They look so innocent. Soft, little roly-poly morsels resembling the treats your grandkids love. You’ve heard that gummies are a great, less odiferous way to help you get a good night’s sleep or mellow out. What could go wrong? Sadly, plenty – if you’re not careful.
As seniors educating others on the use of cannabis, we’ve learned that the vast majority of people our age prefer gummies over other delivery systems. But let’s look at some facts:
Gummies are a very effective sleep aid when used and dosed properly. As the onset time can be up to hours, with full effect at four hours, gummies don’t work as quickly as when you smoke, vape or use a tincture. When you consume a gummy, the THC travels to your stomach, then to your liver before entering your bloodstream, where it finally makes its way to your brain. This process varies across individuals, so it’s tough to predict when you’re going to feel the effects and when that feeling will peak – and this can be dangerous.
We’re aware of individuals (young and not-so-young) who have taken a gummy and when they didn’t feel the effects quickly, took another. After a while, the first one hits. Then the second one hits. Uh-oh. Extreme anxiety (we used to call “getting paranoid”) may set in. Today, hospitals call it “greening out” and they are treating an increasing number of seniors who didn’t wait for the first gummy to take effect.
Start “low and slow.” If you are experimenting for the first time, cut the gummy in half, thirds or quarters, and try a small portion (say, 2.5 grams or less) to see how your body reacts. After two hours, you can gradually add another portion to determine the right dosage for you. Take notes so you don’t forget – this time or the next.
Effects may last up to 12 hours with residual effects lasting up to 24 hours. Since every body is different, the length of effects is very unpredictable. Just as it may take quite a while for your body to absorb the THC, the psychoactive effects of gummies can stick around far longer than other delivery systems.
Potency of gummies vary. The content of THC and CBD varies greatly in edibles. When purchasing at a licensed dispensary, carefully read the label. We suggest not exceeding 2.5 mg of THC. Again, start with a small portion as most come in 10 mg serving sizes.
Gummies may be more powerful than you expect. Some people react more strongly to gummies than smoking cannabis. That’s because your liver turns the THC in gummies into a stronger form; both the THC from the original product and the stronger form of THC produced by your liver can make you higher than you expected.
If you’re new to edibles, invite an experienced friend to join you, and don’t plan on driving. Consuming cannabis and alcohol together can significantly raise your risk of over-intoxication and impairment and is not recommended. Most importantly, if you have any cannabis products at home, ensure they are properly labelled, stored in child-resistant containers that are re-sealed after use, and stored out of the sight and reach of children and pets.
Lustman is chief marketing office with Senior-High which offers education and resources on medicinal marijuana via private consultations and complimentary seminars to communities. He can be reached at (760) 459.4593 or visit www.senior-high.com.