A New Research Study has showcased that the U.S. Poison Center has been receiving a lot of calls related to pot. In 2019, they received over 11,100 calls that were related to the use of marijuana as opposed to 8200 calls in 2017.
Researchers have claimed that most of these calls are connected to products that have been manufactured using distilled quantities of CBD, THC, and chemicals that are usually found in weed. The lead researcher of the study claimed that calls generally increased all over the country and most of these calls were connected to these manufactured items. The researcher said that flower weed exposure calls were declining.
Most of the calls to U.S. poison control in 2017 were from cannabis plant exposure with 1094 calls related to manufactured products and 7146 calls related to marijuana plants. However, in 2019, marijuana plant calls declined to 5606 but manufactured product calls increased to 5503. This study was published on May 24 in JAMA Network Open.
Manufactured products have a huge quantity of THC which is a chemical in marijuana plants that leads to intoxication. The number of calls however shows that this can also cause a reaction. The study also noted that over 81 percent of calls that were connected to products that had been manufactured were from users that were consuming them alone and not mixing them with other substances or alcohol. The researcher noted that a cannabis product alone caused a bad enough reaction that the users had to call for help.
Edibles Are A Risk
Edibles cause the most calls to poison control when it comes to manufactured products. Edibles are a concern because edible exposure often involves children. When three years of data were analyzed, 2505 cases were found that involved kids aged less than 10 years and manufactured products. Usually, 60 percent of cases often lead to only minor problems medically and people often called poison control because they did not feel right. Many people often did not need any medical treatment but called because they were scared and need assurance that it was not serious that they were feeling dizzy or something else. It is noted by the study that the call rate to poison control was much higher in the states where the use of cannabis has been legalized.
These numbers showcase that marijuana legalized states are not taking enough precautions to save children from its dangers. Edibles are often consumed by children mistaking them for different kinds of candies and sweets. They are also packaged and designed in a way that appeals to kids like minibars, gummy bears, and brands, and names that mimic chocolate brands. Vaped marijuana does not have an odor and it is also discreet, hence it carries the same dangers for kids that were noticed in the nicotine vaping outbreak.
Precautions To Protect Children
State regulators can play more of a role to protect kids from exposure to marijuana. Packages can be designed in such a way that children cannot open them. For example, Washington State has a rule that every edible serving must be wrapped separately so even if kids find the product, they will be forced to open every dose separately. Hence, that makes it tougher for children to access edibles and be exposed to them accidentally.