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Increasing numbers of older adults use cannabis and cannabis-derived products that can have adverse effects. This study examined management site and level of healthcare services for older adult poison control center cases involving cannabis products. Using the American Association of Poison Control Centers' (PCC) National Poison Data System, 2016-2019, we extracted the 3109 cases aged 50+ for which cannabis was the only or primary substance. Multinomial logistic regression models were fit to examine associations between specific cannabis forms and management/care site (on site [mostly at home], at a healthcare facility [HCF], or no follow-up due to referral refusal or leaving against medical advice) and level of healthcare services for cases managed at a HCF. The results show that between 2016 and 2019, PCC cannabis cases involving older adults increased twofold, largely due to cases of cannabidiol, edibles, and concentrated extracts. Plant form and synthetic cannabinoid cases declined substantially. Compared to plant forms, synthetic cannabinoid cases had 4.22 (95% CI = 2.59-6.89) greater odds of being managed at, rather than outside, a HCF and 2.17 (1.42-3.31) greater odds of critical care unit admission. Although e-cigarette cases, compared to plant form cases, had lower odds of being managed at a HCF, HCF-managed e-cigarette cases had 3.43 greater odds (95% CI = 1.08-10.88) of critical care unit admission. Synthetic cannabinoid cases also had 1.86 (95% CI = 1.03-3.35) greater odds of no follow-up, and the presence of a secondary substance was also a significant factor. Stricter regulations for listing chemical ingredients and providing safety guidelines are needed for cannabis-derived products.


Namkee G Choi, Diana M DiNitto, C Nathan Marti, S David Baker. Management site and level of health care for cannabis- and synthetic cannabinoid-related poison control center cases involving older adults, 2016-2019. Drug and chemical toxicology. 2022 Jul;45(4):1739-1747

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PMID: 33406940

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