Cannabis Edibles: What are they? Warnings and risks

Date Added: 18/02/2021

cannabis-brownies-and-cannabis-leaves-put-on-fabric_SQUARE.jpgWhat are Cannabis edibles?

Edibles are food products that contain cannabis. They usually contain THC and CBD. There are many forms of edibles, including cakes and biscuits, sweets, chocolates, and drinks or shakes. People can purchase ready-made edibles, or make their own, such as oils, butters, brownies, cookies and ice creams.

Edibles are a current method of delivery for both medicinal and recreational cannabis. However, they may not always contain what you think or what you have been told. You cannot tell just by looking.

While edibles may be a discreet and tasty way to consume cannabis, they are not without risk. Regular cannabis use can have adverse impacts on: brain development, heart health, memory and cognition, psychiatric health.

Long-term cannabis use may be especially worrisome in adolescents, where it may increase the risk of schizophrenia as well as learning and memory.

The Law

CBD is legal in the UK provided the percentage of THC is 0.2% or less.

Marijuana – Cannabis - Weed however is not and is classified as a Class B drug which by law can attract a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.

In a Marijuana plant, you will find two cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound in Cannabis and will make people feel ‘high’ while CBD is the non- psychoactive chemical compound which does not have the same effect. Any CBD product containing over 0.2% of THC is illegal in the UK.

Side Effects and Overdose

Accidental Ingestion

There is the possibility that children, pets, and others can accidentally consume sweets, cookies, and other goods containing cannabis. Research does not know if there is a danger to pregnant women and the baby.

Interactions with Medication

Edibles and other forms of cannabis can interact with alcohol and some medications, such as blood thinners. These interactions may intensify the effects of THC or interfere with the actions of the medicines.


Concentrations of THC or CBD vary widely in ready-made cannabis products. Likewise, it is difficult for people to know the strength of THC in homemade edible products. As a result, it is hard for someone to know how much they are consuming.

Edibles also take longer to have an effect than other consumption methods for cannabis, such as smoking.

The effects of smoking cannabis can take minutes to occur, while edibles can take 1–3 hours. You may end up consuming larger amounts of the drug while waiting for the effects to begin, thinking they need more.

Additionally, the symptoms of overdose from edibles may often be more severe than overdose symptoms from smoking cannabis.

An overdose from edibles can involve: Paranoia, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, impaired mobility.

How do edibles differ from smoking?

cannabis-cookie-cannabis-leaf-put-floor.jpgIt may be true that edibles do not expose the users to some of the potentially harmful effects of smoking.

Cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke appear to have similar levels of toxicity, and both contain various toxins and carcinogens (agents that cause cancer).

Cannabis smoke also causes lung inflammation and bronchitis, and some research links regular cannabis smoking to several forms of cancer.

Ingesting edibles does not appear to have these effects on lung function or cancer risk, which means they may be safer in these ways.

However, edibles pose their own risks, including the increased risk of accidental ingestion or overdose discussed before.

 Long-term, frequent use of cannabis may also have negative effects on mental and physical health.

If you choose to take edibles remember:

  • Start low - start with a small amount
  • Go slow - wait at least two hours before taking another dose
  • Avoid alcohol or other substances
  • Don’t use when alone
  • Seek help straight away if your friends or you become unwell and be honest with what you have consumed so you get the right help.

If you have any questions or need support contact us on:

  • Adults: 01202 735777
  • Young People: 01202 741414
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