A Trick Not A Treat. Help us raise awareness for child poisoning from Cannabis. Hand this flyer out to schools, churches, health departments, law enforcement, elected officials, stakeholders, and other community organizations and members. Including trick-or-treaters for Halloween!

A Trick not a Treat
Symptoms of Marijuana Poisoning
Pediatric THC Poisoning

Marijuana Intoxication in Children

  • It can take up to an hour for impairment from edibles to take effect. 
  • Encourage your children not to eat candy before you can check their bags, or at least teach them to save all wrappers. 
  • Delta 8 and THC 0 acetate products are readily available, and are just as dangerous! 
  • It is important to understand that most young children will need treatment at a hospital, so take them as soon as you understand what happened!  The long-term effects of poisoning events have not been fully studied as well.  Don’t take any chances!

Call 911 or the Poison Control Helpline at:

Legalizing cannabis led to increased cannabis poisonings in Canadian children. It could get a whole lot worse
The Conversation 2022, October 13

We conducted two large studies that found a nine-fold increase in emergency department visits and a six-fold increase in hospitalizations for cannabis poisoning in children younger than 10 years (average age of 3.5 years) following cannabis legalization in Canada. These increases have been so substantial that cannabis is now a leading cause of hospitalizations for poisoning in this age group…

The Continued Rise of Unintentional Ingestion of Edible Cannabis in Toddlers—A Growing Public Health Concern
Jama Network 2022, October 10

A 2-year-old boy presents to the pediatric emergency department (ED) for altered mental status. Prior to arrival, he was with his babysitter in a normal state of health. After questioning, the babysitter mentions rewarding him with a gummy candy for good behavior. The parents admit they have edible cannabis stored in the cupboard that looks exactly like his favorite treats, gummy bears.

Almost a decade after the first states legalized the use of recreational marijuana and cannabis, health care professionals have treated countless cases of children who unintentionally ingested edible cannabis products that were not stored safely. 

The Effects of Marijuana on Children
Children’s Hospital Colorado

How do the symptoms of smoking differ from ingestion? After smoking or inhaling marijuana, the onset of symptoms is quick (within 5 to 30 minutes), but symptoms typically do not last long (a couple of hours).   In contrast, after ingestion of marijuana in the form of food or beverage, the onset of symptoms can take as long as one to four hours, and symptoms can last for several hours.

How does this differ in younger kids? The most common overdose incidents in children occur when the drug has been combined with food in an “edible” form of marijuana. This is because marijuana ingested in this manner can have a stronger and prolonged effect, especially in children under the age of 12 years old.  In these instances, kids mistake “edible” marijuana (like gummy bears, brownies, lollipops, etc.) for regular food and eat it unknowingly. Small children are at higher risk based on their size and weight.  Because edible products have very high amounts of marijuana, the symptoms are more severe on a small child. Many young children who consume marijuana edibles require hospital admission due to the severity of their symptoms. 

What are the long-term effects of marijuana on children? Long-term effect of acute marijuana exposures on children is unknown, as it has not been systematically studied. Because we don’t yet have the research and science findings to know the full effects, doctors do not fully understand marijuana’s long-term effects on children after acute exposures. Read tips from our experts on how to talk to your child about marijuana

Medical Marijuana Poisoning in Kids
National Capital Poison Center

Researchers in Colorado recently reported an increase in the number of children brought to the emergency room after swallowing medical marijuana products. The children ranged in age from as young as 8 months to 12 years old. Most of the children ate medical marijuana cakes, cookies or candies belonging to their grandparents, parents, babysitters, or friends of the family.

The most common symptoms were excessive sleepiness, dizziness, and trouble walking. However, a few became too sleepy and their breathing slowed down. That could mean the child doesn’t get enough oxygen. Fortunately, none of these children died. They all recovered without permanent health problems.

  • Medical marijuana is sometimes prescribed for patients with HIV/AIDS, seizure disorders, cancer, severe pain, and severe nausea, among other conditions.
  • The active chemical in medical marijuana is usually stronger than in the marijuana plant.
  • Medical marijuana may be taken as a pill or liquid, smoked, heated and inhaled, or eaten in cookies, brownies, cakes, soft drinks and candies.
  • Today, there are no regulations for safe storage of medical marijuana products, such as child-resistant packages or warning labels.
  • Young children have been poisoned by swallowing medical marijuana. Some have needed treatment in an intensive care unit…

THC Photos of Todays Marijuana
One Chance to Grow Up

This photo gallery was created to accurately depict the wide array of marijuana products. We encourage the media and youth serving organizations educating about today’s marijuana to use these photographs about commercialized marijuana and the methods of intake and potencies…

Cannabis Edibles and Pediatric Toxicity Risk
U.S. Pharmacist 2022, September 19

There is growing concern that cannabis may have adverse cardiac effects. Among marijuana’s adverse physiological effects are tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions, atrial fibrillation (AF), and ventricular arrhythmias. CEs appear to be more likely to result in adverse cardiovascular effects due to their increased systemic absorption and their slower onset of action and time to peak effect. In states where cannabis has been legalized, there has been an increase in hospitalizations and ED visits for acute myocardial infarction and arrhythmias, including AF.  There is also concern that CEs may contribute to the initiation of marijuana use, reduce the average age of initiation since these products are often child-friendly, and increase the frequency and intensity of cannabis use over time.2 Adverse effects of adolescent cannabis use include impaired cognitive functioning, increased risk of developing cannabis use disorder, poor academic performance, elevated risk of developing psychotic behaviors, and increased participation in risky behaviors…

Marijuana Toxicity
National Center for Biotechnology Information 2022, May 15

Marijuana toxicity is becoming common in emergency rooms all over the nation. The key reason is that there is limited quality control over the manufacturing of marijuana. Thus, many preparations contain varying levels of THC as well as toxic contaminants. Plus, many individuals consume marijuana with other illicit agents, including alcohol. The management of marijuana toxicity is commonly adequate with supportive measures. Because the agent can affect many organ systems, an interprofessional team including internists, psychiatrists, and occasionally cardiologists should assist with managing the patient.

Parents should be educated about the adverse effects of marijuana and urged to store the agent away from the reach of children…

Jewish Parents Issue Warning After Children Overdose On Edible Marijuana
VIN News 2021, November 16

Parents inform their neighborhood that this past shabbos edible candy marijuana somehow made it into their home. The children thought it was regular candy, and ate it thinking it was Shabbos party.

According to the parents, they were not initially certain their children would survive.

“The effects were horrific. They ended up in the emergency room. Some unresponsive for hours. And even after regaining consciousness they are not themselves yet. These are little children that had 4 times the amount adults should have.”..

Roanoke Valley mom shares story of her 2-year-old accidentally ingesting Delta-8 form of THC 2021, WDBJ 2021, October 20

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Amina Serir didn’t know if her two-year-old daughter, Maya, would ever recover after she ate what looked like Apple Jacks cereal, containing high levels of Delta-8.

“All of a sudden, she comes to me, ‘my face is burning,’” says Serir.

Serir says the small package of cereal had ended up in a basket of snacks the family had brought home from an area pool.

As the moments passed, her symptoms grew more severe. That’s when Serir says she and her husband checked the cereal to see if it was expired.

“He’s reading and he says this product contains cannabis, and I’m like, ‘What? What do you mean?’”

Serir says Maya then fell asleep and her lips were turning blue. They rushed her to the ER, where she was placed on oxygen…

Teacher arrested after student takes marijuana gummies from prize box in classroom
News 10 2021, Oct 16

A South Carolina teacher was arrested after a student allegedly found and took a pack of marijuana gummies from a classroom prize box, according to the local sheriff’s office.

Victoria Farish Weiss, 27, is charged with possession of a Schedule I drug.

On Sept. 23, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation after a report that a student at Rocky Creek Elementary School had taken a pack of marijuana edibles from a prize box in a teacher’s classroom. The prize box was used to reward students…

Percent of Marijuana Exposures 0-8 Year Olds, Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

Rocky Mountain High Intensity
Drug Trafficking Area
2021, September

Legalized recreational marijuana can create problems for regulation as unlicensed locations “have been reported to engage in illegal
business practices that can compromise public health and encourage underage use, including
selling products that exceed the legal THC limit, selling counterfeit products that contain
pesticides, allowing consumption of cannabis in retail stores, not imposing daily limits on
purchases, staying open late at night, and selling products that are attractive to youth and lack
child-resistant packaging”…

Gas station sold snacks, candy containing marijuana
Detroit News 2021, September 2021

“They basically walked right in the gas station and asked for the products that were behind the counter and they (the edibles) were sold to them,” Roseville Police chief Ryan Monroe said.

Monroe said he is concerned that children won’t be able to tell the difference between the candy and an edible.

“I have small children, one of those looks like one of the treats we used to give our kids all the time,” Monroe said…

Children increasingly overdosing on marijuana edibles
CBS News 2021, July 21

Last month, Elizabeth Perry felt helpless as it became clear something was very wrong with her 21-month-old son Oliver. “When I laid him down in his crib, he kind of went rigid and started shaking and crying,” Perry said. 

Within an hour, he was in a Maryland hospital and doctors determined he had THC, the chemical in marijuana that gives users a high, in his system. Oliver had managed to open a tin containing edible cannabis gummies that Perry used to help her sleep. To Oliver, it looked like candy…

Mother works to draw awareness about ‘pot poisoning’ in children
NBC12 2021, June 30

 A mother in the New River Valley is taking action, after her toddler was hospitalized after accidentally eating a gummy containing Delta-8 THC.

She’s doing everything she can to keep this from happening to someone else.

“He continued to fade away, no response to cold touch, no response to our voices. And we called 911,” said Kelli Bowman.

Bowman’s toddler became unresponsive after accidentally eating one 50-milligram Delta-8 THC gummy earlier this month…

Pediatric Cannabis Single-Substance Exposures Reported to the Michigan Poison Center From 2008–2019 After Medical Marijuana Legalization The Journal of Emergency Medicine 2021, February 02

Between 2008 and 2019, 426 pediatric cannabis single exposures were reported. The median patient age was 6.0 years (interquartile range 2–15 years). Age distribution was bimodal. A total of 327 (76.8%) exposures were from cannabis ingestion, 79 (18.5%) from inhalation, 2 (0.5%) from both ingestion and inhalation, and 18 (4.2%) from unknown route. The doubling time for number of cases was 2.1 years, and the total number of annual reported cases increased after 2016. Teenagers (13–17 years) had the highest number of inhalational exposures, whereas young children (0–5 years) had the highest number of ingestions.

Single-substance pediatric cannabis exposures reported to the Michigan Poison Center increased after medical cannabis was legalized in 2008 through recreational legalization in 2018…

Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank
2020, April 4

An 11-year-old and a 5-year-old were taken to a hospital Friday night after consuming “Medicated Nerds Rope” candy given to their families as part of a food distribution effort from a church working with the Utah Food Bank.

Roy City Police said volunteers at the food bank distributed more than 60 bags that contained three to four servings of the candy rope. Labels in the candy indicate that each one contains 400 milligrams of THC. Adults are normally prescribed between 15 to 45 milligrams of the psychoactive marijuana component..

Pediatric Death Due to Myocarditis After Exposure to Cannabis
Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine 2017, March 16

Since marijuana legalization, pediatric exposures to cannabis have increased.1 To date, pediatric deaths from cannabis exposure have not been reported. The authors report an 11-month-old male who, following cannabis exposure, presented with central nervous system depression after seizure, and progressed to cardiac arrest and died. Myocarditis was diagnosed post-mortem and cannabis exposure was confirmed. Given the temporal relationship of these two rare occurrences – cannabis exposure and sudden death secondary to myocarditis in an 11-month-old – as well as histological consistency with drug-induced myocarditis without confirmed alternate causes, and prior reported cases of cannabis-associated myocarditis, a possible relationship exists between cannabis exposure in this child and myocarditis leading to death. In areas where marijuana is commercially available or decriminalized, the authors urge clinicians to preventively counsel parents and to include cannabis exposure in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with myocarditis…

Help us promote a Healthy and Happy Halloween!
It’s fun to shop and support drug prevention!
Buy a shirt, hoodie, or mug this Halloween to help spread the word that healthy, drug-free brains matter!!

This message was brought to you by Every Brain Matters, a community and alliance of support, advocacy, and science. 
We work together to bring about a cultural movement and visual public awareness by encouraging the use of EBM merchandise and by promoting optimal brain and environmental health.