What’s The Deal With Edible Pot?
Marijuana is often in the news these days, especially if you live in Colorado or Washington where pot is now legal for recreational use. For those of us not living in one of these two states, we are still hearing the tales of legal pot in the national news. Other states will be voting on legalization, and it’s important to hear what’s happening. Right now, edible marijuana is at the forefront. What does it mean and why is it in the news? What do you need to know about it and should you be worried?
Marijuana is a drug that comes from the cannabis plant. Several parts of the plant, but especially the buds, are dried and then smoked. This is what you would typically think of when you think about marijuana use: someone smoking a joint.
Smoking isn’t the only way to get high on the cannabis plant, though. The psychoactive compounds in the plant can be extracted and added to any number of foods. In fact, Colorado reports that 45 percent of legal pot sales in the state are edible products. Common foods with pot infusions include brownies, cookies, other baked goods, and candies.
Is Edible Pot Safer?
It might seem like eating cannabis-infused products would be safer than smoking a joint. Smoking is bad for your health, after all. For those inexperienced with using different types of pot products it can be difficult to understand the differences between pot edibles and smoking, but they are important. Several of these differences can make edible products more dangerous than smoking a joint.
The first difference is that the psychoactive compounds (the main one is called THC) are absorbed differently. To make you high the THC has to get into your brain. When you eat THC it goes to your liver first and is converted into a product that produces a more intense high. Inhaled THC just goes straight to the brain. If you smoke a joint you will get high sooner, but it will be less intense and last for a shorter duration. Because it takes longer for the high to begin, rookies at eating pot have made the mistake of eating too much. Famously, columnist Maureen Dowd made this mistake and spent eight hours hallucinating in her hotel room in Colorado.
Accidental Edible Marijuana Overdoses
Another difference is that dosing is much trickier with edibles. Some strains of cannabis have more THC than others, but for the most part smoking one joint is much like smoking any other. The concentrations of THC don’t vary too much. With edibles, the manufacturer can add a lot or a little concentrated THC extract. If the product isn’t labeled clearly, or at all, a user could make a terrible mistake and eat too much. Accidental edible overdoses have been devastating. Children have gotten their hands on these products and ended up in the emergency room, and even adults have had problems with them, resulting in two recent deaths.
Legal Recreational Marijuana And Edible Marijuana Regulations
As legal recreational marijuana becomes more common across the country, it is important for consumers, citizens and voters to be aware of the issues. One issue is edible marijuana products. Colorado officials are currently hashing out ways to regulate or even ban them to prevent accidents. The best way to avoid making dangerous mistakes with pot edibles is to avoid them altogether. No version of marijuana is safe. It is a mind-altering drug, and it can cause any number of health problems. Whether it is legal or not, marijuana is a drug.