NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Many families are heading out to trick or treat, filling up buckets and bags with Halloween candies from strangers.
With the increasing popularity of THC edibles, the Tennessee Poison Control Center says it may be easy for something dangerous to get into your child’s hands.
“That’s one of the biggest problems with THC edibles, is that they look just like candy,” said Nena Bowman, Managing Director with the Tennessee Poison Control Center.
THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, is growing more popular in edible form. CBD gummies and candies, often with low amounts of THC, are also now legal in many states.
“Often, manufacturers package these products to also look just like candy,” Bowman told News 2, “For example, sour patch kids. You know, it’s a very recognizable brand, by kids, by adults, by everybody. They also make a stony patch, which is a THC edible but the packing looks almost exactly the same.”
Bowman says the mix-up can be a harmless mistake.
“There are, I think there are situations where there could be some edibles on the countertop at home, a spouse doesn’t realize that they’re edibles and not candy, and they get added to the bowl,” she said.
But the consequences can be extremely harmful.
“The real risk for kids is that they’re very, very sensitive to marijuana, and that’s because their brain chemistry is very different than adult brains, so for a little kid, they have a much dramatic response than an adult or even a pet,” Bowman explained.
Ingesting THC can cause children to have difficulty breathing, loss of coordination, and sleepiness–possibly unable to wake up. All of which require immediate medical attention.
Despite the low amounts of THC used in CBD products, Bowman says there’s not enough research to know for sure what negative effects it could have on kids.
Her advice? Check candy before your little ones eat it. If it looks unusual, opened or tampered with in any way– throw it out.
“If anything is questionable you can always call the poison center ’cause we can help advise what to keep, what not keep, if you have concerns, if your child is acting strange after eating something, we’re happy to help with those questions,” Bowman said.
If you have any concerns, call the poison control hotline. No matter what state you are in, that number is 1-800-222-1222. It is a 24-hour call center with medical experts.