Edibles are a hit with cannabis consumers. Cannabis consumers have gobbled up the new edible products introduced last week in Ontario’s legal cannabis shops. The OCS was sold out of its edibles products within an hour. Retail stores reported that gummies, cookies and chocolates also sold out within an hour of hitting store shelves. Edibles are the heavy favorites because they allow consumers to try products without having to resort to smoking. Consumers must be wary of the timeline that it may take to feel the high as a result, and not ingest more than recommended by Health Canada. With the use of edibles increasing, the delivery method poses a concern with regards to dosing.
Consumers who have not smoked or used cannabis products before could be at risk of overdosing. Inexperienced or first-time users must be aware of their own tolerance and be cognizant of avoiding snacking away while waiting for a high. Being careful and mitigating how users consume cannabis infused edibles will help prevent issues such as a racing heartbeat, anxiety and panic attacks that will ultimately lead to a trip to the emergency room. Users must be aware that edibles can take several hours to digest and get absorbed in their system. The type of food consumed with it, before or after, the type and size of a person, weight and time of day will also have an impact on the onset and duration of the “high”. It is a very different absorption method when compared to smoking cannabis that is quickly inhaled through the lungs.
Seniors are especially at risk because of slower metabolism and the possibility of having other prescription drugs in their system. Current federal regulations limit the individual size to a 10ml maximum dose of THC per package, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, in order to control how much and how quickly dosing can happen. In general, consumers need to be aware that the onset of the effect of THC or CBD based edibles is within a 60-180 min window, with the affect lasting up to 4-6 hours.
Cannabinoids can be infused in a variety of ways and if there is an uneven distribution of active ingredients it may lead to unpredictable results. Production of edibles must adhere to the highest standards in order to make sure that each batch is exactly controlled, measured and infused properly. It is a much longer onset and a longer affect then smoking or vaping. It has less of an odor, more convenient, discreet and much more controlled.
The greatest allure of this growing segment of the industry if that new technologies and products are developed continuously and improvements are vast. That is also the greatest drawback. As with any new industry, time tested products and technologies are not available and it’s a trial and tribulations type of growth. Being aware of the risks and rewards of cannabis consumption is crucial to maximizing the user experience while minimizing negative affects.