Lifestyle, Treatment

How to Safely Consume Cannabis-Infused Edibles

February 13, 2020 03:09 pm ET

Recently there has been some fear in response to Canada’s released documentation announcing a danger warning when it comes to consuming cannabis edibles. Some of you may not even be aware that there is a danger regarding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid, edibles. However, if you do not take the proper safety measures, you could end up with some adverse effects. This article is for your peace of mind. 

THC edibles are a common method of cannabis consumption, particularly for recreational use. Cannabis is a very safe substance despite some adverse effects. You would have to consume more than your body weight in an insanely short amount of time to have overdosed on it, even then, you don’t run a risk of death. So why did Canada issue a warning concerning the consumption of THC edibles? How do you take them safely to prevent adverse effects? Keep reading to find out.

Potential Risks of Cannabis Edibles When Taken or Stored Incorrectly:

Overconsumption:

Consuming edibles can take up to 4 hours for any effect to kick in. This is because the edible needs to go through the process of digestion. Each persons’ metabolism is different which is why edibles kick in at different rates for every individual. The danger with this is that many people will end up ingesting more to increase their cannabis intake, resulting in overconsumption. 

Longer duration:

Edibles are notorious for having longer-lasting effects. They can last up to 8 hours and the danger comes in when this prolonged period of effects includes longer lasting impaired judgment and coordination. 

Children and pets consuming the edibles:

Edibles often come in treats that are appetizing such as brownies, cookies, and candy. If they are not properly stored away, children and household pets could end up consuming them… because they look innocent and delicious. Since cannabis legalization, there has been a 70% increase in calls related to accidental consumption of edibles by children.

Elder adult consumption:

Consumption of edibles amongst older adults introduce themselves to greater cognitive impairment and increased risks of hypotension-related falls and arrhythmia. 

Symptoms of Overconsumption: 

Each person responds to the edible according to their own body’s tolerance. If you end up overconsuming or taking in something stronger than your tolerance, you could experience any of the following: extreme confusion, anxiety, panic, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, increased blood pressure, faster heart rates, nausea and even vomiting. If you find yourself having a hard time after overconsuming, do your best to remain calm and relax. Try and take a nap or a warm bath, and hydrate. The effects will soon pass.

Follow These Steps So You Don’t Overdo It:

  • Start with a single serving of 5 milligrams of THC or less. 
  • Don’t consume more until you have waited at least 1-2 hours after your initial consumption. 
  • Read the label carefully. This is so that you know the quantity as well as the number of servings in that edible purchase. 
  • Plan ahead of time so that you are in a safe space where you can stay put and relax until the effects of the edible can wear off. 
  • Safe Storage: lock up your edibles in a place that is out of reach from any minors and animals.
  • If your pet has consumed an edible, especially a chocolate-based one, contact your veterinarian or pet poison hotline immediately. 
  • If your child has accidentally consumed an edible, REMAIN CALM. While edibles can produce intense effects, no one has ever died from taking them. Call the poison hotline or take your child to the emergency room if symptoms are particularly bad. 
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if you have taken edibles. 
  • Avoid mixing your edible with other substances such as alcohol and prescription medication.
  • Do not consume edibles if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

As you can see, if you have taken the proper measurements of caution, your THC edible experience can be good and beneficial. I hope that you find some peace of mind with knowing that you can control your THC edible experience as long as you are prepared and cautious. 

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