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Alberta Study Says Hospital Visits up Thanks to Cannabis


There might be some cause for concern with the numbers Alberta is presenting when it comes to emergency hospital trips. The main reason this seems to be happening is from accidental ingestion and certain cannabis products landing in the wrong hands, or paws. You certainly won’t be able to tell the difference between regular brownies and spiked ones just by looking at them. Without the knowledge that certain forms and dosages could potentially hit you harder, you can end up overindulging, and a big concern is cannabis being accidentally consumed, from being negligent when storing it.

After canvassing 14 Calgary and Edmonton area health-care facilities before and after the October 2018 end to cannabis prohibition, the research found a 45 per cent increase in the number of hospital visits linked to its use and a 77 per cent hike in accidental ingestions among children aged up to 11 years.

In a separate study, post-legalization numbers collected up to March 1, 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the monitoring, showed a 77 per cent hike in unintentional ingestions among children, who numbered 38, and a 36 per cent increase in older adolescents, or 105 cases. Of those 17 and under during the post-legalization period, 77 were admitted to hospital.

Keep in mind these numbers maybe substantially higher compared to the past, because with legalization, people are more comfortable being honest with their cannabis habits and when they may run into trouble.

Ways to Avoid Getting too High

Calls to poison control centres related to cannabis ingestion were up by 87 per cent following legalization. After consuming ediblesTHC makes its way into your bloodstream through your digestive system. Because of that, it takes a while to feel its presence. There are unwanted side effects, but luckily you can’t overdoes on cannabis. There are three important things you should remember when avoiding the accidental overconsumption:

  1. Start low and go slow (preferably with flower or a vape pen)
  2. Make sure your product is lab tested
  3. Check its THC and CBD content

Be smart with your stash

Despite stringent Health Canada regulations requiring health warnings and plain, child-resistant packaging to deter youth accessibility and appeal, accidental ingestions are increasing among children and older adolescents. Edibles are among the most popular type of cannabis that is getting into the wrong hands.

Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Packaging for edibles is often bright and colorful, so children are especially drawn to them. Edibles are often made in the form of precisely the kinds of foods kids most like to eat. Some of the most popular types of cannabis edibles are brownies and cookies, gummy candies, and lollipops, so it’s no wonder they want to get their hands on your stash. Keep your edibles up and away from places they could be accidently consumed by your children or pets. That should be somewhat obvious by now, but not accccording to the visits in Alberta emergency rooms. It would be a smart idea not to eat your edibles in front of your kids so they don’t feel tempted to appease their natural curiosity.

Best advice in this type of situation- stay safe by using your common sense and good judgement!


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