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Post: New study highlights sharp rise in exposures to synthetic cannabis products among youth

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New study highlights sharp rise in exposures to synthetic cannabis products among youth
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A sharp rise in exposures to synthetic cannabis products among youth -; some leading to hospitalization -; highlights the need for increased education around the dangers of exposure and increased focus on safe storage and packaging, according to pediatricians and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center examined trends in calls to poison centers across the country for exposures to different types of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC and THC-O acetate. These products are often referred to as "diet weed" or "hemp products," which leads to a misperception that they are safer alternatives to the more regulated and more abundant delta-9 THC.

The study, published in Clinical Toxicology , found increases in the number of exposures in multiple age groups, with unintentional ingestions by young children being especially concerning. Many people don’t realize how toxic these products can be, especially to young children. One in four children needed to be hospitalized after exposure. If someone vapes, smokes, eats edibles or drinks infused beverages with delta-8, delta-10 THC or THC-O, all of those products should be stored up, away, and out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked container. These products should never be used in front of kids who might mistake them for food or drinks that they are allowed to have." Hannah Hays, MD, co-author of the study, medical director of the Central Ohio Poison Center and faculty of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Data highlights

According to the study: U.S. poison centers received 1,746 calls related to delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, and THC-O acetate exposures in 2021. This number increased by 88% to 3,276 in 2022 – an average of one call every 2.6 hours.

Most cases were single-substance (94%), ingestions (94%) that occurred at a residence (96%) in 20-59-year-olds (40%), <6-year-olds (31%), and 6-19-year-olds (25%). The most common clinical effects were mild central nervous system […]

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