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YOUTH CANNABIS PREVENTION INITIATIVE

Cannabis-Related Calls to the California Poison Control System, 2016–2022​​



Graphs are available for three different types of data:
  1. Intention: This includes the intention of cannabis exposure. The categories are: Intentional, Unintentional, and Unknown or Other. 
  2. Mode: This includes different methods of cannabis use, which are not mutually exclusive. The categories are: Dried Plant, Edible Preparation, Concentrated Extract, E-cigarettes, and Unknown or Other (which includes Unknown, Oral Capsule or Pill, Topical, Undried Plant, or Other Preparation). Find more information about how cannabis is used.
  3. Sex: This includes information about the patient’s sex. The categories are: female and male. These categories when combined may not equal the total number of calls because of missing sex information for some patients.

How to Use: 

There are two ways you can view the dashboard: 1) number of calls (First tab) and 2) rate of calls (Second tab). For the rate of calls, the crude rate is available for all age groups, and the age-adjusted rate is presented for the overall population only. 
To view the data, select each filter on the menu on the right side: Colorblind, Data, Age Group (for top graph only) or Year (for bottom graph only), and Which Rate? (second tab only). 
  • Colorblind: Select “Yes” to the colorblind filter to change the color palette of the graphs to ensure ease of viewing. 
  • Data: Select intention, mode, or sex data from this menu. 
  • Age Group: The data can be viewed by the overall population (i.e., all ages) or by patient age group by selecting different age ranges.
  • Year: The data can be viewed by year of cannabis-related calls by selecting one or more years for number of calls and one year for rate of calls.
  • Which Rate?: The data can be viewed by either crude rate (for available age groups and for overall population) or age-adjusted rate (for overall population only). 
Download the Cannabis Poison Control System​ Calls Dashboard Data​. ​​​

Data Highlights: 

The age-adjusted rate of cannabis-related calls increased from 2.20 per 100,000 population in 2016 to 5.93 per 100,000 population in 2022. Although there was an overall increase in cannabis-related calls to the California Poison Control System​ from 2016 to 2022, the largest increases were seen in cannabis exposure among youth.
  • 445% increase in the total number of calls related to cannabis exposure among children aged 5 years and under. 
  • 151% increase in the total number of calls related to cannabis exposure among those aged 6–19 years. 
  • 61% increase in the total number of calls related to cannabis exposure among those aged 20 years and older. 

Table: Cannabis-related Calls to the California Poison Control System​ by Age Group for 2016 and 2022.

Count (Crude Rate per 100,000 Population)

Year 5 years and under 6 to 19 years 20 years and older
2016 148 (4.93)
256 (3.45)
439 (1.52)
2022 807 (29.82) 642 (8.73) 706 (2.35)

Among children and youth, exposure to a cannabis edible was responsible for more than half of the cannabis-related calls to the California Poison Control System in 2022. 

Exposure to a cannabis edible accounted for: 

  • 62% of calls for those aged 5 years and under
  • 57% of calls for those aged 6–19 years 
  • 43% of calls for those aged 20 years and older
Calls to the California Poison Control System for both intentional and unintentional cannabis exposures have increased from 2016 to 2022, although the increase was greater for unintentional cannabis exposure.
  • 460% increase in the total number of calls related to unintentional cannabis exposure among children aged 5 years and under. 
  • 398% increase in the total number of calls related to unintentional cannabis exposure among those aged 6–19 years, and an 83% increase in calls related to intentional cannabis exposure. 
  • 107% increase in the total number of calls related to unintentional cannabis exposure among those aged 20 years and older, and a 37% increase in calls related to intentional cannabis exposure. 

Table: Cannabis-related Calls to the California Poison Control System​ by Intention and Age Group for 2016 and 2022.

Count (Crude Rate per 100,000 Population)

Year Intention 5 years and under 6 to 19 years 20 years and older
2016 Intentional N/A 180 (2.43) 265 (0.92)
2016 Unintentional 144 (4.80) 52 (0.70) 98 (0.34)
2022 Intentional N/A 330 (4.49) 364 (1.21)
2022 Unintentional 806 (29.78) 259 (3.52) 203 (0.67)​

Data Sources: 

  • The California Poison Control System (CPCS) provides data on the number of calls by intention, mode, age group, and sex. 
  • For the rate (crude and age-adjusted) calculations, the following data sources were used: 
    • Age Adjustment: 2000 U.S. Standard Population (Census P25-1130) data.​
Suggested Citation for the Dashboard: California Department of Public Health, Substance and Addiction Prevention Branch. Cannabis Poison Control System Calls Dashboard [online]. 2023. [accessed date]. URL : https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/sapb/cannabis/Pages/Cannabis-Poison-Control-System​-Calls-Dashboard.aspx

For questions, please contact us at cannabis@cdph.ca.gov
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