February 23, 2022
Dear Smart supporter,
We are excited to continue our monthly education series called "Know THC". The goal of this series is to help you stay informed on the constantly changing marijuana of today while better supporting the kids in your life. Please use this as a starting point for further learning and thoughtful discussions with your family and friends. Please share widely with those that care about kids!
Why it matters:
The most common THC overdose incidents in children occur when the drug has been combined with food in an "edible" form of marijuana. This is because marijuana consumed in this manner can have a stronger and prolonged effect, especially in children under the age of 12 years old. This is partly due to their size and weight.
Oral ingestion includes edibles (food products), drinks, capsules, powders and oils. The intoxicating effect usually takes 60-90 minutes and last longer than with inhalation. Peak effects are usually felt in 4 hours with intoxication lasting on average 6-8 hours. Oral consumption of THC takes longer to produce any notable effects, because the THC is processed through the digestive system versus the respiratory system.
What you need to know:
- A large number of these products are fruity, chocolate or candy flavored, along with packaging and marketing that is attractive to kids. In some cases THC products are indistinguishable from non-THC products increasing the risk for accidental ingestion. See how Kids are Caught in the Web .
- Colorless and odorless “drink enhancers” including THC infused sugar make it easy to add THC to any food or drink, with or without the consent of those who are consuming it.
- THC infused edible production is subject to potential food safety hazards, with no oversight by the FDA.
- Driving after public consumption is especially concerning given the uncertainty of when peak intoxication may occur.
- Many states do not have a universal symbol that identifies that THC is present when outside the package.
- Serving size of THC infused products and serving size of everyday products often do not compare. See the examples below:
In the first photo, the THC serving size is on the left and a regular candy serving size is on the right. The Raisin package contains 20 servings. Who could eat just one?
Marijuana can also enter the bloodstream by placing it under the tongue where there are a large number of blood vessels which absorb THC more quickly than through digestion. Common examples of these types of products include dissolvable strips, lozenges, tinctures, mints, and breath sprays.
Other THC products sold in the regulated market include lip balms, lotions, salves, bath salts, oils and THC patches that are applied to the skin. Additionally asthma-type inhalers, lubricants, suppositories and an ever increasing number of new items are sold in dispensaries, and vary by state.