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Jan 11, 2022
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Canada reports spike in childhood cannabis poisoning

Initially, the liberalization of legislation was carried out precisely to reduce the risks from accidental use by children. So it was planned to educate parents and guardians in the basics of safety. And also requirements were introduced for the products themselves containing the drug: they limited its strength, and also obliged the manufacturer to release them in packaging, with “protection from children.”

However, practice has shown an increase in the number of poisonings with the substance. Since the start of legalization in January 2016, more than 500 children have needed medical assistance. However, there were relatively few severe cases: only 32.7% were hospitalized and 3.6% ended up in intensive care units.

The legalization of marijuana in Canada proceeded in two stages: in 2018, the sale of flowers, seeds and cannabis oil was allowed in the country, and in 2020, food and other goods were legalized. Following the expansion of freedoms, the number of poisoned children also grew.

In the period from 2016 to 2018, when only medical marijuana was legalized, only 81 children needed emergency care (25% of them were hospitalized. From 2018 to 2020, 124 children were already poisoned (24% were hospitalized. And only from February 2020 to March 2021, 317 children needed an ambulance and 39% of them were hospitalized.

The full legalization of marijuana coincided in Canada with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, the number of poisonings of any kind dropped sharply. Except in cases related to cannabis. After food products with cannabis went on sale, 10% of all cases of poisoning were attributed to them.

Cannabis poisoning can severely affect the physical and mental health of children. Experts warn of dire consequences, including changes in behavior, seizures, respiratory depression, problems with coordination and balance, and even coma.

The greatest danger is posed by food with cannabis, since they have a high concentration of the substance. At the same time, as a rule, they look extremely attractive to children, since it is often about sweets.


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