If you have been at a party full of young people, you will notice a trend that has been on the rise – the case of the marijuana edibles. Most likely, you are familiar with the accounts of people saying how they ate a very delicious chocolate edible but blanked out afterwards, and you may wonder why it is increasing in prominence.
The truth is since many states in the US and legalizing marijuana, they are also beginning to figure out the selling process. This has led to major problems with proper labeling standards, and has caused issues with individuals consuming the drug unknowingly and undergoing marijuana withdrawal symptoms afterwards. However, the issue itself does not need to scare you, even if you are not planning to consume the drug. You just need to educate yourself with facts before you consume any edibles.
What is an edible?
This is a food product that one infuses with THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in either form or shape. These include chocolates, baked items, or gummies.
Though most people consume marijuana through smoking, a quicker and unsuspecting way to consume the drug is eating it. The most popular form is in brownies, though any other food product can contain marijuana.
In addition to baking the drug in the food products or placing it directly, there are certain cooking oil brands that contain marijuana, and you use them when searing or cooking food, as well as marijuana butter that you can spread on cooked food directly.
Note that the phenomenon of marijuana edibles is more common in states that allow medical marijuana use as well as those that have legalized the drug.
There are four main categories of edibles – pure CBD, indica-only, sativa-only, and hybrids (mix of indica and sativa).
Bioavailability of different edibles types
Because there are many infusion methods, this may cause confusion of finding out the products that are most likely to contain the drug. Some of these methods will produce products that have exact effects, and others will lead to broader effects requiring extensive marijuana detox.
To help you understand the effects that these infusions have on the body, you need to understand how the different infusions occur.
This option can assist individuals that suffer chronic pain, especially tea. It tends to act slower than ingestion, and can take from half an hour to several hours for its effects to be complete. However, its effects also tend to stay for longer in the body, and can give the patient enough time before they get another dose.
Tea is probably the most effective option, as its curing properties pair very well with the drug. If you take it with other drinks such as sugary drinks, it can lead to varying effects that may not be good.
These also help with chronic pain, but they have a drawback – you never really know the amount you should put in the food. Different individuals will put different doses in their brews and solid foods, and this may be risky, especially for individuals that are not consumers of marijuana or its edibles.
These are recent entrants into the marijuana space. They give the user a quick fix without resorting to heating the product. Their packaging is discrete as well, and the user can carry them around without attracting attention.
Is eating marijuana dangerous?
The short answer is yes. Edibles present a higher risk of overdose, dependence, hangovers and highs than smoking the drug. Even states that legalize marijuana have guidelines regarding the packaging and sale of the drug. With that said, ingesting marijuana edibles has certain side effects, including:
The effects take longer to show
A word of caution – yes it is not advisable. It presents an even riskier option than smoking, as the effects from the smoke take minutes to show, but edibles take up to three hours for their effects to start showing. That implies that an individual can take more amounts of the drug, thinking that the drug is not effective.
Another problem edibles pose is their long-lasting effects. This may not sound like a bad thing, but it is when considering the person probably has no history of consuming the drug, or they are taking medication that may interact with the drug.
Do you now the amounts of the drug you are consuming?
Another danger is when consuming the edibles from other people. You do not know the amount of THC that they have put in their food, as THC amounts are often difficult to measure in food.
Interaction with other drugs
The user may have medication in their system, and the body may react negatively to the presence of marijuana in the system.
The interaction of the drugs leads to the body synthesizing different THC amounts, and this leads to the increase of THC levels in the blood to dangerous levels.
Marijuana ingestion leads to more severe overdose symptoms, much more than smoking the drug.
You will hardly find cases of fatalities from marijuana smoking, but edibles are a different case all together – there are many cases of deaths from the drug.
Tips for safe consumption
When you are consuming edibles, even if it is not your first time, it is better to start slowly and build up gradually. It is better to start this way and consume less, than starting with very large amounts and risking an overdose. If any undesirable effects will occur, you need to stop consuming it immediately.
Follow the label
If you are doing homemade cooking or baking of edibles, make sure you label the products correctly and store them safely to alert others that they should avoid them.
When you are trying a new product as well, make sure you read the instructions and follow the instructions strictly.
Consume the product with food
Edibles have more intense effects when you consume them on an empty stomach (similar to alcohol), hence it is better to consume a nutritious meal before taking them.
The specific food you take will also determine the effects they will have on your body, with lighter foods taking a shorter time for the effects to show.
The increasing prevalence of edibles means that you need to be more careful when consuming foods, as the drug may interact negatively with your body and system and cause severe marijuana withdrawal.