Cannabis-related trips to the emergency room rose among young people during the pandemic, a study found, underscoring a broad increase in such visits in recent years.
The number of emergency room visits among those younger than 25 was higher from 2020 to 2022 than before the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. There were some fluctuations by age group and time of year.
The increase was most dramatic for children 10 and younger, who had more than three times as many ER trips last summer compared to the same period in 2019, despite the total number of cases in that age group being relatively small. An average of 72 children were admitted to the emergency rooms per week during the summer of last year — up from only 21 during the same period three years earlier.
The US Food and Drug Administration has warned that edibles containing the active ingredients from cannabis often resemble other foods and should be kept away from kids.
Those 15 to 24 represented the vast majority of emergency room visits. In that age group, visits peaked in 2021 and then fell somewhat.
Total weed-related ER visits were already increasing before the pandemic, a trend that the researchers noted might be linked to cannabis legalization.
“The specific reasons for these increases are unknown, and potential drivers might differ by age,” they wrote in the report released Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Bloomberg News