Start Low and Go Slow – Cannabis Edible Safety
It’s that time of year again: the one with pumpkins, costumes, and scary movies. Between hot apple cider, apple pies, and dessert-scented candles, how could anyone not love fall? And, by extension, Halloween? As one of the most celebrated days of the year, Halloween overflows with macabre shenanigans, among other things. It is, by all accounts, a great time to celebrate with loved ones, and what is a celebration without some good food?
As a cannabis testing lab, we think it’s important to discuss the topic of cannabis consumption and safety over the holidays. For those considering some cannabis-infused Halloween treats, it’s vital to know the effects cannabis edibles could have – and, by extension, how to safely navigate their consumption so that you can enjoy Halloween to its fullest extent, without any surprises.
Here’s the thing: inhaling cannabis is different from ingesting it. When inhaling cannabis, the smoke or vapors brings the THC directly to your lungs, which passes it directly to your bloodstream and your brain (CCSA, n.d.). On the other hand, ingesting cannabis is a longer process, as it takes between 30 minutes and two hours to take effect and lasts up to 12 hours (CCSA, n.d.). This is because consumed marijuana travels to your stomach and liver before making its way into your bloodstream (CCSA, n.d.).
When taking edibles, it’s always important to start low and go slow. It’s essential to account for the amount of THC in the product you’re consuming. The Alaska Department of Health suggests 5mg if you’re unsure how you will react (n.d.). They also suggest waiting two to four hours after your first serving before taking any more (Alaska Department of Health, n.d.). And, of course, stay where you are – driving with marijuana in your system counts as driving under the influence (Alaska Department of Health, n.d.).
In some cases, when the legal framework allows, edibles can be made at home. In this regard, it is even more critical to ensure you start low and go slow, as product consistency and homogenization can be tricky for the average edible maker. Suppose edibles are recreationally and/or legally available for purchase. In that case, this can be a reliable way to ensure product safety, as typically, all products sold in legal dispensaries require lab testing for potency.
Additionally, you should ensure that the cannabis edibles you consume are free from harmful contaminants. If you make edibles at home, ensure the raw material used is safe. If homegrown cannabis is being used, employing grow practices that maintain healthy and uncontaminated growing conditions should be a high priority to ensure your cannabis is safe for consumption. Alternatively, if edibles are recreationally and/or legally available for purchase, this can be a reliable way to ensure product safety, as typically, all products sold in legal dispensaries require lab testing for various types of contamination (pesticides, microbial, heavy metals, etc.).
So no matter what you choose to indulge in this Halloween, whether it be edible eyeballs or a more traditional cannabis gummy, we wish you the best – and safest – cannabis journey this Halloween. We at Steep Hill pride ourselves on our leading cannabis testing services and for playing a role in ensuring the quality and safety of the cannabis that ends up in the hands of consumers across the US. We’ve got you covered, from potency (cannabinoid) and terpene testing to screens for pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, and more. Testing services offered vary from Steep Hill location to location. Contact us today for your cannabis testing needs!
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-06/CCSA-Cannabis-Inhaling-Ingesting-Risks-Infographic-2019-en_1.pdf
Cherney, K. (2020, January 6). Are there benefits of marijuana for medical use? Healthline. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/medical-marijuana/benefits-of-marijuana#benefits
Marijuana Edibles Safety. Marijuana Edibles Safety | Get the facts about Marijuana. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://health.alaska.gov/dph/director/pages/marijuana/edibles.aspx
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, March 22). Cannabis (marijuana) Drugfacts. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana