EOHU Cautions That Unsafe Storage of Cannabis Edibles Can Lead to Accidental Intoxication
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is warning residents that while cannabis may now be legal, it still presents some serious risks that consumers should be aware of. This includes accidental intoxication that can happen when cannabis or cannabis edibles aren’t stored securely.
Recent incidents in the region have led to a number of hospitalizations for accidental intoxication. Cannabis was added to home baked foods which were later eaten by someone who didn’t know that the food contained cannabis.
“It’s very important to store any cannabis or foods made with cannabis securely out of reach or view. Children, pets, guests and unsuspecting or forgetful adults may unknowingly consume cannabis-laden foods that aren’t safely stored,” warns Robyn Hurtubise, manager of the Substance Misuse Prevention program at the EOHU. “If someone isn’t aware that they’re eating food with cannabis in it, they may also consume an unsafe amount,” she adds.
The consequences of accidental consumption can range from having a distressing experience, to health effects that require medical intervention, to driving a vehicle without realizing that you’re becoming impaired. Although smoking cannabis may produce quick effects, cannabis edibles can take up to 2 hours to take effect, and can last up to 24 hours for some people.
You can reduce the risk of accidental consumption by taking the following steps:
- If you have children that live in or visit your residence, don’t make cannabis-containing foods that are appealing to kids (e.g. that look like candy or snacks that kids enjoy).
- Store cannabis and cannabis edibles securely out of reach and view, in a container or location that can be locked.
- Always label foods that contain cannabis so that they don’t accidentally get mixed in with regular food, or get eaten by someone who doesn’t realize they have cannabis in them.
For more information about cannabis, the law, health impacts and responsible consumption, visit www.EOHU.ca/cannabis or call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.