Marijuana, sometimes called weed, pot, or cannabis, is used both medicinally and recreationally. The marijuana plant has almost 100 cannabinoid compounds but THC is the most common and causes the feeling of being “high”. Now that some states have legalized marijuana for medical or for recreational purposes, the drug is becoming widely available. This can cause a problem if young children accidentally ingest it.
There are a number of ways to consume marijuana, including inhalation by smoking or vaporizing it and ingestion in edible forms. It’s the edible form of marijuana that is causing concern among pediatricians and professionals. Often, edible forms of marijuana can look like treats: baked goods, beverages, or candies. Young children may not know the difference between a candy gummy bear and a marijuana edible.
Edible Forms of Marijuana can Cause Overdose in Young Children
Because of their size and weight, small children are at a higher risk of overdose if they mistakenly ingest edible marijuana. This type of overdose is especially troubling because symptoms may take time to appear, and can last for several hours. These symptoms can be severe and can include:
- Loss of balance
- Slurred speech
- Extreme tiredness or lethargy
- Paranoia or confusion
- A racing heart
- Difficulty breathing
If symptoms are severe enough, young children may need to be taken to the hospital for emergency care.
Call Missouri Poison Center Immediately if Your Child has Ingested Marijuana
Your call to the Missouri Poison Center is always free and always confidential. If you suspect that your child has taken an edible or if your child is displaying the symptoms above, don’t wait. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Our specially trained nurses, pharmacists, and medical toxicologists can give you potentially life-saving information.