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article imageCanadian study looks at adverse effects of pot edibles on kids

By Karen Graham     Jun 30, 2019 in Health
Studies conducted by the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP) discovered a large number of young children needed medical care after consuming cannabis in the months following legalization last year in October.
Between September and December 2018, the CPSP reported 16 cases of young children between the ages of seven months and 17 years of age that required hospitalization due to the adverse effects of cannabis - forming the start of a new two-year study, according to CTV News Canada.
"The number of cases involving young children is striking," Dr. Christina Grant, a pediatrician in Hamilton, Ont. and co-principal investigator, said in a news release. “Almost 70 percent of the young people who needed to be in the hospital is because they accidentally ate a cannabis edible and then became really intoxicated and overdosed."
The cases involved six children under the age of 17 who accidentally ate cannabis edibles and one case of accidental exposure. In all the cases, the cannabis belonged to parents or caregivers. Four other cases were not accidental, however, the CPSP could not share information, reports the Huffington Post.
Details of five other cases were not immediately available, including how the children were exposed to cannabis, their ages and whether exposure was accidental or not.
The two-year research study will end in October 2020. The early, initial results of the study were shared on Thursday, June 27, along with information on other research programs going on. The data gathered so far is similar to trends in Colorado and Washington state, where cannabis is also legal, the CPSP said.
Bend  OR: caramel cannabis edible
Bend, OR: caramel cannabis edible
Trougnouf (CC BY-SA 4.0)
"Tip of the iceberg"
Grant said the number of cases identified in the CPSP study so far is just “the tip of the iceberg.” He went on to say, “These are 16 children who had to actually be admitted to hospital beyond needing to come to the emergency room. We are not talking about all the other cases of kids who needed to come to emergency rooms or see their physicians for accidentally consuming cannabis.”
Montreal Children’s Hospital issued an alert in May, warning that cannabis intoxication was on the rise among children since legalization. The hospital said that children who accidentally ingest cannabis may experience more severe symptoms than adults
At that time, 26 children had been admitted to the Montreal Children’s Hospital after consuming cannabis. This included nine children under the age of seven. Two of the children had seizures and required treatment in the intensive care unit. "That’s a significant jump from pre-legalization, according to hospital trauma director Debbie Friedman.
“Just because cannabis is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe for consumption by children and it doesn’t mean it should just be left around where it’s easily accessible to a child who’s curious, who is very attracted to the color of gummy bears or a chocolate bar or a hash brownie,” she said.
More about cannabis edibles, Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program, twoyear study, adverse effects, hosptaqlizations
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