Illegal edibles to blame for most pediatric poisoinings.
A recent study by researchers at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital published in Clinical Toxicology concludes that “recreational cannabis legalization is associated with higher rates of ICU admission for intoxication among children compared with the pre-legalization period.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, edibles—which often come in delicious candy or baked good form—are largely to blame, and “legalization may have increased the availability and accessibility of these products to children,” write the authors.
Researchers examined the rates and cases of kids who had come to emergency rooms at pediatric hospitals pre-legalization for cannabis poisonings pre-legalization and compared them to peri-post legalization rates. The overall rate of kids going to the hospital for pot did not change at all.
“The median monthly number of cannabis-related presentations did not differ between the time periods,” the study concludes.
“What’s interesting is that cannabis edibles weren’t even legal in Canada until October of 2019 and they weren’t on shelves until December of that year,” says Tabitha Fritz, the creator of the Level UP Budtender Education Program and the co-founder and CEO of Fritz’s Cannabis Company, a legacy edibles company that is nearly ready to relaunch in Canada as a licensed brand.
The pre-legalization period ran from Jan. 1 2008 to April 12, 2017, and the peri-post legalization period was defined as April 13, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2019.
That means that while pediatric poisonings may have become more severe since legalization and ICU admission rates increased, it’s likely that most, if not all of the edibles poisonings accounted for in the study should be attributed to unregulated edibles. They weren’t for sale yet.