February 1, 2017 – Kids and Cannabis


Anchor lead:  Cannabis poses a particular risk for children, Elizabeth Tracey reports

The National Academy of Sciences has just exhaustively reviewed the scientific literature related to marijuana, or cannabis use, and concluded that in states where the drug is legal, it poses an especial risk to kids.  That’s according to William Checkley, a member of the review panel from Johns Hopkins.

Checkley: In states where cannabis was legalized we’ve seen an increase in the number of pediatric overdose injuries. Hospitalizations of children who had an overdose reaction some of them also who may have required intensive care unit hospitalization and respiratory support. Part of it has to do with how cannabis is commercialized. Many of the products look like chocolates or gummy bears or candies that are attractive to children. That is one reason why we may have seen this uptick in cases in states where cannabis is legal.   :30

Checkley says there is movement toward standardizing the amount of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in products such as edibles to reduce the risk of overdose, which can also happen in adults. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.