Since when does weed trigger aggression or motivate someone to commit a crime and land kids in hospitals? Could it involve the way the drug is ingested — in the form of pot cookies or brownies instead of smoking?
Pot brownies and other cannabis “edibles” like gummy bears that are sold online and where marijuana is legal may seem like harmless fun, but research indicates that edibles may be more potent and potentially more dangerous than pot that is smoked or vaped.
Here are some of the dangers of marijuana edibles that people don’t talk about, and should.
Anxiety and paranoia
Like with smoking weed, there’s no assurance in having a “happy high” every time you eat edibles. In fact, there’s a greater chance that you will get low. Medical Daily reports that “marijuana can cause anxiety on its own and also make anxiety worse for patients with the disorder.” So while these side effects may be more common in someone with a history of anxiety, those without it are not immune if they eat too many pot edibles. Overindulgence of edibles may trigger psychotic symptoms such as auditory or visual hallucinations or extreme paranoia.
When you inhale marijuana, the effect is felt almost immediately, which allows you to regulate your intake. With edibles, the effect may not hit you completely for up to two hours or more, and absorption varies depending on the person and the fat content of the food. As a result, people tend to consume beyond the recommended amount, which puts teenagers and college students at especially high risk of edible abuse as they are prone to impulsivity, peer pressure, and poor judgment. What’s more, the effects of ingested marijuana last far longer than when marijuana is inhaled.
Long Lasting High
Since everyone has a different metabolism and tolerance level, the length of an edible high can vary from person to person. But one thing is for sure — the high from eating marijuana lasts longer than the high from smoking it. Since edibles typically contain a much higher level of THC and take longer to be metabolized in the body, the effects can last for several hours and make it difficult to function properly throughout the day.
THC raises testosterone levels in the body. When this happens, the Huffington Post says, the skin’s oil glands begin to over-produce and cause breakouts. While there is debate over how much THC has to be ingested to actually cause acne, it’s widely agreed that is also ages skin more rapidly.
Overuse of edibles can cause spikes in anxiety, panic attacks, and racing or irregular heartbeats. Cardiovascular problems are nearly three times more likely with edibles users than with smokers or vapers. In addition to potential health risks, state officials who oppose legalization cite concerns about impaired driving and accidents, increased addiction, and the negative impact marijuana has on brain development in youth.
Once the marijuana wears off, fatigue begins to set in. Both mental and physical fatigue are common side effects, which can make getting through your day incredibly difficult. This may cause you to have trouble being productive during the day, and can be increasingly dangerous if you have to drive or operate heavy machinery.