Too much of a good thing isn’t always good. While cannabis edibles do have many potent medicinal benefits, consume too much, and they may create problems in those with underlying heart conditions. If you’re thinking of ordering weed online in Canada, then here’s what you need to know about edibles and heart health.
Among unsuspecting consumers, cannabis can sometimes illicit unpleasant effects such as feelings of increased anxiety or paranoia. When coupled with an underlying heart condition, this can place certain individuals in danger.
What Does Science Say?
A paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal served to highlight the dangers of edibles among certain individuals, in particular those unfamiliar with the effects of edibles
Researchers cited one of the dangers of edibles as being dose-related. Due to their “longer latency and duration of effects,” researchers noted that they “may increase the risk of overdosing from over consumption.” And while this may seem obvious to seasoned cannabis consumers, there are other groups to whom it’s not so apparent.
Researchers identified those unfamiliar with cannabis edibles as being in the primary risk group. They stated that “cannabis edibles present specific risks of over consumption and accidental ingestion, especially among cannabis-naive individuals and children.”
The Health Risks of Over Consuming Cannabis Edibles
Consuming high doses of edibles can induce anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and even hallucinations in sufficiently high doses. In such panic-induced states, the effects of cannabis on the cardiovascular system become notable. Many of us experience an increased heart rate after consuming cannabis, along with increased blood pressure. Among those with an underlying condition, this can be potentially dangerous should they over consume.
In 2018, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology reported a case where a 70-year-old man died after ingesting a marijuana lollipop. It’s important to note that the man in question had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease and was firmly in the vulnerable group.
Another study published by the CDC discussed how older adults may be at increased risk of heart arrhythmia due to “different metabolic rates and pharmacokinetics” when compared to younger groups.
Why Might Edibles Pose a Risk to Some of the Population?
Edibles are very different from smoked or vaped forms of cannabis. When you inhale cannabis, you’ll begin to notice the effects within mere minutes, but this is not the case with edibles.
Edibles must pass through the digestive tract after consumption. This means that the amount of food currently in the stomach and digestive tract significantly affects their absorption rate making the effects somewhat more unpredictable in terms of potency and onset latency.
A further, and perhaps more important factor concerning edibles is that the THC present is first converted in the liver from the preexisting Delta-9-THC to the much more potent form known as 11-Hydroxy-THC.
11-Hydroxy-THC offers many advantages. It generally imparts longer-lasting effects, often in the range of 6-8 hours, while also imparting a more intense high that’s usually more body-centric compared to the more cerebral experience from smoked or vaped forms of cannabis. This makes it an attractive option for recreational consumers who wish to obtain potent, long-lasting effects, and also helps provide stronger and more prolonged relief for medicinal patients who may be affected by an existing tolerance.
But while the advantages are obvious, so too are the drawbacks. These extra potent effects can sometimes take consumers by surprise, especially those who are new to cannabis. Such experiences can be overwhelming, and when coupled with their longer-lasting nature, they can make for an intense ride that’s deeply unpleasant.
When coupled with an underlying cardiovascular condition, this can quickly become very problematic. When someone who has already consumed too much begins to feel any underlying anxiety come up, it serves as a self-perpetuating loop where knowledge of the underlying condition can fuel the anxiety yet further, increasing heart rate and overall feelings of panic.
A Dosing Guide for Edibles
Those consuming cannabis edibles with an underlying heart condition or a tendency to experience anxiety or paranoia should be extra careful when trying edibles.
Edible doses generally start out at 10 mg of THC, but even this may be too much for some beginners with a low tolerance. 2.5 mg is a good place to start, and it’s vital that you give the edible time to digest and absorb in the digestive tract before consuming more. This may take up to 90 minutes in some instances, so be patient and prudent. You can always consume more, but once you’re under the effects, it’s not straightforward to escape from them.
What To Do if You’re Overwhelmed or Feel Ill
A trip to ER is never necessary with marijuana overconsumption unless you are feeling chest pain that’s symptomatic of an underlying condition.
In cases where you’ve merely consumed too much and may be feeling the unpleasant effects of anxiety, paranoia, or even hallucinations, the best course of action is self-care at home.
Placing yourself in a familiar environment where you feel safe around people you know and trust will go a long way towards quelling any anxiety or paranoia, or at the very least, it will serve to limit its further escalation.
Deep abdominal breathing while lying on a sofa or bed will help engage the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system and bring the body back towards a state of homeostasis.
An additional tactic may be to introduce some CBD into the mix. This non-intoxicating cannabinoid helps to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC and bring the body into a more relaxed state. Vaping or smoking a CBD-rich flower or an extract will help ensure a quick onset and begin providing relief almost immediately.
Ordering Weed Online in Canada
Edibles pose little risk to the vast majority of cannabis consumers. But you should always be wary of dose when starting out, and this becomes even more important if you have an underlying heart condition.
If you’re ordering weed online in Canada, then at Herbal Halo we’ve got a long list of edibles that include chocolates, jellies, lollipops, gummies, and even teas. With precise dosing and clear labelling, they’ll be sure to fill your recreational or medicinal needs. Just remember to start low and go slow if you’re worried about any underlying heart condition.