The number of children in the United States consuming cannabis is skyrocketing

Acci­den­tal inges­tion of cannabis can­dy by U.S. chil­dren has surged near­ly 15-fold in recent years as more states legal­ize recre­ation­al mar­i­jua­na use, accord­ing to a sci­en­tif­ic study released Tues­day. became clear.

In 2017, health offi­cials tal­lied more than 200 cas­es of cannabis-infused food ingest­ed by chil­dren under the age of five, com­pared with more than 3,050 in 2021, accord­ing to the med­ical jour­nal Pediatrics.

Often sold in the form of can­dies, choco­lates and bis­cuits, it looks appeal­ing to chil­dren, but can cause seri­ous harm due to the low weight of the patient.

Dur­ing the five-year study peri­od, about 7,000 chil­dren were acci­den­tal­ly ingest­ed with­out death, but about 8% required admis­sion to the inten­sive care unit and about 15% were hospitalized.

The aver­age age of the affect­ed chil­dren was 3 years old.

The chil­dren’s symp­toms includ­ed cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem depres­sion, includ­ing falling into a coma, tachy­car­dia, and vom­it­ing. Intra­venous ther­a­py was given.

At the time of the sur­vey start­ing in 2017, recre­ation­al cannabis was legal­ized only in 8 states + Wash­ing­ton in the Unit­ed States, but by the end of May 2022, it was legal­ized in 18 states.

“These increas­es are like­ly relat­ed to more states allow­ing adult and recre­ation­al use of cannabis,” the study authors wrote.

With more than 90% of inges­tion occur­ring in the home, researchers called for edu­cat­ing care­givers about the need to keep cannabis prod­ucts in locked con­tain­ers out of reach of chil­dren. rice field.

“Cannabis prod­ucts should be in opaque con­tain­ers and clear­ly labeled, not just in chil­dren’s con­tain­ers,” the authors write. “In addi­tion, prod­ucts should have clear warn­ing labels warn­ing of overdose.”

While some U.S. states, such as Cal­i­for­nia, have already tak­en such steps, there are no nation­al laws on how cannabis prod­ucts should be packaged.

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