A study that was done in 2016 in one Colorado hospital showed an extremely high number of ER room visits were do the consumption of Cannabis edibles with about 10% of all ER visits being linked to these Colorado edibles. There are a number of reasons for this jump in ER room visits since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado including:
- Before legalization was passed most people suffering from cannabis over intoxication were unlikely to go the ER to seek help because they were consuming an illegal drug. Since Marijuana’s legalization more people feel it safe to seek help when they are experiencing over intoxication symptoms.
- Because the user did not feel the full effects of the cannabis immediately they tended to consume more of the protect than they should. This was especially true of tourists to the area who were trying these edibles for the first time.
It should be noted that most of the cases the ER saw were easily treated with fluids and the patient was often released within an hour. In addition, this rise in ER visits were not totally surprising as experts expected that the legalization of recreational marijuana would lead to more people trying it and these new users might have a tendency to not know their limits.
It should also be noted that the study did not differentiate between people who consumed edibles laced with THC and those cannabis edibles infused with CBD, which contains little or no THC. Further studies may show that CBD edibles infused are far safer than those edibles containing THC.
Did Changes in the Law Reduce ER Visits in Colorado
In 2017 the legislature in Colorado passed new regulations regarding Colorado edibles including CBD edibles and there have been no further hospital studies conducted since 2017 to indicate whether this legislation has reduced the number of Colorado edible ER visits.
A new study needs to be conducted to order to see if these new regulations are working. In addition dispensaries that handle CBD edibles are working hard to education their customers on the safe use of edibles and this may also lead to a reduction of Colorado edible ER visits.
However in the end the responsibility to safely use any edible lays in the hands of individual adult consumers who need to become informed of the potency of the edibles they eat or drink, how long before they feel the effects and how to store these edibles away from children who may mistake these edibles for traditional treats.
With the new legislation regarding edibles combined with better adult education there should soon be a drop in ER room visits, if such a drop has not all ready occurred.
However, just like with the consumption of alcohol there will always be those individuals that will lack the motivation to use edibles in a responsible fashion, however the vast majority of CBD edible users use these edibles for medicinal purposes and therefore are far more likely to use edible responsibly than those who are using them for recreation purposes.