A new report highlights the dangers of ingesting food containing THC, the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, CBS News reports. As more states lighten their restrictions on who can use marijuana, and related cannabis products, more and more people have begun using THC containing products in nontraditional ways – such as dabbing or edibles.
The new study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), was focused on an incident in Denver where a man who had consumed cannabis edibles fatally jumped off the fourth-floor of a hotel. The coroner determined that marijuana intoxication contributed to the death of Levi Pongi, according to the article.
While the death of Pongi and other incidents involving edibles are somewhat isolated, it raises questions about over-consumption and the potential effects that it could have on the mind. People who use marijuana should be aware that the various methods of use can result in different outcomes.
“If you ingest a large quantity of edible marijuana in a short amount of time, you risk over-consumption, and an increased risk of mental health effects,” said the study’s co-author Jessica Hancock-Allen, an epidemic intelligence officer with the CDC.
FRS has seen numerous young people who have underestimated the effects of edible marijuana and have ended up hospitalized due to very adverse reactions including psychotic episodes. According to Ana Moreno, Clinical Director at FRS:
“The dangers of edibles and other forms of ingesting marijuana are not fully understood yet. What we do know is that the perception of harm among young people is at an all time low and these kids are using very potent forms of the drug. I think we are going to see the very negative effects of this new marijuana years down the road.”
After the Pongi incident, Coloradan officials put in place additional regulations with regard to THC edibles, the article reports. The changes include limits in the amount of THC allowed in a single edible and labeling.
“Colorado really wanted to get this out in the medical literature so that folks could learn from what’s happened here, and then the steps that Colorado has taken to hopefully cut down on over-consumption in the future,” said Hancock-Allen.
While marijuana is legal for medical use in 23 states, and recreational use in four, it is important that users and potential users be made aware of the effects that different methods of use can have on them. The drug can be habit forming and has been found to have detrimental effects on developing brains. Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable due to their younger, more underdeveloped brains. Young people can become addicted more easily and the effects of marijuana can have a greater impact in their lives over the long term.
The full CDC report can be viewed here.
If you are struggling with marijuana addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.