Alberta study says hospital visits have increased thanks to cannabis
The numbers Alberta is reporting for emergency hospital admissions could be a cause for concern. The main reason for this seems to be accidental ingestion and certain cannabis products ending up in the wrong hands or paws. You certainly won’t be able to tell the difference between regular brownies and spikes just by looking at them. Unaware that certain forms and dosages could potentially hit you harder, you can end up overusing, and a major problem is accidental consumption of cannabis due to careless storage.
After surveying 14 health facilities in the Calgary and Edmonton area before and after cannabis prohibition ended in October 2018, the study found a 45 percent increase in the number of hospital visits related to cannabis use and a 77 percent increase in accidental ingestion among children 11 and younger Years.
In a separate study, figures collected through March 1, 2020, after legalization, just before the COVID-19 pandemic halted surveillance, showed a 77 percent increase in accidental ingestion among 38 children and a 36 percent increase among older adolescents or 105 cases. Of those aged 17 and under in the post-legalization era, 77 were hospitalized.
Keep in mind that these numbers may be significantly higher compared to what they used to be, as with legalization people are more comfortable being honest about their cannabis habits and when they might get into trouble.
Ways to avoid getting too high
Calls to poison control centers related to cannabis use increased 87 percent after legalization. After eating edibles, THC enters your bloodstream via your digestive system. Because of this, it takes a while before you feel his presence. There are unwanted side effects, but fortunately, cannabis should not be overdone. There are three important things to keep in mind when avoiding accidental overconsumption:
- Start low and go slow (preferably with flowers or a vape pen)
- Make sure your product has been lab tested
- Check the THC and CBD levels
Be smart with your stash
Despite Health Canada’s strict regulations mandating health warnings and simple, child-resistant packaging to discourage access and attraction to adolescents, accidental ingestion among children and older adolescents is increasing. Edibles are among the most popular types of cannabis to fall into the wrong hands.
Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash
Edible packaging is often bright and colorful, making it particularly attractive to children. Edibles are often made in the shape of the very foods that children love to eat. Some of the most popular types of cannabis edibles are brownies and cookies, gummies and lollipops, so it’s no wonder they want to get their hands on your stash. Store your edibles away from places where they could be accidentally consumed by your children or pets. That should be somewhat obvious now, but not after the Alberta emergency room visits. It would be a wise idea not to eat your edibles in front of your children, lest they be tempted to satisfy their natural curiosity.
Best advice in this type of situation – stay safe by using your common sense and good judgement!