Overdosing on edibles and THC

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With varying concentrations of the psychoactive compound THC, edibles are foods and beverages infused with marijuana extract (cannabis-infused oils and cannabutter). The therapeutic or intoxicating effects of marijuana can sometimes be experienced safely and effectively through edibles. However, because edibles are consumed and metabolized through the digestive system, the duration of onset, or how long it takes for effects to be felt, is frequently longer with them than with other products.

These unknowable or highly variable factors may cause unanticipated adverse effects, unintended overdosing on the drug, or a THC overdose.

Why Eatables?

Products made with marijuana extract include edibles, which are foods and beverages. Marijuana edibles come in various forms and can be made either commercially or at home. Some examples include:

Baker’s goods.

Sweets, chocolates, and gummy bears.

Beverages.

Lozenges.

Butter and cooking fats.

Compared to smoking marijuana, eating or drinking food or beverages infused with it increases the risk of marijuana toxicity, poisoning, or overdose.

Before experiencing the psychoactive effects of THC after eating or drinking it, it typically takes 30 minutes to an hour, and sometimes even longer. The subjective “high” that is produced (relaxation and euphoria) can last between 5 and 8 hours, much longer than other ways of consuming marijuana.

In contrast, THC Gummies are almost instantly delivered to the brain when cannabis is smoked, with the maximum effects appearing after 30 minutes and lasting between one and three hours.

Instead of smoking marijuana, consuming edibles can delay the drug’s effects, making it more challenging for users to regulate their dosage. Depending on how much was consumed, when the last meal was finished, and whether alcohol or drugs were also consumed simultaneously, intoxicating effects may last longer than expected.

As a result of not feeling the effects of earlier doses, people may unintentionally consume higher amounts of THC Gummies than they intended, increasing the risk of THC overdose. THC overdoses are not likely fatal, but they can be uncomfortable, have psychotic side effects, or cause serious physical harm.

THC or edibles can cause an overdose.

Yes, THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, can be consumed in excess. The correlation between cannabis use and overdose fatality or injury is poorly understood. However, there may be a greater risk of harm from overdose due to the increased availability and potency of a wide range of cannabis products.

Even though THC overdoses usually don’t result in death, they can cause severe discomfort, unpleasant experiences, unintentional harm, and even fatalities due to the behavioral impairment brought on by cannabis.

Compared to smoking, eating marijuana increases the risk of overdose. According to research, this is because, in contrast to smoking marijuana, it can be more challenging to predict how much THC a person has ingested when they consume it orally. Eating cannabis edible prolongs the psychoactive effects’ duration and slows their onset.

Symptoms of THC Overdose

For several reasons, marijuana overdoses occur more frequently. The risk of THC overdose increases when marijuana is consumed orally instead of smoking it.

Typical signs of a THC overdose include:

Poor cognitive ability.

Inability to move.

Anxiety.

Fright and panic.

Agitation.

Deep sedation.

Stress on the heart.

Vomiting.

Psychotic signs (e.g., hallucinations, delusions).

Treatment for THC Overdose

Go to the hospital right away if you think you may be experiencing a marijuana overdose or any other kind of substance overdose. Once you’re feeling better, you may want to cut back on your cannabis consumption or seek additional treatment for cannabis use disorder to help avoid further overdoses.

The course of treatment for cannabis use disorder varies from person to person. It could incorporate different levels of inpatient or outpatient care, support networks, therapy, or care for co-occurring conditions (simultaneously having a substance use disorder and mental health disorder).

Controlled dosage of THC in edibles

An edible’s THC content can vary and is challenging to manage or even determine. This holds for products manufactured commercially, homemade products made with commercially prepared oils or butter, and products produced at home using cannabis oil or cannabutter built on-site.

Homemade edibles’ THC content varies according to the plant from which it is extracted and the extraction method used to create the edible’s oil or butter.

State laws typically mandate that the THC content and serving size of commercial products be listed on the label. For instance, one cookie or chocolate bar might have much more servings than the maximum advised amount.

The use of Edibles is Growing.

As more states legalise marijuana for recreational use, the use of it in food and beverages is increasing. While the number of students smoking marijuana is declining, studies on adolescents show that edible use is rising among seniors in high school.

Additionally, compared to marijuana smokers, edible teenage users are more likely to use them daily. Because edibles are frequently found in the form of candy, kids may mistake them for regular snacks or candy, which can result in an edible overdose or make them ill.

Food-related risks and THC levels

Compared to smoking marijuana, the metabolism of THC in edibles is different. The effect of edibles on a person can vary depending on their metabolic rate. Age, gender, and weight are just a few variables that may affect the timing and duration of the effects. This might result in more severe side effects that last longer. The THC in edibles may also interact with other medications, alcohol, or drugs.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is an episode-prone, cyclical vomiting syndrome that can develop in cannabis users after prolonged use (CHS). A person is more likely to create CHS if they use cannabis regularly for an extended period, including smoking and eating it. People with this syndrome frequently experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and frequent hospitalizations.

An overdose of marijuana can have adverse psychiatric side effects, including anxiety, paranoia, and even a psychotic reaction characterized by agitation, hallucinations, and delusions.

A higher rate of children accidentally ingesting cannabis has been linked to the accessibility of edibles. Edible marijuana products can be mistaken for food, candy, or treats by adults, animals, and kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises keeping marijuana products, such as edibles, in childproof containers and out of the reach of children and pets if you use them.

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