Things are changing in Florida. The next time you walk into your favorite medical cannabis dispensary, you may see some new items on the shelf. That’s because a new set of rules has been placed into effect immediately and it drastically impacts the layout of the medical cannabis industry in Florida. The new rules, as outlined by a document. published rather furtively by the Florida Department of Health, establish the new standards for the production of edible medical cannabis products.
The document indicates that edibles must comply with all of Florida’s traditional food standards, and beyond. Further standards, include, but are not limited to:
- Including the universal symbol which marks the product as containing cannabis
- Limitations on shapes; only basic shapes allowed
- Types of food; only lozenges, gelatins, baked goods, chocolates, and drink powders allowed
- Restrictions on color additives, icing, sprinkles, and other decorative toppings
- Mandating that all products are shelf-stable
- And more
If you’re familiar with edibles that are available in other medical cannabis states, these rules are highly similar. Excited to explore Florida’s edibles? Eating cannabis is nothing like inhaling it. Our bodies don’t process the compounds in the same way, nor at the same speed. So, let’s first bite off what’s important to know about consuming edibles.
How Does Eating Medical Cannabis Impact Humans?
For Floridians who are only familiar with smoking medical cannabis, they’ve become accustomed to the effects being felt within moments after consumption. That’s because the compounds are immediately made active and distributed to the entire endocannabinoid system through the bloodstream.
Obviously, food needs to be digested and broken down before the body utilizes the compounds it consumes. Apart from the time it takes to digest food and present it to the bloodstream, the phytocannabinoids are also passed through the liver before making their way into the bloodstream.
According to a 2009 paper that looked at the bioavailability of cannabinoids in an array of consumption methods, eating cannabinoids may lead to the degradation of some important cannabinoids in the stomach and then again in the liver as they’re transformed into 11-OH-THC and other inactive metabolites.
The creation of 11-OH-THC is important because:
- It arrives more slowly into the endocannabinoid system than smoked THC
- It lasts longer in the system than its smoked counterpart
- Many report a feeling of a stronger, broader sensation
- Edible cannabis may help with some conditions that smoked THC does not
However, when eating edibles, consumers should be cautious. Since edible cannabis takes longer to take effect, it’s also easier to consume too much. The delayed onset can be overwhelming for some people and can last for many hours.
In fact, there have even been people who have called 9-1-1 or been admitted to the hospital after eating too much cannabis because they thought they were going to die. But, is that possible?
Can You Overdose on Medical Cannabis?
When people overdose on cannabis, they may have a psychedelic experience or just fall asleep. There is no risk of dying from eating too much cannabis.
While most people consider cannabis to be a low-grade drug which can slightly alter perception and produce physiological benefits in many realms, it’s role may change in high doses. According to The Medicine Hunter, Inc., and it’s founder, Chris Kilham, in large doses, edible cannabis leads to psychedelic explorations. It’s no wonder that uninformed and unprepared consumers may experience “bad trips” on cannabis or have otherwise negative experiences.
With proper dosing, these types of situations can be avoided. Florida’s edibles will be accurately labeled to indicate dosing so consumers won’t be caught off-guard. Of course, proper dosing schedules should be followed. According to StatPearls, “there is no experimental evidence to determine the lethal dose in humans”, but that doses as low as 40mg/kg, introduced through an IV, have been shown to be lethal to animals. For perspective, when eating a chocolate bar with medical cannabis, many people will eat between 5-15 mg, or 1-3 pieces, in total, to feel an effect that can last all day. So, to reach 40mg/kg, a 150-pound person would have to eat at least 544 pieces, or roughly 55 entire chocolate bars dosed with medical cannabis. Even then, the difference between an IV injection, and consumption through the stomach sends cannabinoids through a separate processing route.
In simpler terms, there’s virtually no way to “overdose” on medical cannabis and die. However, everyone has their limits on what’s right for their system.
Can You Eat Too Much Medical Cannabis?
While most people consider cannabis to be a low-grade drug which can slightly alter perception and produce physiological benefits in many realms, it’s role may change in high doses. According to The Medicine Hunter, Inc., and it’s founder, Chris Kilham, in large doses, edible cannabis leads to psychedelic explorations. It’s no wonder that uninformed and unprepared consumers may experience “bad trips” on cannabis or have otherwise negative experiences. Marijuana driving laws are also implemented.
With proper dosing, these types of situations can be avoided. Florida’s edibles will be accurately labeled to indicate dosing so consumers won’t be caught off-guard. Of course, proper dosing schedules should be followed. For first-timers eating medical cannabis, a general rule of thumb is: start low and go slow. It can take up to two hours to feel the effects of edible cannabis, and it doesn’t take a large dose. So, it’s recommended to find what works for you by starting with a low dose, and gradually working your way up.
Potential Benefits of Eating Medical Cannabis
Many medical cannabis consumers may already be happy with their results. So, why would they want to change to eating medical cannabis? Here are a few potential benefits of eating medical cannabis in the proper doses.
- No Need to Smoke
Inhaling burnt plant material has an impact on humans. Just because it may not do harm in the way that smoking cigarette may, it’s likely better to eat a compound rather than smoke it due to the harsh nature of smoke, in general. Likewise, the smoke of cannabis is very noticeable both visually and through smell. Eating cannabis is much more discrete.
- Longer-Lasting Effects
As noted, eating medical cannabis often delivers a longer-lasting experience for consumers. This may prove much more convenient for many people.
- Potential Relief from Many Medical Conditions
According to “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research”, published in 2017, eating cannabis may:
- Provide antiemetic properties for people undergoing chemotherapy
- Offer improved clinical responses for patients with severe chronic pain
- Reduce spasticity symptoms in the short term for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
Eat Cannabis Responsibly, Enjoy It Earnestly
Edible medical cannabis is a welcome addition to Florida. Patients will now have more options both in terms of consumption practices and relief and can get medical marijuana card early. If you have any questions about eating medical cannabis, feel free to contact us! Please share this article with your friends if you’re excited about trying Florida’s new edible medical cannabis products!