October 12, 2018 9:40 am
Updated: October 12, 2018 10:38 am

Colorado doctor has warning to B.C. parents about dangers of pot edibles

Drops of marijuana extract are placed on candy in the kitchen of AmeriCanna Edibles on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 in Boulder, Colo.


Retail sales of edible pot treats won’t be legal in Canada for at least another year, but some people will likely make their own at home and that has one American pediatric doctor issuing a warning to Canadian parents.

READ MORE: Spike in cannabis poisoning in kids a concern for doctors: ‘It’s candy and it tastes great’

Since Colorado allowed the sale of marijuana edibles in 2014, Dr. Sam Wang at Colorado Children’s Hospital says more and more kids are being admitted into the emergency ward.

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“In 2009, we only had about a couple, and in 2017, we had about 35,” Wang said, adding those numbers are from just one hospital. The state’s regional poison centre recorded 70 calls last year.

Wang says colourful edibles like gummies and cookies are especially appealing to toddlers.

“The typical age we see is actually one or two years of age. We have seen children get into large amounts of THC edible products and their symptoms are much more severe. This includes excessive sleepiness to the point of coma, and we’ve actually had a couple children who have needed mechanical ventilators.”

Wang says it’s best to keep edibles in a locked container and stored high, so it’s out of reach of little children.

Health authorities in Metro Vancouver don’t track the number of kids who have been sent to hospital for accidentally ingesting marijuana.

But B.C.’s Drug and Poison Centre says between 2013 and 2016, it received 59 calls involving pot exposure to kids under 12, and a majority dealt with edibles.

Earlier in October, a young girl on Vancouver Island was sent to hospital after eating cannabis-infused gummy bears.

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