Canada became the second country in the world to legalise cannabis, and became the world’s largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. But Quebec’s Poison Control Centre has revealed that the number of reports of cannabis poisoning is three times what it was pre-legalisation.
Uhh, can you tell me what cannabis poisoning is please…
Cannabis poisoning is essentially the rising of symptoms when you’ve smoked just a little bit too much. The symptoms that can arise are anxiety, vomiting, and elevated decreased judgement, and elevated heart rate. Also adding to that list: elevated blood pressure, paranoia or panic attacks, delirium, and ataxia (lack of coordination). Aaaaand, hospitalisation is a worst case scenario type of situation.
Quebec’s Poison Control Centre warns of: “Even rarer is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, which is characterised by nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort. abdominal pain, cyclic vomiting and a compulsion to take hot baths or showers”. Yikes..
Cannabis poisoning is more likely to come from a cannabis-laced edible, rather than smoking the flower. This is because the effects are more intense, as the doses are a lot harder to measure.
No need to freak out just yet. There have been no reported deaths as a result of cannabis poisoning, and death listed isn’t listed as a potential risk of cannabis use by Health Canada. Note: The Poison Control Centre said that from October to December 2018, there were 89 cases recorded. Doesn’t sound so good, hey? Especially when there were only 25 cases reported from October to December 2017.
But who’s to blame for this rise?!
No one in particular. Officials blame this rise on the increased use of cannabis-laced edibles and a lack of education about responsible use of the drug. But it is probably for a number of reasons. Legalisation means a lessening of a stigma, which likely has enabled more people to give it a go. This is also means that people that are over-consuming are more likely to contact the Poison Control Centre.
Cannabis poisoning is no way as severe as alcohol poisoning, as it isn’t life threatening and not very common. Even if you’re not a first time user, caution should always be taken.
Image Source: Rick Proctor