California Poison Control Warns About Holiday Marijuana Edibles

During the holiday season, California Poison Control System (CPCS) reminds all adults to practice caution when using or serving cannabis-containing edible items to prevent accidental poison exposure. 

To minimize the risk of accidental poison exposure, treats such as cookies, candies, pastries or beverages containing cannabis should not be prepared or served when children or teens are present as children may accidentally grab a laced holiday treat, according to CPCS. 

“Children can be exposed to marijuana either by breathing in smoke or eating foods containing marijuana,” said Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Assistant Medical Director of CPCS Los Angeles Area Education Program. “Keep your home and car free of the smoke, and keep food or drinks in their original containers locked up away from young children or teens.”

Edibles can contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the chemical that causes someone to get high, according to CPCS. 

While adults typically exhibit dizziness, weakness, slurred speech and anxiety, symptoms in children can be more severe: ranging from sleepiness to difficulty breathing or even coma, according to CPCS.  

Emergency rooms and poison control centers have received many cases of young children who accidentally ate marijuana edibles and required hospital admission due to the severity of their symptoms, according to CPCS.

 “Kids and cannabis don’t mix,” Ragan said. “Treat these products just like you would alcoholic beverages — use caution and common sense.” 

Dr. Rangan advises that if there’s a chance a child has accidentally consumed marijuana-containing products, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 so a trained specialist can answer specific questions and guide callers to an emergency facility. 

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