THC Tainted Treats: FDA Warns about the Risk of Accidental Ingestion

The FDA is warning consumers that Edible products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be easily mistaken for commonly consumed foods such as breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies, and accidentally ingested.  They advise that accidental ingestion of these products can lead to serious adverse events, especially in children.

New Risks with Legalization

Given the recent passage of Issue 2 in Ohio, consumers may start seeing an array of THC infused products. The FDA wans that “some edible products are designed to mimic the appearance of well-known branded foods by using similar brand names, logos, or pictures on their packaging. These copycats are easily mistaken for popular, well-recognized foods that appeal to children.” This poses a risk of children finding and accidentally ingesting THC.

Media and poison control reports indicate several accidental ingestions of these products have occured, resulting in adverse events such as hallucinations, increased heart rate and vomiting, and many required medical intervention or hospital admission.

Government Intervention

The FDA reports that it is actively working with federal and state partners to further address the concerns related to these products and monitoring the market for adverse events, product complaints, and other emerging cannabis-derived products of potential concern. Provisions in Ohio’s Issue 2 give lawmakers the ability to regulate cannabis products and Ohio’s legislature is currently discussing the specifics of this regulation. 

In the event of an accidental consumption, the FDA recommends: 

  • Call 9-1-1 or get emergency medical help right away if you or someone in your care has serious side effects from these products. Always keep these products in a safe place out of reach of children.
  • Call the local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) if a child has consumed these products. Do not wait for symptoms to call.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you or someone in your care recently ingested these products and you have health concerns.

In addition, health care professionals, patients and consumers are encouraged to report complaints and cases of exposure and adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:


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