Marijuana Edibles can be Dangerous

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Marijuana Edibles can be Dangerous

Marijuana edibles are food infused with marijuana. They are not just tasty treats you throw in the oven, they contain a possibly hazardous substance to some people. That is why it comes with a note of caution when considering whether to consume marijuana edibles. Typically they are discussed in terms of medicinal uses, but people use them recreationally, which can have lasting impact for people who use them too much.

How the Body Digests Edibles

The high caused by eating marijuana does not come on the same way as when a person smokes it. When a person inhales smoked marijuana, THC is delivered quickly from the lungs, into the bloodstream, to the brain. The high comes on almost immediately and peaks 20-30 minutes later. When a person eats it, it can take up to an hour to kick in. Edibles introduce cannabinoids through the digestive tract. From the gut, THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels via the portal vein to the liver. Liver enzymes hydroxylate THC to form 11-hydroxy tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), a potent psychoactive metabolite that crosses the blood-brain barrier. Edibles may bring on stronger and longer-lasting drug effects as compared to smoked cannabis. Short term and long term effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Distortions of light, sound, time, and space
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loss of coordination
  • Problems with memory and learning
  • Trouble with problem-solving
  • Changes in the brain over time
  • Fertility issues
  • Immune system problems
  • Respiratory problems

Dangers of Edibles

When people take marijuana as an edible, they might not know what is going to happen. This can result in psychoactive effects which are highly uncomfortable. THC stimulates certain regions of the brain responsible for fear. Mentally, people who eat edibles can experience depression. This can happen after a long period of time using cannabis. People who use marijuana generally have higher symptoms of depression in comparison to those who do not.

Addictive Properties

Marijuana edibles are addictive. Addiction depends more on the person than the drug. There are a few factors to consider. The younger a person is when they start, the higher the risk of developing addiction. Another risk factor is if a person uses edibles every day. People on medical marijuana are monitored closely but still are at risk of developing addiction due to the nature of marijuana itself. Some of the signs include:

  • Anxiety, paranoia, and fear
  • Consistent cough
  • Distorted perception
  • Dry mouth
  • Impaired coordination
  • Poor memory
  • Problems with memory
  • Slow reaction time

Treatment typically consists of seeking a medical assessment for which the doctors will test you and ask questions. They will also help you with detox in which you’ll withdraw from marijuana. Psychotherapies, pharmacology, and educational support can be offered in recovery to support your journey to healing from addiction.

Out of our beautiful custom home in Holladay, Utah, Pinnacle Recovery offers a premiere, customized clinical continuum of care for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders. With the healing and inspiring scenery of the breathtaking Utah mountains all around you, you’ll be motivated to work toward deep, lasting change and recovery. Call us today for information on our programs: 866-301-0573

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