Use of Cannabis Edibles Comes With Risks, Doctors Warn

Canadian Doctors Issue Warning Regarding the Dangers of Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis use is now legal in more countries across the world, with the popularity seemingly greatest in the United States. The majority of the states in America currently allow legal use on the back of the diverse health benefits associated with compounds in the plant.

Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis Edibles

However, two Canadian doctors warned in a recent paper that appeared in The Journal of the Canada Medical Association that the rising Cannabis use exposes users to possible health risks.

Read Also: Abusing Cannabis Increases the Risk of Testicular Cancer

Canada is one of the countries where authorities permit the use of cannabis edibles. The products gained legal status in October 2019.

As shown in a recent survey carried out by Deloitte, some Canadians have expressed their interest in using cannabis edibles for both medical and recreational purposes. Supposed usefulness for the management of anxiety and sleep disorders is part of the medical reasons some people are interested in.

“It’s also known that current-day consumers say they are more likely to buy premade cannabis edibles instead of making their own – mainly because they are cheaper, according to 80% of current consumers,” reads the Deloitte survey report.

The new commentary, by Jasleen Grewal, Ph.D., and Lawrence Loh, Ph.D., warns that these would-be first-time users may expose themselves to health risks. The loved ones of such individuals might not be spared the unwanted effects as well.

Consumption risk

Many people prefer cannabis edibles mainly because they think the form is safer to use. However, the reality is a different thing.

An inherent risk in the consumption of cannabis edibles is their delayed action. Unlike smoking, this form takes time to kick in.

Read Also: University of Arkansas: In High Doses, CBD May Be Toxic to the Liver

It could take up to four hours before starting to have an effect. Some people, especially those trying it for the first time, might consume more while waiting to experience the effect.

Edibles are also now available in different flavors. This makes them more appealing to use, especially for children and pets. The appealing taste increases the risk of overconsumption.

When an individual consumes too much of cannabis edibles, they increase their risk of experiencing adverse effects dramatically. The effects of these products also last longer, even though they take a longer time to kick in.

The specialists observed that the effect of edibles could last for up to eight hours or more. This, according to them, prolongs “the duration of the dissociative judgment and coordination experienced in comparing inhaled cannabis.”

Different responses

The same amount of cannabis can have different effects on different individuals. According to Grewal and Loh, some persons may be more sensitive even to the standard dose approved by authorities.

Essentially, what may be considered safe, low dose could produce unwanted effects particularly in those trying cannabis for the first time. The risk from use increases further when one considers availability in tasty forms such as candy and cookies.

Read Also: Legalization of Marijuana Has Decreased Black Market Sales

The elderly constitute a considerable proportion of those at risk of health issues from the use of edibles.

“Among older adults, cannabis consumption – including the use of edibles – has been linked to greater cognitive impairment and a higher risk for hypotension-related falls, arrhythmia, and drug interactions,” the researchers wrote.

Reference was also made in the paper to data in the U.S. highlighting the risk of increased cannabis use by children following legalization.

“After legalizing cannabis edibles in Colorado, the state’s poison control center saw an increase of 70% in calls for accidental exposure to cannabis to children from 2013 to 2017, and studies using health care have reported more children than adults being treated for ingestion incidents,” wrote the authors.

Grewal and Loh urged healthcare professionals to make sure they inform patients of possible risks from the consumption of cannabis edibles before they proceed. Such advice, according to them, can help to protect against health risks.

Proper guidance by doctors could assist, among other ways, to prevent interaction with certain substances or drugs.

References

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/192/1/E1

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