Why Are More People Going to the ER After Eating Cannabis Edibles, anyway? Cannabis can affect people in different ways when consumed or inhaled.
Chocolates as well as gummies and other foods that are laced with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — constitute only a small portion of the marijuana (cannabis) business in Colorado.
However, they’ve put many people in hospitals.
According to a study by Trusted Source that was published recently in Annals of Internal Medicine, Colorado experienced a threefold increase by the amount of patients admitted to emergency rooms of hospitals which was due to cannabis between 2012 and 2016. Although a few of these cases were attributed to cannabis inhalation, edibles played an important part.
Cannabis edibles are only a tiny portion of overall sales of cannabis, just less than 1 percent of which is based on the THC content while just 3.6 percent of cannabis users have reported using edibles. Despite their tiny market share Cannabis edibles accounted for more than eleven percent cannabis-related medical emergency visits. More alarmingly The three deaths linked with cannabis-related deaths in Colorado All of them involved edibles.
Andrew A. Monte, PhD, associate professor of medical toxicology and emergency medicine in the University of Colorado in Denver who was the author of this study said that he was not surprised by the results. “This finally puts some data behind the observations that doctors have been seeing for years,” he stated to Healthline.
Ruben Baler PhD an administrator of health science of the National Institute on Drug Abuse who also wrote an editorialTrusted source for this study also shares this feeling. “There were hints that different methods of administration could have different results. The preliminary findings from emergency departments as well as poison centers that have hinted at the different outcomes. This clearly illustrates the differing dangers of toxic adverse effects,” Baler said.
Diverse “Route of Exposure,” Different Risk
This is the first study to examine the adverse consequences of cannabis for health, in relation to “route of exposure” -the way the substance is consumed.
Cannabis is most often consumed in the form of smoking, however it is also used in various ways as being consumed. The effects of the drug to the human body, its consumption (how long for the body to feel effects) and the duration of its effects are all affected by the method of the administration.
There were striking differences in patients’ symptoms, based on their eating habits or whether they smoke cannabis. The consumption of edibles was more likely to trigger an acute psychiatric event like panic attacks or anxiety. The most common reason to smoke cannabis is to bring users to the emergency room is hyperemesis caused by cannabinoids, which can cause cyclic or repeat vomiting that is difficult to manage.
The study’s authors state that even though smoking cannabis can put more patients in emergency rooms in all, it’s evident that edible cannabis is more likely to result in negative health consequences. “There are more adverse drug events associated on a milligram per milligram basis of THC when it comes in the form of edibles versus an inhaled cannabis,” Monte explained. “If 1,000 people smoked pot and 1,000 people at the same dose in an edible, then more people would have more adverse drug events from edible cannabis.”
The reason why foods are disproportionately high in the number of these results isn’t evident from the study. It’s not unusual to hear about users who are taking doses that are over the recommended dosage or taking several doses in a row. “This may be because people who are impacted by the edible’s toxicity are naive users that haven’t had the experience before,” Baler stated.
In the case of eating the cannabis will take a longer period to kick in and the effect lasts for longer. If marijuana is smoked the effects can be noticed quickly and peak blood levels typically happen within one hour. The effect may last for several hours. Cannabis edibles can last for at least an hour before the effects begin to be felt. The high can last longer — as long as 12 hours. The prolonged effects of cannabis edibles can result in users eating more food than they need to.
Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has told Healthline that the consumption of THC products can have a greater variety of health effects than vaping or smoking it. The effect of this drug may be longer-lasting and there’s a higher chance of an increased dysphoric feeling when consumed in a form that is edible.
“This is because the body metabolizes THC in a fundamentally different manner following oral administration than it does following inhalation,” the researcher explained.
Understanding Potential Dangers
This study is the most recent to study the negative impacts of marijuana edibles. Last month in The Canadian Journal of Cardiology published an account of the 70-year-old patient who suffered an attack of the heart after ingestion of the cannabis lollipops. Cannabis can affect the cardiovascular system, and may result in an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Research has previously revealed the increased chance of having a heart attack due to the consumption of cannabis.
Monte’s research is an important step in knowing and acknowledging the fact that marijuana consumed in various forms can cause a variety of serious adverse health effects.It is clear that the general public must be educated about the potential and effects in edible marijuana. “There needs to be greater awareness among both the consumer and the seller with regard to the fact that the route of administration plays a significant role in the duration and degree of drug effect,” Armentano declared. “The landscape has changed dramatically,” Baler stated in a statement, noting that cannabis is more potent now than it was in the past.
He also noted that since the liberalization of marijuana laws has resulted in an improvement in perceived harm. In spite of the results of his study, Monte doesn’t want his research to be portrayed as sensationalized.
“These emergency department-related visits must not be undervalued. The emergency room is not overloaded by the number of visits. We see approximately 300 cases per day in our emergency department and really only one of those will be what we consider a ‘cannabist-attributable’ visit. Therefore, this is really a small fraction of patients we’re encountering. The majority of cannabis users use it with no adverse reactions,” he told Healthline.
While cannabis can be used safely by many people, monitoring of adverse health effects is a crucial step for health professionals in the public sector. If you are curious about edible cannabis, take care. “Even low doses can cause adverse drug events,” Monte said. Monte. “People need to be aware of that and put themselves in safe scenarios and probably take lower doses than they might otherwise anticipate when they are first starting to use them,” He said.