19 Sep Should we Think Twice About Cannabis Edibles?
With many cannabis consumers becoming more and more aware of the risks of smoking, especially during the coronavirus outbreak, cannabis edibles are being swarmed. The effects of smoking on the lungs are certain and give enough incentive for people to avoid it; however, since one of the most problematic aspects of COVID-19 is the impact it has on the respiratory system, people are thinking twice about wearying their lungs with smoking. Health officials in the United States of America and other parts of the world are warning smokers that they are at a high risk of succumbing to the ills of Coronavirus if they continue to weaken their lungs with tobacco or marijuana smoke.
What are Cannabis Edibles?
A food product that has been infused with cannabis is considered a cannabis or marijuana edible. This includes CBD products such as CBD chocolate. Today, marijuana smoking is the predominant mode of consumption of this controversial plant; however, cannabis edibles are growing in popularity at a very fast pace. The natural alternative for cannabis consumers concerned about the risks of smoking is cannabis edibles. However, is it safe to say that cannabis edibles are safe? What about CBD chocolate, cannabis drinkables and other cannabis-related products? are they safe for consumption or use?
Some experts are imploring consumers to be careful when it comes to cannabis edibles. Dr. Jasleen Grewal and Lawrence C. Loh, professors at the University of Toronto, published a commentary In the Canadian Medical Association Journal on the matter of cannabis edibles. They stated that we all may be wrong in thinking that cannabis edibles are safe. The professors cited cased of cognition impairment and mental health issues that have resulted from the consumption of cannabis edibles. According to the professors, this particularly seen in youth and seniors. Those concerned about the potential risks of the consumption of cannabis edibles is overconsumption. Those who are of the view that cannabis edibles are dangerous are also concerned about accidental consumption. The fact that consumed marijuana takes up to 4 hours to take effect has anti-edibles individuals ranking it as a high-risk product. They believe that those who are ignorant of the time it takes effect may end up overconsuming the product thinking that they have not had enough to feel the psychoactive effects which could last up to 8 hours.
An article posted on Healthline, a popular online platform that focuses on health and wellness, states that cannabis edibles are putting a lot of people in the hospital. A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine reported that the number of people in the hospital due to exposure to cannabis had tripled between 2012 and 2016. They highlight that a number of the cases were linked to the inhalation of cannabis; however, they cite that cannabis edibles played a major role in the hospitalization rate increase. According to Healthline, cannabis edibles account for 11% of all emergency room visits associated with cannabis. Another thing to note is that all 3 deaths in Colorado that included Cannabis have resulted from the consumption of cannabis edibles.
This information really leads one to think. Nonetheless, there are many reported health benefits of cannabis edibles.
Benefits of Cannabis Edibles
Induce Relaxation and Relieve Anxiety
The compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (you might know it as THC) is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. It is known for inducing relaxation and bringing about a feeling of euphoria. Marijuana also contains a compound called cannabidiol (you might know it as CBD). CBD has been praised for its ability to treat anxiety in humans. A study from 2019 showed that 79% of the participants with anxiety or some form of sleep disorder experienced a reduction in anxiety over the course of the study.
It has also been reported that CBD can help with the management of pain. This is due to its high anti-inflammatory properties. As a result of this, you will find many people who are faced with severe pain depending on CBD to bring sustainable relief. There is research data available that suggests that CBD is potentially a great treatment for pain. People use edibles and other cannabis products to treat such things as arthritis, pain resulting from cancer, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.
Muscle Spasm Management
There have been cases where people have been prescribed medical marijuana for the purpose of treating muscle spasms. A 2013 study showed that marijuana users experienced an improvement in muscle spasticity when appropriately treated with marijuana. While these health benefits are incredible and should be investigated, there are also some reports of side effects from cannabis edibles. Let us take a look at some of these health risks.
Health Risks of Cannabis Edibles
There is research data available that shows that the consistent use of marijuana can have a negative impact on:
* Brain Development
* Heart Health
* Cognitive Function
* Mental Health
It has been found that long-term marijuana consumption is particularly dangerous to adolescents. It could possibly increase the risk of developing schizophrenia as well as have a negative impact on learning and memory retention. The consumption of cannabis edibles while taking medication can be problematic. Cannabis can interact with medications causing an intensification of the THC in the product or impact how the medication functions within the body.
Overdose is another concern when it comes to cannabis edibles. As mentioned earlier, the length of time that it takes for marijuana to take effect in the system can cause individuals to eat much more than is necessary. An overdose from cannabis edibles can result in:
* Panic Attacks
* Impaired Mobility
Should we think twice about cannabis edibles? The safe and moderate consumption of cannabis edibles seems to be without issues. The issue lies in the overconsumption of cannabis. We have here mentioned a number of health benefits of cannabis edibles along with the potential health risks. The health benefits of the product can be had without eating large amounts of edibles. While the argument as to whether cannabis edibles are safe is still upon us, it is wise to consult a medical doctor before using them for medicinal purposes.