Cannabis, Candy, and Kids: If you make cannabis really yummy – to look & taste like candy – guess who’ll find it and possibly end up in the ER?

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The Upstate New York Poison Center has seen a sharp increase – “a drastic change” – in the number of calls to its poison center for children and teens who have eaten cannabis edibles. 

The medical issues presented are serious: panic attacks, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, severe tiredness, trouble breathing and even coma.

The reason it gets so bad is a sly one: The effects of edibles won’t be felt for over an hour. Meanwhile, these attractively packaged products made to look and taste like candy, cookies, and chocolate bars, are eaten until the child feels full. Then, without warning – Boom – dosages far greater than what even an adult should have kick in and will last seemingly forever, up to 12 hours.

The always helpful Harvard physician Peter Grinspoon has been warning us about this for years and says we need to regulate cannabis the way we would any other medicine:

. . . cannabis shouldn’t be formulated into gummy bears or other succulent treats that a young child or a pet could gleefully over-consume. According to my logic, if cannabis is, or can be used as, a medicine, one should make it look and taste like a medicine. If we wouldn’t put ibuprofen into a candy, why would we put a psychoactive substance like THC into a chocolate bar? 

[And thus] make them look and taste like medicine, in pill form, in pill bottles, with specific labeling that specifies exact dosages and with childproof packaging. This could go a long way toward helping us protect our pets and our kids . . .

Notice the pet mention. As voracious as your child’s appetite may sometimes be, we all understand it typically pales in comparison to that of your hungry dog.

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