As more and more states begin to legalize medical or even recreational marijuana, gone are the days when the average weed user was (or at least seemed to be) a teenage boy blazing up with his friends. Instead, recent research has shown, parents are just as likely, if not more so, to use marijuana than their teenagers.
But with greater openness about using marijuana as a parent also comes some risk, and researchers are warning parents with young children to be just as careful about where they keep their weed as they are about their cleaning supplies.
CNN reports that the number of kids under six-years-old admitted to an emergency room for unintentional marijuana intoxication increased by 133% in France over an 11-year time period, according to a new study.
Part of the problem is that the concentration of THC (the chemical that makes you high) in marijuana products has increased in France from 9% in 2004 to 20% in 2014, according to the study. That's not so different from weed and weed edibles here, which a 2015 report found had a 18.7% THC concentration.
Though many parents have been using marijuana to relax, the researchers say that they also need to be educated on the risks to their children. Marijuana may not be as harmless as it seems.
"We have to also warn consumers and parents that it could be very dangerous for children to eat such products," Isabelle Claudet, MD, lead author of the study, told CNN. "Because usually, parents think it's not very harmful because they're smoking it, and it relaxes them. But if a child ingests one stick or ball, they can become comatose."
Doctors in the U.S. have also seen an increase in marijuana intoxication in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. "In states with legal marijuana, probably more households have it in their home, especially the food or edible marijuana products with bright labels, that makes it easier for kids to get into them," G. Sam Wang, MD, a pediatric toxicologist at Children's Hospital Colorado, told CNN.
It seems obvious, but any parents who use weed at home need to be careful about where it's kept and if their kids could inadvertently be inhaling the smoke.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.
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