“Are Cannabis Edibles Safe?”
Smoking marijuana can create
and so, vaporized cannabis
is one alternative,
as I’ve talked about before.
But what about eating it?
Vaping is likely less
harmful than smoking,
and marijuana edibles
are another alternative,
but may carry increased risks to children
and increased risks of overdosing.
I’d add a third risk
to that and that’s pets.
Since the legalization of
recreational marijuana in Colorado,
edibles comprise almost
half of total cannabis sales,
and a significant correlation was found
between the rise in use and the
rise in marijuana toxicosis cases
at veterinary hospitals contributing,
they think,to two dog deaths in the state.
Thankfully, there have been no
reported deaths among children
from marijuana exposure, though
some have ended up on life support…
as an edible marijuana overdose can
lead to severe respiratory depression.
Colorado regional poison control
cases did increase significantly
after recreational pot became
legal and at a higher rate
than the rest of the United States,
which is one reason the
American Academy of Pediatrics
continues to oppose legalization.
In the very least, they
shouldn’t be packaged like this.
Some states have since banned
selling marijuana-infused candy
with that kind of imagery,
but to play it safe maybe
we shouldn’t be making
cannabis candy at all.
To put this in perspective, though,
the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center
reported thousands of kids in
Colorado requiring treatment
after accidentally ingesting things
like cosmetics and vitamins
compared to the relatively few
cases involving marijuana edibles.
And you want to talk about
poisoning deaths, how about alcohol?
Whereas deaths attributed to
marijuana are few and far between,
though, there have been a few.
The problem is that you may
not feel an effect from edibles
for an hour or two after consumption;
and so, you don’t know how much to take,
and may then over-consume after an
hour since you haven’t felt anything yet.
But it takes like three hours
for cannabis compounds to peak
in your bloodstream, compared to just
like 10 minutes when you smoke it,
and at least that first full
hour to really feel much.
That’s what happened right
after legalization in Colorado—
a 19-year-old died after
consuming a marijuana cookie.
He had one piece, twiddled his
thumbs for 30 to 60 minutes,
didn’t feel anything, so
ate the rest of the cookie.
Two-and-a-half hours later
he jumped to his death
off a fourth-floor balcony.
A month later a second guy
apparently went psychotic
and fatally shot his wife while
she was calling 911 for help.
A common story for these
kinds of cases was eating
the recommended serving
size, feeling nothing;
and so, then deciding to eat the rest,
ending up restrained in
the psych ward complaining…
that they’re god…mutilating
“friends wanted their energy back.”
The marijuana industry responded
by basically blaming the victims,
saying look, “no one buys
a bottle of Jim Beam
and thinks they should consume
it all in one sitting.”
Yeah, but people do expect to
be able to eat a whole cookie.
I mean, who eats just
one-tenth of a cookie?
I mean, you could look at other
over-the-counter products –
there’s specific labeling
as to dosing and warnings.
It seems odd that edible cannabis
was not held to the same standard
as a bottle of Tylenol.
In 2016, Colorado Regulators did
enact new rules for labeling edibles,
including their THC
content right on the label.
How accurate are those labels, though?
We didn’t know, until…
they were put to the test.
Of 75 products purchased, involving
47 different brands of edibles,
only 17 percent were accurately labeled,
only about one in six came within
10 percent of the labeled value.
The greatest likelihood of obtaining
was in Los Angeles whereas Seattle seemed
to tend to overinflate their labels.
It’s hard to study marijuana
of any kind due to illegality
but based on a hundred
thousand tweets about edibles,
most people it seems expressed a
positive opinion, for what it’s worth.
One unexpected benefit arose in a
focus group of teens on marijuana edibles.
Several students in high
school, it seemed,
were eager to learn how to cook.
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