is a massive rise in the use of cannabis edibles. Parents who use cannabis are therefore rather wary of their kinds accidentally ingesting these forbidden treats and in today’s post, we are going to discuss the potential dangers of cannabis edibles for kids and things you need to do when confronted with such a situation.
How children can get access to weed edibles?
If you are residing in Canada or in a state in the US where weed can be bought legally for medical or recreational purposes, then chances are high that you’ll leave your weed laced edibles lying in the open. There is no harm in that unless of course, you have a kid in the house. If not stored in a secure location, toddlers or curious tweens and teens will tap into these off-limit munchies. No matter if they ingest it accidentally or purposely, a strong dose of THC in a child can lead to several toxicity symptoms and you might need to drive all the way to your nearest emergency room.
Cannabis edibles for kids- risks and toxicity symptoms
There are more than one safety concern for cannabis edibles for kids. To begin with the THC present in your cookie or brownie is recommended only for adult serving. Most adults will not consume more than one cookie or one square of chocolate at a time. A kid on the other hand is not going to think twice before eating two entire cookies, a handful of gummies or a slab of chocolate in one go. It goes without saying that whenever a child eats more than the recommended dose meant for an adult, it can be greatly detrimental to their health. Chances are high that they will end up in the hospital with severe toxicity symptoms. These symptoms of toxicity could include paranoia, dizziness, hallucinations, breathing difficulty, and tremendous fear/ anxiety. Moreover, the situation could get worse if your kid is already taking medications that can interact with cannabis.
Recent reports of children accidentally ingesting weed
As suggested by a report from a Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP), over 12 kids had to be hospitalized because of the accidental ingestion of marijuana edibles when weed was just legalized in Canada. Although the chances of permanent disability and death are relatively less in an accidental marijuana overdose, it has to be kept in mind that edibles can be easily mistaken for ordinary treats by children who might unknowingly consume too much of it.
Moreover the effects of edibles are not like that of joints. Edibles take a lot of time to produce it effects and once produced it takes a long time to subside. “They take the edible and they don’t feel anything, and 20 minutes later, they have more and get into problems,” says Dr. Christina Grant the co-principal investigator at CPSP. The Canadian government is now considering a reduction in the THC content in the weed edibles. “That may result in less harm…but again if you’re talking about children, the actual dose they’re getting is still high, and it depends on how these products are packaged. Is it a bunch of candies in a package or just one?”
Effects of cannabis edibles on kids
All cannabis users must be aware of the fact that a single piece of weed cookie or chocolate bar comes with many times the suggested dose of THC for adults. This is why when a child below 10 eats one of these cookies, they can feel intense intoxication, altered sense of perception which can induce fear, panic, anxiety, dizziness, slurred speech, increased heart rate and apnea. Moreover, if your teen is stealthily experimenting with edibles then s/he might not be aware of the right dose of cannabis edibles for kids. The edible isn’t going to produce its effect quickly which often prompts the teen to consume excessive amounts so as to attain the high. This more often than not leads to an unpleasant experience. Back in 2014, a 19 years old student died by jumping from the balcony after overdosing on weed cookies bought from a legal weed store in Colorado.
Things to do when your child accidentally eats your edibles
No need to panic
Nobody on the planet has ever died from a weed overdose so the last thing you should do in such a situation is panic. Tenderly approach your kid, try making them feel comfortable by lying them down on the bed.
Note down the following details
Next thing you need to do is figure out the amount of THC they have ingested and if possible try to determine the time in which it was eaten. Keep in mind that the edibles can take up to 4 hours to produce its full effects while it could take 12 hours for the high to wear off. Observe and note down all the symptoms and keep an eye on any serious symptoms such as breathing issues.
Call Poison Control
Call Poison Control to know all you need to do for emergency treatment. If your child is sleeping peacefully then it’s fine as long as they can be easily roused. In case they don’t wake up easily then you should consider going to the nearest hospital with the product that has been eaten and the packaging.
Cannabis edibles for kids can be a threat to the health of children, therefore you must pay more attention to storing your stash discreetly and out of reach of the kids. Lastly, in case you end up in the hospital emergency room with your kid then make sure to be upfront and honest and provide the doctor with all the notes you have taken down and any other information you might have.