- Purchase cannabis edibles from authorized provincial retailers. The products they sell will be in plain, child-resistant packages that contain no more than 10 mg of THC.
- Store cannabis products in locked, labeled boxes, out of children’s reach, away from regular food and drinks.
- Know the symptoms of cannabis poisoning, including anxiety, confusion, sleepiness, lack of coordination, slurred speech, vomiting, slowed or difficulty breathing, seizures, and unconsciousness.
- Have an emergency plan. If your child shows any symptoms and you suspect they have ingested cannabis, take them to an emergency department or call 9-1-1 if immediate help is needed.
When you think of cannabis edibles, you might think of homemade brownies or cookies, but times have changed. Illegal “copycat” products that look almost identical to popular brands of candy are easily available through unauthorized sellers – and it’s putting children at risk.
Illegal “copycat” products
Be aware of products with flashy packaging, pictures, catchy names, strange THC symbols or that mimic popular name brands like Cheetos, Skittles or Sour Patch Kids. These products can be easily mistaken as candy and often contain many more milligrams of THC than regulated products approved by Health Canada.
Accidental cannabis poisonings are increasing in Ontario
The Ontario Poison Centre is seeing an increase in cases of children unintentionally eating edible cannabis products and requiring hospital admission. Health Canada is also warning that accidental ingestion of “copycat” edible cannabis products is causing serious harms to children.
Children who eat cannabis products are at risk of serious harm. In some cases, children may require a breathing tube and admission to the ICU. Know the signs and symptoms of cannabis ingestion by children.
- Feel sick or have nausea and vomiting
- Sleepiness or confusion
- Muscle weakness or lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Unconsciousness and/or in rare cases, seizures
If you think your child has consumed cannabis:
- Call the Ontario Poison Centre toll-free at 1-800-268-9017
- Go to your nearest emergency department or call 911
Cannabis edibles are products that you eat or drink, which affect you differently than inhaling cannabis.
It takes a long time to feel the effects
- The intoxicating effects of cannabis edibles don’t kick in for about 30 minutes to 2 hours
- It can take up to four hours to feel the full effects.
- Effects can last up to 12 hours after use.
- Taking more before feeling the effects can result in over-intoxication.
The effects can be more intense
- The effects can be more intense than inhaling a similar dose of dried cannabis.
- If you consume edibles, start with a lower amount of THC and wait to feel the effects before consuming more. This will reduce the risk of over-intoxication.
Last modified on: July 10, 2023