Doctors Explain How Cannabis Edibles Can Be Bad For You

Canada approved the sale of cannabis edibles in the country in late 2019. The government’s decision is expected to bring more marijuana-based foods and beverages because many residents already welcomed the products. 

The marijuana industry is growing in Canada. The country became a leading exporter of the drug in the past year after it made $14.9 billion in sales, according to ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics. 

Local businesses are also growing, with some sellers expanding their international trade ties to distribute more marijuana products locally and abroad. However, with the growing industry comes the risks.

Doctors recently released a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showing the potential impacts of the increasing popularity of cannabis. The warning focuses on the health effects of cannabis edibles on young and adult people. 

Health experts said that some people still lack awareness of the negative effects of eating cannabis. Some consumers may also believe in misconceptions about safety of edibles. 

It can take up to four hours for people to start feeling the effects of cannabis when ingested and they could remain “high” for more than eight hours. Smoking marijuana commonly takes only a few minutes to make the user feel stoned, according to Dr. Lawrence Loh and Dr. Jasleen Grewal of the University of Toronto. 

They said the delay in feeling the drug’s psychoactive effects increases the risk of over consumption of cannabis edibles, especially in first time users. In the U.S., there have been reports of emergency room visits due to side effects of the products. 

One study released in 2019 showed that cannabis edibles caused 10 percent of pot-related ER visits in Colorado. Loh said the body processes marijuana differently when eaten and smoked. 

“Because ingested cannabis needs to be digested prior to absorption, the onset of effects is typically delayed, which might lead someone to consume more than intended early on only to experience symptoms consistent with overconsumption later on,” Loh told Gizmodo

The commonly reported effects of cannabis edibles in hospitals include racing hearts, anxiety and psychosis. There were also cases of accidental consumption of the products by children.

Research showed that exposure to marijuana at a young age could lead to delayed brain development and poor mental health. Adults should put cannabis edibles in higher areas where children cannot reach them.

To further avoid health risks, those who intend to continue eating cannabis should also look for licensed sellers to avoid contaminated products. 

“For those who do consume, and have never done so before, we recommend consuming licensed products, to avoid the possible issues linked with the ongoing availability of illegal edibles that may be contaminated with mold, pesticide residues or other drugs,” Loh added. “We also recommend proceeding slowly, even if no particular effects are felt initially, and consuming with others around who may be able to assist in the event of an unforeseen response.”

Cannabis Edibles CBD infused vegan gluten free edibles with green tea and sesame. WeedPornDaily/flickr