How Some Marijuana Edibles Are Putting Kids At Risk

As more and more states are legalizing marijuana, there are more ways than ever for adults to use cannabis. Those who do have the option of imbibing through edibles, smoking, vaping, and using oral tinctures. Edibles in particular are an increasingly popular option for people as they can experience the high of marijuana without the negative side effects that smoking can bring, per GoodRx. While some people choose to make or bake their own edibles at home, you can also buy them at dispensaries in the form of gummies, chocolates, and candy bars.

Edibles are a different breed when it comes to using cannabis as they can take a few hours to kick in, with the effects lasting up to 12 hours, according to GoodRx. Smoking, on the other hand, takes only a few minutes to take effect and lasts only a few hours. This is where edible use can become tricky, as it is easy to take too much, thanks to the delayed effects as well as the fact that they may taste just like any other gummy bear or candy bar.

The fact that edibles mimic candy is particularly problematic according to a new study, as kids have been mistaking the colorful packaging for regular candy.

The dangers of copycat packaging in edibles

Any parent or caregiver knows that kids can often get into things they aren't supposed to. But a new study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence is highlighting just how dangerous that can be when it comes to edibles, thanks to packaging that purposely mimics popular candies. The study looked at over 250 edible cannabis products and found that 8% of them purposely mimicked the packaging of popular candies and snack foods. Not only that, but many of these products also exceeded the legal amount of THC that marijuana edibles are allowed to have (via U.S. News and World Report).

All of this poses a significant risk to kids, study authors note, as edibles that are not properly stored can be accidentally ingested by a child, leading to a THC overdose that can cause panic, dizziness, apnea, and paranoia, reports To avoid children accidentally ingesting edibles, it's recommended that you store them in a secure location that cannot be accessed, especially if the packaging looks colorful and inviting.