The Risks and Reasons Behind Teenagers Consuming Cannabis Edibles During School Hours

Teen cannabis use has dramatically risen, as Naomi discovered when her daughter first tried cannabis gummies at age 14. The illegal treats contained 50 milligrams of THC, resulting in severe vomiting and a near-comatose state. Instead of being deterred, the teen transitioned to smoking weed and vaping THC oil, eventually leading to a battle with cannabis hyperemesis syndrome. Now 17, the daughter’s drug use has put her on probation and in danger of expulsion from school. Naomi has hired a team to help her daughter, but believes the situation was sparked by the appeal of her initial edible.

The rise in teen cannabis use has been attributed to the appeal of edibles, even though cannabis is not legally available to minors. Edibles have made the drug more accessible to young people and create a false sense of security. With the legalization of marijuana, in states where it is legal, 40% of young people who reported using marijuana said they consumed edibles and experts believe this number will continue to increase. This is worrying, especially since teens who use cannabis have increased risk of developing anxiety, substance use disorders, or psychosis.

The appeal and dangers of edibles are significant. While it is challenging to overdose on cannabis, ingesting large amounts of THC can have dangerous consequences. The psychoactive effects can last for up to 12 hours and overdose can lead to negative side effects such as altered reality, panic, disorientation, vomiting, and in extreme cases, seizures and trouble breathing. While hospitalization might manage symptoms, those with a family history of anxiety, substance abuse, or psychosis are at greater risk for longer term negative effects.

The dangers of edibles are exacerbated by the fact that they are difficult to detect, appealing, and more discreet than smoking cannabis. These inherent dangers make it more important that additional measures are taken to limit the access of young consumers to cannabis products.


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