Unless you have been living in a cave, under a rock or in outer space, you have heard about the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, in various states throughout the United States. Have you been thinking or planning a visit to one of these great states to take part in the legal festivities? Do you plan to get or try edibles?
Well before you go you need to do a little research so that you do not become a victim to overmedicating with edibles.
What is an edible?
Simply defined an edible is a food product that has been infused with a cannabis product. The cannabis product is broken down into a concentrate and then mixed with an edible or drinkable product. All these safely consumable items are referred to as edibles.
How does an edible work?
Once consumed the edible works its way through your digestive system just as any other food or drink. The timeframe to feel the effects has many variants and factors at play. You can begin to feel the effects in as little as a few minutes to up to two hours after consumption.
What dosage should I consume?
Variants also come into play in regards to the dosage amount. If you are not a normal marijuana user, your tolerance may likely be less than that of someone who partakes on a more regular basis. Start low and slow is the key. After two hours if you are not feeling as you had hoped you can always grab another serving.
Take these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites for example. Many are unaware of the potential strength as no legal guidelines had been put into place for dosing documentation prior to February 1, 2015. This particular cookie from Sweet Grass Kitchen clearly states, online, that it is 100mg (10 servings). This is much higher than a new user should intake,
What is the problem with this?
For the smart consumer that has properly done their homework and research prior to eating, nothing at all. The problem is that many people do not do the proper research prior to consumption, leading to overmedicating. You will know that the high has begun when you start to feel a sense of euphoria, ease of stresses, and a slowing down feeling.
What do you need to do after consuming an edible?
Ideally, nothing! Do not drive or operate any sort of heavy machinery. If you have never used before steer clear of any items that might hurt you (blenders, knives, tools, etc.)
What do you do if you have overindulged?
Relax! Take deep, slow breathes. If you know any breathing exercises, follow them. Most of the time it is severe anxiety that is kicking in more than any real threat. If you happen to have any CBD tablets, take one, as they can assist to mellow out the THC. Try to eat. Munchies lower the potency. Other techniques include:
- Take a hot shower
- Go for a walk
- Take your mind off the situation by watching a movie
- Chew whole black peppercorns (many claim this helps quite quickly!)
How do you tell if you have possibly overmedicated?
If you begin to have trouble breathing, you experience pupil dilatation, nausea, vomiting, a fast pulse, shaking chills, disorientation, hallucinations, or a combination of these symptoms it is now the time to try the above tips. Same is the case if you become unconscious. If you get worse or have no change in conditioning at all it might be time to go to the hospital. Better safe than sorry!
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) did a survey in 1993 on all US patients prior to any state legalizing that sought treatment at an emergency room or department help. At that time, they only saw 2.5 per 100,000 persons.
In 2013, another similar study was done by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJOM), that study indicated 85 per 100,000 cases in Colorado emergency departments alone. 2014 the NEJOM indicated another spike in Colorado, 168 per 100,000 cases.
In each of these three years only included were persons that sought treatment for marijuana instances alone, showing no other outside force at work.
Is this an issue that only affects Colorado?
Not at all. Reports on the news and online are wide spread. This is an issue that is a problem with all ages of patients, especially small children.
Do non-legalization states have this issue?
Yes, though not as commonly discussed. The stories that I have read and learned of are rather concerning.
Regulation and Education in Colorado
As of February 1, 2016 the regulation movement has taken place in Colorado. All edibles (including foods products, juices, pops, teas, coffees, colas, etc.) are packaged in 10mg units. Larger packaging must be pre-cut and individually wrapped at manufacturing. No single recreational edible can exceed 100mg in size.
The number of edibles that can be purchased in a single visit or transaction, not before regulated has become limited. Residents can purchase 80 servings in a single transaction whereas non-residents are now only allowed 20 servings.
Today edibles education has begun all over the US. The hope is that education will lower numbers of incidences requiring hospital treatment, better educate consumers, and keep everyone safe.