Expert Advice: How smoking marijuana compares with ingesting edibles
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Dr. Willie Eggleston from the Upstate New York Poison Center. How do the effects of smoking marijuana compare with eating marijuana edibles?
Willie Eggleston, PharmD: They are very, very different. And that's one of the important messages we want people to be aware of as recreational products become available in New York. We know that adult use of marijuana is coming. We know that dispensaries will be open soon. And so it's important for folks to understand if you've smoked a product in the past, and now you're using an edible, although the chemicals in there are the same, the way that they take root in your body is very, very different. When you smoke generally, you know the effects from that dose within three to five minutes. It's very, very rapid acting. And it goes away fairly quickly, too. The effects are gone within a couple of hours. Whereas edibles, it takes about two to three hours to even start to feel the effects, and up to six hours to know how strong those effects are going to be. And once they start, they last for many, many hours. So in general, when you think about smoking versus edibles, smoking works fast, lasts for a short amount of time. Edibles take a long time to start, and once they start, they last for a very long time. So if it's your first time using an edible product, you want to start with a very low dose. You want to take that dose, and you don't want to take any more. Even if it's been an hour and nothing's happening, it doesn't mean nothing's going to happen two hours from now. So you really want to start low, see how that affects you, and then gradually you can increase with subsequent uses. In individuals who use marijuana more frequently, they kinda know how their body reacts to the product. But in someone who just uses occasionally, we really don't have any good information to figure out who's going to have a bad reaction. In general, how much does it take, or how frequently does someone need to use it to develop something like a use disorder? Those are things that we're still trying to answer.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Dr. Willy Eggleston from the Upstate New York Poison Center.