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IWK warns parents to be more vigilant about cannabis edibles
HALIFAX -- With legal cannabis edibles on the market, health experts say it is crucial to keep them out of sight and out of reach from young people.
The effects can be scary and, if consumed, can mean hours under observation in the emergency room.
When it comes to their outside appearance, there's very little difference between cannabis edibles and regular sweet treats.
Because of the similarities, health experts warn you can never be too careful when it comes to keeping them out of sight, and out of mind.
"Children, especially, they love anything that is sweet," said Laurie Mosher of the IWK Health Centre's regional poison centre. "They want to reach out and grab it. They'll climb, they'll climb on top of a fridge, high up in cupboards, they'll go to any extent they can to eat these sweets, and so leaving it high up in a cupboard is one thing we get called about even in medicine that is not enough."
The clinic leader of the poison centre at the Halifax children's hospital says she has noticed an increase in calls related to cannabis edibles, particularly homemade ones.
Mosher says the safest thing you can do is lock them up and label them.
"If you're making your own edibles and you leave the batter or the empty bowl in the sink and it's not rinsed out and someone comes in, they may try to lick the bowl and there could be quite a bit of THC left in the bowl," Mosher said. "There could be butter that's stored in the fridge and it's not labelled; somebody could use that and put it on their toast."
Police are encouraging people who consume edibles to only purchase them from a legal seller -- that way the amount of THC in the product is controlled and labelled, versus homemade products, which are often inconsistent.
"We just see more people getting sick because they don't realize the dosage of what they're eating and they're not feeling the effects right away," said Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau. "They just take more without realizing that."
Health experts say, if a child ingests cannabis edibles, they may be observed in a hospital's emergency department for up to 24 hours.
"They get very drowsy compared to adults, so drowsy where they can become unresponsive, and you can worry that their breathing might be affected," Mosher said. "We've also seen children that become quite jittery and have had seizures."
Mosher says it's important to be mindful about where and when you consume any form of cannabis.
The IWK's regional poison centre says if you are having people over at your home, ask your guests to store any purses, coats or bags that have cannabis products in a secure place while they are visiting.