UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric marijuana ingestion

Keywords: Marijuana, symptoms, overdose (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/17/2017 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 5/29/2023)
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In the US, there are an estimated 22.2 million users of cannabis based on the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  The incidence of unintentional cannabis ingestion has increased in states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana.  The cited article reviewed of 44 articles involving unintentional cannabis ingestion in children younger than 12 years.

The majority of intoxications were through cannabis resins followed by cookies and joints.

Lethargy was the most common presenting sign followed by ataxia.  Tachycardia, mydriasis and hypotonia were also noted.  Rarer but more serious presentations included respiratory depression and seizures.


Richards JR, Smith NE, Moulin AK.  Unintentional Cannabis Ingestion in Children: A Systemic Review.  The Journal of Pediatrics.  2017.  Epub ahead of print.