Why consumers should heed the warnings about marijuana edibles

Published Oct 9, 2019 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Charles Wollertz

Now that marijuana legalization seems to be coming to fruition almost everywhere, we are now seeing new and exciting cannabis infused goods like edibles, topicals and inhalables hit the market. That is a great thing, as long as the consumption of these options is done responsibly. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who might have smoked weed once back in high school and they tend to assume that these highly concentrated products will provide a similar experience, but that is seldom the case.

THC vs CBD edibles

First, it is important to note the massive difference between THC and CBD edibles, as neither should be overconsumed, but only one of them is of major concern as far as adverse reactions.

CBD edibles - Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis cannabinoid that offers a varied array of medicinal benefits, and it is even believed to have helped to enhance the intensity of longevity of a THC induced high. While it is never a good idea to eat too many of any kind of edibles, CBD infused options will not produce any intense sensations that are associated with a ‘bag high’ AKA a green out, which is essentially any combination of adverse effects. There are a few potential side effects when consuming CBD edibles, like upset stomach, sleeplessness and diarrhea, but it will not result in a psychoactive experience.

THC edibles - Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active cannabinoid that is primarily responsible for the sometimes-overwhelming sensations that consumers associate with recreational cannabis use, and they are also the reason for all the sensationalized media hype surrounding edibles. THC edibles provide a much more concentrated amount of the element, which is what makes them such a hot item. Unfortunately, it is also the reason why so many experiences negative side effects after consuming these goods.

Possible adverse effects of THC edibles

If you have never had to deal with a green out episode, then you might find it hard to believe that this drug, that is known for its ability to soothe and relax can quite often produce the entirely opposite effect. Unfortunately, there are at least a few possible side effects that every consumer should be aware of before choosing to partake in using marijuana edibles.

  • Dizziness
  • Groggy/difficult to wake
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of fear
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations

Are edibles safe?

Despite the potential for uncomfortable symptoms, marijuana edibles are entirely safe to consume as they are non-toxic and impossible to overdose to any lethal extend. However, the strength of this cannabinoid can have adverse impacts on consumers with poor heart health, as well as those on medications that might be affected by the introduction of THC.

How long do edibles last?

Whether you are thoroughly enjoying an edibles buzz or are experiencing issues and discomfort with some of the less appealing sensations, it’s a good idea to know how long the effects of THC will last. Though every person is slightly different than the next, the general guidelines are as follows:

  • 2 hours to take effect
  • Up to 12 hours for the effects to wear off.

How to safely take edibles

For some people smoking or eating weed, products will never result in a positive or enjoyable hobby, but most people enjoy an intensified version of the high that you could expect from smoking marijuana. It’s a safe and flexible option that allows for plenty of user control, but if you want to avoid any potential adverse sensations, then you might want to follow the guidelines below.

Beginner - 5mg every 2 hours maximum

Intermediate - 10 mg every 2 hours

Expert - 20 mg every 2 hours.

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