NORFOLK, Va. — Recent data from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association revealed the number of pediatric hospital visits related to cannabis are on the rise, to start the 2023 calendar year.
According to recently released information from the VHHA, there were at least 629 emergency room visits classified as cannabis related between January and March of 2023.
It’s the highest three-month figure among the VHHA’s more than 100 hospital locations, dating back to the beginning of 2020. It’s the highest first quarter on record as well.
A VHHA spokesperson said this data does not distinguish between whether patients were admitted because of cannabis intoxication, exposure, adverse side effects, etc.
The first quarter for 2023 eclipses the previous high of 583 visits, set in the second quarter of 2022.
Here are the visits broken down by calendar year:
Those figures represent a roughly 40% increase between 2021 and 2022.
The VHHA’s recent cannabis data parallels cannabis trends through other state agencies like the poison center districts that cover Virginia.
There are three districts that cover the Commonwealth: the Virginia Poison Center (Eastern), the Blue Ridge Poison Center (West and Southwest) and the National Capital Poison Center (Northern Virginia).
According to previous 13News Now reporting, the VPC saw 414 total THC exposure related calls in 2022, compared to 287 in 2021. Of those, 138 are pediatric cases, defined by cases involving children less than six years old.
In the BRPC, edible exposure data reveals there were 160 edible related calls for the district compared to 56 for 2021. At 133 for 2023 so far, the district could outpace its previous year again based on average number of calls per month.
The NCPC registered 528 total cannabinoid calls in 2022.