Ten middle school students received medical attention Thursday after fire officials responded to a “suspected overdose” at Van Nuys Middle School in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Fire Department believes the students may have ingested edible cannabis.
None of the students experienced severe medical issues, however, seven were transported to local hospitals for treatment, the department said.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are no reports of teens or adults dying from a marijuana overdose alone. However, experts say the notion that one cannot overdose on cannabis is simply not true.
“Some people who use marijuana can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana products with high THC levels,” the National Institutes of Health states on its cannabis facts sheet. “People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.”
Experts say emergency rooms across the nation have seen a growing number of cases involving marijuana edibles in recent years, especially in states where cannabis is legal and particularly among preteens and teens.
“Some people who know very little about edibles don’t realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuana’s effects when eaten rather than smoked. So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven’t taken enough,” NIH says.
Additionally, babies and toddlers have been hospitalized after ingesting marijuana edibles left around the house, including one Virginia child who died after allegedly eating potent gummies. Some experts, however, doubt that it is even feasible to fatally overdose on THC.
WebMD lists the following symptoms of a marijuana/cannabis overdose:
- High levels of anxiety
- Panic attack
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty conversing
- Poor coordination
- High or low blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme confusion and memory problems
If someone you know overdoses on cannabis, experts recommend keeping them hydrated and seeking urgent care.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the location where a child died after reportedly eating cannabis gummies.