The consumption of cannabis edibles by teenagers during school hours has become a growing concern. A case in point is Naomi’s 14-year-old daughter, who experienced severe vomiting and a near-comatose state after consuming cannabis gummies containing high levels of THC. Despite this alarming incident, the teen continued to use cannabis, leading to further health complications and disciplinary actions at school.
The rise in teen cannabis abuse, up 245% over the past 20 years, is partly attributed to the accessibility and perceived safety of edibles. These products are discreet and marketed in ways that appeal to young people. A study found that 52.9% of teen cannabis users consume it to calm their anxiety.
Edibles pose unique risks due to the delayed and prolonged high they produce, often leading to overconsumption. The effects of edibles can last up to 12 hours, with the high peaking several hours after ingestion. This delay frequently results in teens consuming more than intended, increasing the risk of adverse reactions.
Negative effects of overdosing on cannabis edibles include anxiety, altered perception, disorientation, chronic vomiting, and in severe cases, life-threatening situations. Long-term abuse can lead to impaired memory, concentration, and potential cognitive decline.
The widespread availability of edibles, especially in states with legalized medical marijuana, has made them a popular choice among teens. However, the risks associated with their use, particularly in the school environment, are significant. Parents and educators are urged to be vigilant and educate young people about the dangers of cannabis edibles.