Referendums on further legalization of marijuana just passed in several states. Proponents of such measures tend to focus on the law enforcement and tax revenue aspects, but urgent care providers should keep in mind that lowering hurdles to use of any type of cannabis product is likely to also increase incidence of patients presenting with signs of toxicity. In fact, edible cannabis toxicity has been on the rise for the past 2 years, according to a study just published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Between November 2018 and July 2020, the number of patients diagnosed with edible cannabis toxicity at hospitals in Michigan grew from an average near 0 to more than 10, with nine requiring hospitalization. That state passed legislation allowing recreational use of marijuana in 2018, and started allowing the sale of cannabis in December 2019. The study focused on seven hospitals and 909 patients, 17% of whom reported using “edibles.” The mean age of patients was 30.5 years, but the age range was from 1 year to “65 and over.” At least 15 claimed the edible was consumed accidentally. The nine hospitalizations were due to pneumonia, delirium, status epilepticus, and altered mental status.
Cannabis Toxicity Cases Are Likely to Reach New Highs. Is Your Team Prepared?