What’s the Scoop on THC Edibles?
You’ve probably seen different types of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) edibles, such as marijuana and delta-8, delta-9 and delta-10 THC, but do you know the full scoop and what to watch out for? Learn about the effects and risks of THC edibles (we’ll just call them edibles here).
What are edibles?
First off, it’s important to know that THC (this is the ingredient that produces a “high” or calming effect) is always prohibited for Service members, no matter the amount, the legalization status or what form it comes in – including edibles.
Edibles come in food or drink form, such as baked goods, candies, gummies, lozenges, seltzers and sodas. They can be from a store or homemade.
What should I know about edibles?
The effects of using edibles are unpredictable. This is because THC can affect people differently and the amount of THC in edibles can vary by product and is not standard. Immediate risks of using edibles can look like:
- Delayed onset of effects. It can take one to three hours for the effects of edibles to kick in. The edible is absorbed into the bloodstream through the liver and takes a long time to work through the system (and eventually affects the brain). As a result, the effects aren’t felt right away which means someone may end up using more because they think it’s not working.
- Long lasting and unpredictable outcomes. The effects of edibles can last a few hours depending on the amount of THC in the edible, the amount and form of edible and if alcohol or other substances were used at the same time. Many people can also be caught off-guard by the strength of the effects and may not know it can cause impaired driving.
- Consuming too much. It’s common for a person to eat or drink more than intended, which can lead to poisoning and/or serious injury. Overdose symptoms from eating an edible can be very serious. Other common negative side effects of consuming too much include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Lose contact with reality
- Intense and irrational feelings or thoughts
- Slower reaction and coordination
- Slower breathing
- Heart problems (anywhere from irregular heartbeat to heart attack)
- Putting loved ones at risk. Beware that children and pets might think edibles are regular food or candy (the packaging on some edibles looks like some candies, for example). Since access to marijuana and THC products has increased, accidental ingestion of food products containing THC have increased among children. It may cause them to become very sick and sometimes hospitalized.
The next time you’re at a party or hanging out with buddies, make sure you don’t mistake a snack for an edible. Protect the things you care about – if you’re not sure if something has THC in it, ask or do not use it.