Marijuana edibles are not just sweet treats
Marijuana edibles have become more popular. From brownies and cookies to candy and soft drinks, marijuana comes in many forms. People assume that consuming food or drinks that contain marijuana is safer than smoking it, but edible marijuana poses other dangerous risks.
Three things people should know about marijuana edibles
Experts want the public to understand why they need to be careful when they consume marijuana edibles. Here are three things to know about food and drink items that contain marijuana.
- The body processes marijuana in food or drinks differently than marijuana that people smoke.
When people eat an item that contains marijuana, the liver metabolizes it before it enters the person’s bloodstream. As it metabolizes, the compound changes to become more potent and passes through the brain barrier more quickly. Adding additional types of cannabinoid compounds to the brain creates more psychotropic activity that makes the effects of the edibles last longer than smoked marijuana.
- When people eat or drink items containing marijuana, it takes longer for them to feel high.
The liver metabolizes the THC oil found in marijuana edibles before it enters the bloodstream, and this metabolization takes longer than it does for THC to reach the bloodstream when it is smoked. The potent chemical only takes about five to 10 minutes to reach the bloodstream when people smoke marijuana, but it can take one to three hours when people consume edibles. Since they don’t feel high quickly, people may decide to eat another brownie, adding more THC and its effects on their body and brain.
- The amount of THC contained in marijuana edibles varies widely.
In states where marijuana is legal, the level of THC in edibles is 10 mg, but edibles that contain multiples of that amount are available. In fact, some foods and drinks contain as much as 100 mg of THC. In areas where marijuana is illegal, there is no way to determine the amount of THC in edibles, making it easier for people to consume more THC than they realize. Consuming too much marijuana can cause panic, anxiety attacks, paranoia, weakness, slurred speech and increased heart rate.
Educating patients and their families about the risks posed by marijuana edibles, drugs and alcohol is part of our mission at Kolmac. For more information about our intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment program, contact us.