Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drugs of Abuse.” 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020.
Farah, Troy. “Why Do Edibles Give You A Different High Than Smoking?” Vice, February 2018. Accessed December 9, 2020.
Because of the way edible marijuana is metabolized in the body, it becomes water-soluble, meaning that it can last longer and may have more pronounced effects. This was the case with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who experienced an unintentional overconsumption with unpleasant and long-lasting side effects. She wrote an op-ed about her experience.
6. Easy to Confuse with Regular Food and Candy
Compared to other ways of consuming marijuana, edibles are known for producing a delayed high. Further, they may be more discreetly consumed than marijuana from a blunt, vape pen or bong. Edibles are often broken down into four categories:
Particularly when black market marijuana is used for homemade edible products, marijuana’s potency can vary widely. This may lead to unpredictable side effects, especially if the person consuming the edible is not used to marijuana.
Edibles refer to any edible food or drink containing marijuana or any of its active ingredients, most often tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Generally, the edible product is infused with cannabis extract. Marijuana is heated in an oil-based liquid to obtain the extract.
Many known side effects of smoking marijuana exist, including the possibility of long-term lung damage and changes in mood. However, few studies exist on how edibles may impact brain growth and development, especially in adolescents and teens. Unfortunately, marijuana research in the United States is difficult to pursue due to federal regulations.
While consuming edibles may seem like a harmless way to release stress, it is actually much more dangerous than you may realize. There are many health consequences of consuming edibles. Marijuana dependency is a risk as well. Addiction to marijuana is known as cannabis use disorder. Just like you can become addicted to marijuana from smoking, you can become addicted to edibles as well.
Call Rehab After Work to inquire about our group therapy for drug use. You will meet with a licensed counselor and a group of your peers to discuss how marijuana use is impacting you. You’ll also explore healthier ways to cope with stressors. Right now, we’re offering all of our programs online through teletherapy .
The potency of edibles is difficult to measure. Regulations for the labeling and manufacturing of edibles are moderate at best. It is hard to determine the true amount of THC in an edible and dosage estimates are therefore imprecise. Thus, you may not know how much THC you are actually consuming.
Side Effects of Marijuana Edibles
Although smoking is the most popular method of using marijuana, consuming edibles is quickly increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the significant dangers and health risks that are present in marijuana edibles.
One of the main differences between smoking marijuana and consuming edibles is the time it takes for the effects of edibles to appear. While you will often feel the effects of smoking marijuana within minutes, it can take from 30 minutes to two hours for the onset of edible effects. Consequently, it is easy to consume a large number of edibles without feeling the full effects, making overdosing a real concern.
Edibles are food products typically made with highly-concentrated cannabis or infused with marijuana. Edibles come in a variety of forms including baked goods, chocolates, gummies, candies or even beverages. They can be made at home or prepared by a commercial kitchen or dispensary for distribution. When edibles are made, tetrahydrocannabinol (an active ingredient in marijuana) is extracted and infused into oil or butter for cooking.
Research shows that heart issues are more prevalent in eating edibles than with smoking marijuana. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 8% of emergency room visitors who had consumed edibles had heart symptoms such as irregular heartbeats compared to just 3% of marijuana smokers who visited the ER. Consuming edibles was also more likely to lead to short-term psychiatric conditions such as anxiety when compared with smoking the drug.
Illhardt F & ten Have H. Research ethics in palliative care. The Ethics of Palliative Care (ten Have H & Clark D eds) 2002;198-211.
Andreae MH, Carter GM, Shaparin N, et al. Inhaled cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: A meta-analysis of individual patient data. J Pain. 2015;16(12):1221-1232. View abstract.
Insufficient Evidence for
Tucker, P. Substance misuse and early psychosis. Australas.Psychiatry 2009;17(4):291-294. View abstract.
Aldington, S., Williams, M., Nowitz, M., Weatherall, M., Pritchard, A., McNaughton, A., Robinson, G., and Beasley, R. Effects of cannabis on pulmonary structure, function and symptoms. Thorax 2007;62(12):1058-1063. View abstract.
Goldschmidt RH, Dong BJ. Treatment of AIDS and HIV-related conditions: 2000. J Am Board Fam Pract 2000;13:274-98.