Dr. Kari Franson, a Clinical Pharmacologist and Associate Dean for Professional Education, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, at University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy says, ''The major difference is in the absorption of the [edible] product into the blood stream. Once it is in the blood, it quickly goes to and has an effect on the brain. With smoking, the peak blood levels happen within 3-10 minutes, and with eating, it’s 1-3 hours.''
Which process is more dangerous to users?
Diffrent doctors say different things, find out below what the difference is about
What you already have in your system like other meds also matters a lot because it affects how the active ingredient is metabolized. These variables can change, ''the amount in the blood five-fold,'' says Franson. ''The THC will compete for metabolism in the liver with other drugs. Things that are inhaled can go directly to the brain and not have these interactions. So even confident users can get surprised with an edible.''
In other words, it’s easier to self-monitor when smoking a joint, since one feels the effects so quickly. But with edible pot, because there can be an hours-long lag before experiencing the high, you might inadvertently consume an overdose amount while waiting.
However the doctor admits that the symptoms of an overdose from edible marijuana are similar to that from inhaled version, but apparently have the potential to be more severe, for some of the reasons mentioned above. Like smoked pot, the symptoms can be both physical and psychological in nature.
''The most common presenting symptom to the ER are anxiety and panic attacks, and acute psychotic episodes – confusion, disorientation, delusions, hallucinations, depersonalization [feeling as if you’re observing yourself from the outside],” says Franson. ''Physically, people have tachycardia, impaired motor ability, ataxia. The time of onset can be 30 minutes to 3 hours and last from 3 to 10 hours.''
Another doctor, Sam Kamim says, ''I think edibles pose a real challenge. They allow a person to get very high, sometimes without meaning to. Labeling and dosing will help with this, but there will still be a learning curve.''
Forbes contributor, Alice Waltson concludes by stating that, ''People will continue experimenting, of course, and pot-infused edibles won’t be the last new product to raise concern.''
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: