The legalization of cannabis in Canada, and the corresponding availability of edible cannabis products, has been associated with a significant increase in the rate of poisoning-related intoxication. hospitalization between children.
There has been a clear association between the availability of legal cannabis and edible products and an increased prevalence of unintentional cannabis-related poisonings in children since 2018, according to new data from investigators at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Findings from their cross-sectional analysis of children’s hospital admissions show that the association is significant enough that cannabis is now a leading cause nationally of hospital admissions for poisoning in children — an issue that the investigators warned could burden countries through increased legalization and marketing of cannabis such as the United States.
Miran, MD, MPH The investigators, led by Daniel T. Miran, sought to analyze the change in the rate of all-cause hospitalizations for cannabis use in children ages 0-9 across Canada’s four most populous provinces during a series of 3 periods rationing policy. From the last 8 years.
Citing ongoing discussions among the U.S. Senate for federal legalization of recreational cannabis, the team notes that there is a growing field of evidence that legalization of cannabis is positively associated with cannabis intoxication in children. Such cases generally present with troubling conditions of high severity including decreased consciousness, respiratory depression, and seizures.
Canada legalized recreational cannabis for adults over 18 in October 2018, using a two-stage strategy that allowed provinces to allow or ban the sale of commercial edible products along with the mandatory dried cannabis flower; Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta allowed the sale of cannabis and drinks containing THC in January 2020, while Quebec banned the sale of edible products that include candy, sweets and products potentially attractive to children and young adults.
As such, the investigators analyzed these four provinces – the most populous in Canada – across 3 jurisdictions for legalization: pre-legalization (January 2015 – September 2018); Period 1, representing certified dried flower (October 2018 – December 2019); and the second period, representing dried flowers and legit foods in the three provinces (exposed provinces) and restrictions in Quebec (the controlled province) (January 2020-September 2021).
Miran and colleagues observed 581 children hospitalized for cannabis intoxication from 2015 to 2021; The majority of patients were male (53.9%), and the mean age was 3.6 years. Investigators additionally noted 4,406 other hospital admissions due to all-cause poisonings.
Among all causes of intoxication in hospitals, the rate per 1,000 hospitalizations for cannabis intoxication was 57.42 in the exposed counties and 38.5 in the control county. In the first period, after ratification, the rate per 1,000 hospital poisonings rose to 149.71 in the exposed counties (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.55; 95% CI, 1.88–3.46) and to 117.52 in the control province (IRR, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.82–5.11).
In Period 2, when exposed counties allowed eating, the rate per 1,000 cases of intoxication due to cannabis again more than doubled to 318.04 among exposed counties (IRR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.68–2.80), but remained at a similar rate of 137.93. in Quebec (IRR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.71–1.97).
With nearly 1 in 3 hospitalizations from childhood poisonings involving cannabis in counties with dry leaves and edible hemp products, Miran and his colleagues stress that these findings may provide lawmakers at the state and country levels with insight into the best policies and strategies in place to mitigate Risks in places where cannabis is legalized.
“Our findings on the disparate proportions of child poisoning cases in Quebec and Ontario, despite the similar total dollar value of legal cannabis sales during the study, suggest that product type rather than sales volume is a major factor associated with child poisoning,” they wrote. “The significant increase in harms associated with the sale of commercial cannabis and concentrates in exposed jurisdictions suggests that restricting or banning the sale of these products can be a very effective regulatory measure to reduce the frequency and severity of unintentional poisonings of children.”
They additionally recommended considering child-resistant or single-dose packaging to avoid the risk of overexposure, as well as increasing public health messaging about the risks of cannabis consumption for children. In fact, a key aspect of reducing the impact of cannabis legalization on children’s hospital admissions is the marketing and promotion of the product.
“Our findings suggest that restricting the sale of visually appealing and acceptable commercial cannabis is a key strategy and policy consideration for preventing unintentional cannabis poisonings in the United States and other countries considering legalizing recreational cannabis,” they wrote.
studying, “Children’s hospitalizations for unintentional cannabis poisoning and all causes associated with the legalization and sales of edible cannabis products in CanadaOn the Internet at Gamma Health Forum.