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In a recent conversation, a woman in her late 60’s shared that she had given edible marijuana a try—yes, this is a trending topic in the senior citizen community, even in Whatcom County!

She mentioned being caught off-guard because she didn’t know how much cannabis she was actually ingesting.

Smoking marijuana can have immediate results, ingesting marijuana often has delayed results.

Because the effects of edible marijuana are not immediate, she kept lightly nibbling on some snack mix that was infused with pot without realizing she was overusing. The end result was that this senior who was experimenting with edible cannabis became quite sick.

What is edible cannabis?

Cannabis edibles are “cooked foods and drinks such as hash brownies, pot brownies, and butter, using its herbal form or hashish. The psychoactive effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a hydrophobic oil, soluble in lipids (oil/fat) and alcohol photo-1427025635812-0a30f21071e4must initially be cooked in one of these before being mixed into edibles such as cake, cookie, brownie, drinks, etc. in order to experience the psychoactive, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes.”

Unlike smoking marijuana (weed, hash, dope, ganja, reefer, doobies, joints, etc.) where cannabinoids enter the body through the lungs, edibles go through the gastrointestinal tract resulting in a high that can lasts longer than inhalation. However, it can take up to 2 hours to feel the effects. This leads some users to consume more than intended, or even overdose, from eating edibles.

Dangers of ingesting cannabis

Edibles often resemble non-infused products (ex: brownies, gummy bears, suckers, cookies and lozenges) and therefore they can pose a danger to children, unsuspecting adults and even pets who may eat them without knowing they are made with marijuana. This is a major concern for some individuals and organizations who are fighting against the legalization of marijuana.

The cannabis industry has responded to concerns by proposing improved packaging labels and even potentially placing a marking directly on edibles to warn people the product is infused with marijuana and should only be used by knowing adults.

Are you familiar with Initiative I-502 in WA State? If not, click this link.

If you or a loved one’s marijuana use interferes with health or safety, or if you feel it is having a negative impact on your life, or the lives of those around you, please seek professional help as soon as possible.

Counseling, along with testing and monitoring has proven to work for many who want to kick their marijuana habit.

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