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Mother “traumatized” after 9-year-old son ate edible cannabis at school

By Caitlin Snow Mar 25, 2024 | 1:21 PM

A Halifax-area mother is trying to spread awareness after her nine-year-old son got violently ill when he ate edible cannabis at school.

He was one of a handful of children who consumed the drug last week at Springvale Elementary in Halifax, when another student brought in a package and shared the contents with classmates.

His mother, Katrina MacDonald tells our newsroom that at the time she was confused as to what was happening, but now she is traumatized.

“It was scary, we still don’t exactly understand how this happened.  We hope to learn more about it.  We hope that potentially… sharing our experience will result in some change.”

MacDonald says her son thought he was eating a nerd candy but shortly after was sick and taken to hospital.

She adds that the school has been incredibly supportive and making sure everyone is ok and feels safe returning to class.

According to The Atlantic Canada Poison Centre, the number of children accidentally consuming edible cannabis has skyrocketed since legalization.

Jill Duncan says in 2016 they would get about 4 calls a year but that has increased exponentially.

“Over the past three years, we’ve had each year somewhere between 50 and 60 calls on cannabis edibles, and this is just on children with accidental ingestion.”

Duncan adds that the packages you can buy online not only look more attractive to children but have a much higher dose because they are unregulated.

“That smaller dose of 10mg is not going to be as much of a problem as a piece of a chocolate bar that could have 100 or 200 or 500mg of THC in it.”

She says edibles, compared to smoking cannabis, can have a delayed onset in the time because of how long they take to absorb.

The effects in children, can then last 24 to 36 hours.

According to Health Canada severe symptoms can include vomiting, confusion, drowsiness and slowed breathing.

Duncan says to try to prevent a child accidentally ingesting cannabis, she says to educate, label the products and lock them up.