The other day, I was talking with a law enforcement friend about whether or not raw marijuana is harmful for kids. I told him that it’s not psychoactive in its raw form, so it might give a kid a tummy ache if he ate a bunch, but that’s about it.
He said, “I’ll bet there are a lot of common houseplants that are more toxic than marijuana.”
“There are,” I responded (trying to contain my enthusiasm).
“Can you send me a list? I’d love to have that the next time someone says something,” he said.
Always looking for an opportunity for a teaching moment, I hit my computer and searched for a list of poisonous houseplants as soon as I got home. I thought I’d share with you what I shared with him.
Although the stalks make a great pie, rhubarb leaves are poisonous, even lethal. Symptoms of poisoning include breathing difficulty, burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, eye pain, seizures and coma. Rhubarb leaves have killed more people than cannabis.
Source: National Institutes of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002876.htm
Many common houseplants that are toxic to children and pets include:
- Asparagus Fern sap produces dermatitis; ingestion causes nausea, vomiting, cramping; berry ingestion very harmful to children.
- English Ivy leaves can cause vomiting, breathing issues, convulsions, paralysis, coma; dermatitis is rare, but when it occurs, it can be severe (weeping blisters).
- Peace Lily leaves can cause swelling of the lips, tongue and throat; the root sap can cause dermatitis
These plants are all more hazardous to children than cannabis, and yet we allow them to be grown in the home without restriction.
For more information on other poisonous plants visit:
Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/projects/poisonous-houseplants/
I wanted to make sure he understood clearly why raw cannabis is not psychoactive until it’s heated or otherwise decarboxylated, so I passed along this little gem:
Tying it all together
To finish up, I sent him the link to Guide to Using Medical Cannabis from Americans for Safe Access. This is a nice explanation of cannabis basics including terpenes, cannabinoids, sativas, indicas, extracts and concentrates. Cannabis is a very complicated substance.
The response (makes it all worthwhile)
“This is great! Thanks!”