Reports of cannabis poisoning are on the rise. And health experts believe this number will only increase because of marijuana legalization.
A new report indicates that people of all ages are calling poison control centers more often in relation to cannabis. Researchers involved in the study believe this can increase due to marijuana’s legalization.
The report, published in the JAMA Network Open, found that over 28,000 people called poison control between January 2017 and December 2019. 38.5% of the phone calls made were in regards to cannabis poisoning via products like edibles and vapes. Adults 21 and older were more likely to make the call for help.
Cannabis products, such as vapes, tinctures, and edibles are more likely to prompt strong responses from users, like nausea, paranoia, dizziness, vomiting, and more. These products are usually more concentrated, at times having additives that are harmful and that aren’t yet fully understood, like the vitamin E additive in certain vape pens. This was linked to the EVALL disease, which rose to prominence in 2019.
Still, researchers warn about the strength of today’s cannabis strains and how people involved in the cannabis industry should take the necessary precautions to avoid exposing people to risks.
“Applying regulatory controls to market-driven innovations in potency and additives is key,” wrote researchers. “Novice cannabis users are often advised to ‘start low, go slow’; this guidance may be equally applicable to regulating new retail cannabis markets and products.”
With an evolving cannabis landscape and new users joining in, it’s important for responsible parties to provide guidance and regulation for the industry. While cannabis has many medicinal effects and relatively mild side effects, users need to be informed of its proper consumption and should know that cannabis products are stronger than ever.