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 Edible Cannabis


What are Cannabis Edibles?

A cannabis edible (also called ‘edibles’, ‘marijuana edibles’) is any food or beverage item that contains cannabinoids. Cannabis edibles contain the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, cannabis edibles may also contain cannabidiol (CBD) or other types of THC. Edibles come in many shapes and sizes, from savory chips to seltzer drinks to candies. The packaging of some edibles often resembles brands and foods children are familiar with, like Doritos or gummy worms.

Why is Cannabis Edible Poisoning Trending?

Cannabis products have become more accessible in homes as the number of states with legal medicinal and/or recreational cannabis continues to grow. Edible cannabis products are easily mistaken for regular food, candy or beverages making accidental ingestion common in children and adolescents.


As of May 31, 2024, Poison Centers have managed 4,036 cannabis edible exposure cases in patients that were 0-19 years of age.

From 2019 to 2024, Poison Centers managed 31,797 cannabis edible exposure cases in patients that were 0-19 years of age.



What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cannabis Edible Poisoning?

While edible cannabis does not typically result in serious problems for adults, children have more severe reactions and are more likely to require medical attention. Symptoms of a cannabis edible overdose include:


  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination/unsteady on feet


Severe symptoms of overdose can case slowed breathing, seizure and coma.


Treatment and First Aid

Call 911 immediately if someone is having difficulty breathing, is unresponsive, or having a seizure.

If someone is breathing and responsive:


  • Call Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 for specific recommendations or use the Get Help tool on PoisonHelp.org.

Take Action

For questions about cannabis edibles or cannabis poisoning call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222. From product related questions, to concerns about signs and symptoms of potential overdose, Poison Help staff are ready and available, 24/7/365, free of cost, for emergencies and non-emergencies.

For The Media

Please cite this data as “National Poison Data System, America's Poison Centers.” Any and all print, digital, social, or visual media using this data must include the following: “You can reach your local Poison Center by calling the Poison Help line: 1-800-222-1222. To save the number in your mobile phone, text POISON to 301-597-7137.” Email media@PoisonCenters.org or call 703-894-1863 for more information, questions, or to submit a data request.

PREVENTION

Take these steps to prevent edible cannabis poisoning:

  • Don't purchase cannabis edibles that look like other common branded food products your child may be used to eating or drinking.
  • Choose cannabis edible products packed in child resistant containers.
  • Store cannabis edibles up, away and out of reach when not in use. Consider keeping them in a medication lock-box or locking cabinet. 

RETURN TO SEE ALL EMERGING HAZARDS 
TRACK EMERGING HAZARDS


Important notes about Poison Center data

America's Poison Centers maintains the National Poison Data System (NPDS), the national database of information logged by the country’s Regional Poison Centers serving all 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and territories. Case records in this database are from self-reported calls: they reflect only information provided when the public or healthcare professionals report an actual or potential exposure to a substance, request information, or request educational materials. As such:
  • America's Poison Centers is not able to completely verify the accuracy of every report made to member centers.
  • Additional exposures may go unreported to Poison Centers and data referenced from the association should not be construed to represent the complete incidence of national exposures to any substance(s).
  • Poison Center call volume about any given substance is influenced by the public’s awareness of the hazard or even the Poison Help line itself, which are heavily influenced by both social and traditional media coverage.
  • Poison data are considered preliminary and are subject to change until the dataset for a given year has been locked.
  • America's Poison Centers is continuously working to update the NPDS substance coding taxonomy to better serve the needs of America's Poison Centers' members and surveillance partners. As a result, substances may be reclassified within NPDS’ coding hierarchy, and case counts may change. This is particularly true for novel or emerging substances.

The term “exposure” means someone has had contact with the substance in some way; for example, ingested, inhaled, or absorbed a substance by the skin or eyes, etc. Exposures do not necessarily represent poisonings or overdoses.


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