Reports of Mississippi kids consuming marijuana-infused candy and chocolate at home rose sharply last year
Reports of children in Mississippi consuming marijuana-infused candy and chocolate at home, resulting in emergency room visits, rose sharply in the past year, the state’s poison control center said in a statement.
In 2019, the medical center received two calls for ingestion of edible marijuana products. By 2022, the total number of calls had skyrocketed to 36. Fourteen of those calls were to children ages 0 to 12 and three to teens ages 13 to 19, according to Jenna Davis, managing director of the Mississippi Poison Control Center. , which is part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“In the last 10 days, we have already received four calls for children ages 0-6,” Davis said in a statement this week. “And across the state, these cases go unreported.”
The medical center warned that calls will continue to rise with marijuana dispensaries scheduled to open across the state this year.
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,” she added.
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,” she added. “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, up from just 207 cases reported in 2017, representing a 1,375% increase in cases. Seventy percent caused central nervous system depression, according to the article.
Most of the exposures occurred in a residential setting, according to the article.
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