9 students in Florida were hospitalized after eating marijuana-infused candy. A student had inadvertently brought it to school to share with friends. The packaging for the THC-laced candy closely resembled a popular sour candy.
What happened to the children?
Well first of all the students’ injuries were not life-threatening. The kids were between the ages of 10 and 12 and were sent to the ER because they were having stomach pains. But this is still a warning for parents who have edible marijuana products in their home. If the packaging and the candy or treat inside resembles any products kids are familiar with, then they are more likely to see it as normal food and be tempted to eat it. And the most common overdose incidents in kids happen when marijuana is combined with food. Unfortunately, these types of accidental poisonings are on the rise.
Why does food prompt more overdose incidents?
Edible marijuana products often have more THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient. They can contain several times the recommended adult dose. Yet, edibles take longer than smoked marijuana to have an effect, anywhere between 1 to 4 hours. And this can lead to more being eaten before any effects are felt. And for kids 12 and under, edibles can have a stronger and prolonged effect on them due to their size and weight. They can experience severe effects like trouble breathing, loss of coordination, difficulty concentrating, altered perception, panic, paranoia, heart problems and even seizures.
When kids overdose, what are the long-term effects?
I honestly don’t have an answer for that. Because acute marijuana exposures on children has not been systematically studied. So there is no research or science findings regarding the full effects. So it’s imperative that anyone who has children in their homes to keep edible and all types of marijuana products out of reach and out of sight. They should also be kept in child-resistant packaging that also conceals the contents so it can’t be seen. And please don’t consume edibles in front of children.