HealthDay News — For children younger than 6 years, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) dose is a significant predictor of severe and prolonged toxicity, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in Pediatrics.
Lesley C. Pepin, M.D., from Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of children younger than 6 years presenting with edible cannabis ingestions of known THC dose within a pediatric hospital network. The relationship between THC dose and severe (characterized by patient exhibiting severe cardiovascular, respiratory, or neurologic effects) and prolonged (if patient required >6 hours to reach baseline) toxicity was examined for 80 patients (median age, 2.9 years).
The median THC ingestion was 2.1 mg/kg. The researchers found that 46 and 74 percent of participants had severe and prolonged toxicity, respectively. THC dose significantly predicted severe and prolonged toxicity (adjusted odds ratios, 2.9 and 3.2, respectively), but age and sex did not, with areas under the curve of 92.9 and 87.3 percent, respectively. THC ingestions of ≥1.7 mg/kg predicted severe and prolonged toxicity, with sensitivity of 97.3 and 75.4 percent, respectively.
“Ingestion of edible cannabis in children <6 years old can lead to clinically significant toxicity. The THC dose ingested can be used to risk stratify patients in this age group, with ingestions exceeding 1.7 mg/kg being more likely to develop severe and prolonged toxicity,” the authors write. “This threshold should be considered in both medical management decisions and development of marijuana regulations.”