What Your Body Goes Through When You Eat Edibles

By limitlessbuzz May 18, 2024 #edibles #through

People’s concerns over cannabis’s impact on general health are growing as more states legalize the substance for recreational use. It’s one thing to smoke marijuana, but what about edibles? That is, taking the drug through foods like peanut butter, brownies, candies, muffins, and doughnuts? What you should know about the effects of eating food containing cannabis on your body is provided here.

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Edibles: What Are They?

According to Andrew Stolbach, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, the active component in edibles is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. According to him, you start absorbing THC into your system shortly after consuming a dish that contains it. But there’s a catch: Absorption might be delayed, depending on how much of that item you eat and how much other food is in your stomach. According to Stolbach, this may be a serious issue as individuals might not know how much they’ve consumed until they start to experience the full consequences.

“Something that’s important to remember about edibles is that absorption is unpredictable,” Stolbach states. “People don’t experience peak effect for a while after eating, [which can be] minutes to hours—but usually hours.”

THC ingested through edibles is absorbed through the intestinal walls, just like food or prescription drugs. It will take longer for the THC to be absorbed if you have a lot of food in your system, such as if you had a large meal out and then had a brownie with cannabis for dessert. This is where edibles are notably different from a joint: According to Stolbach, THC enters your system instantly when you smoke cannabis, but it may take hours for you to experience the full effects of THC use.

Although feeling more calm is one of the desired effects of THC, according to Stolbach, things may rapidly go worse if you overindulge. “Common overdose symptoms might be feelings of panic, a fast heart rate and anxiety,” according to him. “These reactions can become severe.”

How Long Do Edibles Last?

Most edibles can take anywhere from two to three hours before you start to feel their full effects, and the effects of edibles can last anywhere from six or more hours with the biggest adverse effects generally happening within three hours of intake. This is why it’s vital to wait at least two hours after consuming an edible to have any more (see out these recommendations to assist you avoid overdoing it). Say that brownie tasted amazing and you went back for seconds or thirds—at this moment, additional calories and sugar are the least of your concerns. According to Stolbach, you can experience the effects of that brownie’s high THC content for up to 12 hours.

How your body responds to an edible might vary depending on what kind you eat. THC dissolves in lipids to be absorbed in your intestines since it is fat-soluble. Because they include fats infused with THC, brownies and cookies, among other dessert items, make up a large portion of edibles. “The thing that makes me nervous about [THC] dissolved in butter is that if the solution is unequally [mixed], some parts of your brownie or cookie will have a lot more THC than other parts,” Stolbach explains.

Some states mandate that edibles—like individually packaged packs of gummies—be labeled with the quantity of THC per serving. However, many bakeries and facilities creating edibles may not be carefully monitored when it comes to how much THC is in each serving of that product. In the absence of strong regulation, you can’t always trust the figures, even if they are labeled—just as with supplements. Consumers should do their study to verify the source of any food they’re consuming is trustworthy, as well as be cognizant of where it’s coming from. It’s legally unlawful to sell any food with THC over state boundaries, in most situations, according to the FDA.

So, can edibles ever be deemed healthy as long as you don’t overindulge and obey the law? “Absolutely,” says Laura Lagano, M.S., RDN, CDN, a New York City-based integrative and functional nutritionist, and a holistic cannabis practitioner. “My recommendation is to stay away from inflammatory ingredients, such as artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners, sugar and gluten when selecting edibles,” she states. “Cannabis is a potent anti-inflammatory, so it does not make sense to combine [it] with inflammatory ingredients.”

Manufacturers are now manufacturing anything from protein powders to chocolate bars to granola pieces infused with THC, making it easier to take edibles while keeping to a healthy diet. If you do want to give edibles a try, start small with modest dosages, make sure they’re coming from a product that clearly displays the THC percentage, and eat them at a time when you won’t need to be driving a vehicle for a few hours, adds Stolbach. “Give it some time to see how your body handles it,” he advises. “Try to minimize your stimulus and relax.”

More study is needed to identify the beneficial or negative impact that cannabis usage might have on health—and Stolbach has considerable concern over edibles landing in the wrong hands. Edibles are sometimes packaged to resemble common candies or sweets, which appeals to kids. The most often documented exposure to cannabis in children under age 12 is through baked goods and candy, according to the American College of Medical Toxicology. If you are storing edibles in your house and have children, ensure they’re enclosed in child-resistant packaging and placed somewhere out of reach.

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