Start low, go slow with marijuana edibles
Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands discusses the differences between ingesting and smoking marijuana.
Kathleen Galligan, Detroit Free Press
Cases of New York kids and teens eating marijuana edibles shot up sixfold since 2019, the Upstate New York Poison Center said this week.
The Center handled just 22 cases of kids or teens ages 19 and under consuming edibles in 2019. As of early August this year, it has addressed 124 cases.
The numbers are more sobering among kids ages five and under. In 2019, only seven cases came in from that age group − so far this year, the Center handled 64 cases among younger children.
The reasoning for the uptick could be related to the products’ enticing packaging, sometimes featuring bright colors, or the fact that edibles are more readily available now, Dr. Vince Calleo, medical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center said Tuesday.
“No matter the reason, our number one concern right now is for the pediatric population because marijuana can have serious effects on their small bodies,” Calleo said.
THC-containing edibles can look like candy or treats to kids, so they often wolf down more than what is a single “dose” for an adult, Calleo noted. The effects of edibles often don’t kick in for over an hour.
Dispensaries opening in 2022Cannabis sales to kick off in NY in 2022. How you can apply to sell it
NY’s cannabis industryNew York’s first legal marijuana crop is growing and bound for stores this year
In young children, marijuana can cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate, severe tiredness or trouble breathing, and in severe cases, can lead to a coma, according to the Upstate Poison Center at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
Medical staff urged adults to treat THC-containing items like dangerous medication and keep them out of the reach of children.
“Kids are curious and can’t normally tell the difference between products with and without THC,” Calleo said.
If you have these products in your home, the Center is offering free medication lockboxes on its website to help keep the products away from young ones in the household.
If you suspect a child has swallowed any form of marijuana, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.