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Edibles are food products infused with marijuana. Though smoking marijuana is the most prevalent method of consumption, eating marijuana is quickly becoming a popular way to consume the drug.

In addition to placing marijuana directly in food, marijuana-infused cooking oil can be used when frying or searing food, and marijuana-infused butter can be spread directly on prepared food.

Is eating marijuana more dangerous than smoking marijuana?

These marijuana edibles are more common in states that have legalized marijuana and also states that permit medical marijuana use.

Brownies are among the most common food products infused with marijuana, however, almost any food product may be infused with marijuana and eaten.

YES! There is high potential for overdose from marijuana edibles.

Weber Packaging. “Cannabis Labeling Requirements By State.” June 2018. Accessed December 9, 2020.

Because it’s easy to eat too much and comes in a palatable and easy-to-use form, regular use of edible marijuana may follow. Marijuana addiction can quickly become a problem for the user, with all the social and mental health issues that characterize the disease.

A marijuana edible may look and taste very similar to products without marijuana, so it can be easy for a person to unintentionally be exposed to marijuana. If pets and children accidentally consume marijuana-laced edibles, it can be dangerous.

7. Unintentional Overconsumption

Importantly, homemade edibles can have highly variable amounts of marijuana and can easily lead to a marijuana overdose.

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Barrus, Daniel G.; Capogrossi, Kristen L.; Cates, Sheryl C.; et al. “Tasty THC: Promises and Challenges of Cannabis Edibles.” Methods Rep RTI Press, November 2016. Accessed December 9, 2020.

Labeling requirements for marijuana edibles vary widely by state, leading to inconsistencies in how edibles are packaged and sold. Further, those attempting to make their own homemade edibles may accidentally overindulge due to the inconsistent potency of marijuana products. It is difficult to ensure a uniform consistency of marijuana throughout a product.

While the effects of smoking marijuana typically last up to three hours, the effects of edibles can last much longer, depending on the amount consumed. Edibles may impact users for several hours and this is heightened if marijuana is consumed with other drugs or alcohol.

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Longer-lasting Effects

The potency of edibles is difficult to measure. Regulations for the labeling and manufacturing of edibles are moderate at best. It is hard to determine the true amount of THC in an edible and dosage estimates are therefore imprecise. Thus, you may not know how much THC you are actually consuming.

If you find that you are using marijuana despite negative physical or psychological effects, it’s time to take a closer look at how this drug use fits into your life. It could be that you are using marijuana to alleviate boredom, stress, and other negative emotions, or to cope with problems in life. If this is the case, then counseling could be beneficial.

Research shows that heart issues are more prevalent in eating edibles than with smoking marijuana. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 8% of emergency room visitors who had consumed edibles had heart symptoms such as irregular heartbeats compared to just 3% of marijuana smokers who visited the ER. Consuming edibles was also more likely to lead to short-term psychiatric conditions such as anxiety when compared with smoking the drug.