Marijuana is not new in the world of toxicology, but the rise of medical and recreational marijuana legalization brings with it a new wave of consequences, particularly for children.
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient in marijuana. It binds anandamide receptors in the brain, causing a mixture of stimulant, sedative and hallucinogenic effects. The THC contents of edible forms of marijuana vary substantially, with no federal oversight to its contents, labeling, or packaging. Commercially-produced low dose products may contain 1-2.5 mg of THC per dose, with THC increasing to 50 to 100 mg per dose in some formulations.
Not only is edible marijuana potent, it is extremely attractive to children. Many formulations of edible marijuana are indistinguishable from traditional food products, particularly in candy and cookie formulations. Furthermore, children do not adhere to dosing recommendations, often ingesting larger than recommended doses as they discover these sweet-tasting snacks.