In recent years, the world has seen a shift in attitudes towards marijuana, a plant once deemed notorious for its psychoactive effects. Today, it’s not only perceived as a recreational substance but also recognized for potential therapeutic benefits. One such form of consumption, particularly popular, is marijuana-infused products, often referred to as ‘edibles’. This article delves into the rewards and hazards associated with these ingestible goods.
Let’s start with the benefits. The phrase “The consumption of edible cannabis in Canada is legal under the Cannabis Act” underscores the growing acceptance of these products worldwide.
Edibles offer a smokeless alternative to traditional methods of consumption, making them a preferred choice for those who wish to avoid the potential respiratory issues associated with smoking.
Furthermore, the onset of effects from edibles is gradual, providing a prolonged and often more intense experience compared to inhalation. This makes them an attractive option for medical marijuana users seeking long-lasting relief from symptoms.
Lastly, the variety of available edible marijuana products – ranging from candies, cookies, to beverages – offers a discreet way of consumption. This can be especially appealing to those who prefer to consume privately or without drawing attention.
The Flip Side
While there are apparent benefits, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks associated with these consumable products.
One of the most significant challenges is dosage control. Due to the delayed onset of effects, individuals might consume more than intended, leading to unpleasant experiences like extreme sedation or anxiety.
Additionally, the potency of marijuana-infused products can vary significantly, even within the same batch. This inconsistency can lead to unpredictable effects, which can be particularly concerning for inexperienced users or those with low tolerance levels.
Lastly, the appealing forms of these products, particularly sweets and beverages, may inadvertently attract children, posing a risk of accidental ingestion. Therefore, safe storage is essential to prevent such incidents.
Remember, when it comes to edibles, the mantra is “start low and go slow”.
Advantages of Edibles
Ingestible marijuana products, or edibles, have been gaining popularity for various reasons. Let’s delve into some of the key advantages that make these consumable products a preferred choice for many.
One of the main attractions of edibles is that they offer a smoke-free alternative to traditional methods of marijuana consumption. This makes them an ideal choice for those who are concerned about the potential respiratory harm linked with smoking. Edibles allow users to experience the effects of marijuana without exposing their lungs to the potential risks of inhaling smoke.
Extended Duration of Effects
Unlike inhaled marijuana, which has immediate but short-lived effects, edibles produce a slower onset but longer-lasting impact. The active compounds in marijuana are metabolized by the liver when consumed as edibles, leading to a more extended release into the bloodstream. This can provide sustained relief from symptoms for medical users and a prolonged recreational experience for others.
Many edibles come in forms such as gummies, chocolates, and capsules, where each piece contains a specific amount of active ingredients. This allows for precision dosing, enabling users to control their intake accurately.
Variety and Discretion
Edibles come in a wide array of tasty options, ranging from baked goods to candies, making them a more enjoyable way to consume marijuana. Moreover, their inconspicuous appearance provides a level of discretion that other forms of consumption lack. They don’t produce any smell during consumption, allowing for a more private and less conspicuous experience.
Potential Health Benefits
Emerging research suggests that marijuana may have potential health benefits, such as pain relief, reducing inflammation, and alleviating symptoms of conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Consuming marijuana in edible form allows users to reap these potential health benefits without the need for smoking.
In conclusion, the advantages of edibles are numerous, from their smoke-free nature to their extended effects, precision dosing, variety, discretion, and potential health benefits. As with any form of consumption, it’s essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.
Risks of Edibles
Due to their delicious nature and delayed effects, it’s easy for a person to consume too much before the effects kick in. Overconsumption can lead to unpleasant experiences such as paranoia, panic attacks, and extreme disorientation. It’s important for individuals to understand their tolerance levels and to start with small amounts, particularly if they are new to edibles.
When over consumed, cannabis can have severe health impacts. These include a racing heart rate, nausea, dizziness, and feelings of intense anxiety or paranoia. In some cases, it can even result in a THC overdose, characterized by hallucinations, panic attacks, and loss of consciousness.
To date, the FDA has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition. As such, the regulated market for cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including CBD, remains limited.
High Levels of THC
Cannabis-infused edibles in the unregulated market may contain dangerously high levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. This can lead to severe health impacts, especially when over consumed.
Potential for Accidental Ingestion
Given that they look like ordinary food items, there’s a risk of accidental ingestion, especially by children or pets. To avoid this, it’s essential to store these products responsibly and out of reach of those who shouldn’t have them.
Rise in Pediatric Exposures
According to a Pediatrics study of National Poison Data System data, there has been a significant increase in children under the age of six accidentally ingesting cannabis edibles. Over the past five years, the number of small children in the US exposed to cannabis after accidentally eating an edible rose by 1375%.
Delayed Onset of Effects
One of the main challenges with edibles is that their effects can take longer to kick in compared to inhaled marijuana. This delay can lead users to consume more than intended, thinking the initial dose isn’t working. Overconsumption can result in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous effects such as extreme anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and increased heart rate.
Edibles present a unique way to experience the effects of marijuana. They offer several benefits over traditional methods of consumption, including controlled dosages, discreet use, prolonged effects, and a healthier alternative to smoking. However, they also come with their own set of risks, such as delayed onset, potential for overconsumption, an unregulated market, and the possibility of accidental ingestion.