Is Eating Marijuana Really Riskier Than Smoking It?

June 4, 2014 6:18 PM

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As more states are on the way to legalizing medical marijuana, a different pot conversation has heated up: The potential health risks of consuming marijuana-infused edibles. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd even documented her own experience with edible pot in the form of a candy bar, which left her “curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours.” There have certainly been reports of ER doctors in Colorado seeing more patients with intoxication from pot-infused edibles, as well as some startling incidents of psychotic behavior and deaths from the products. But is edible pot really any worse than the inhaled version? Or are have people just discovered a new plaything that they just don’t know how to work?

One of the issues lies in how the two forms of the drug are metabolized, and how quickly the high comes on. “The major difference is in the absorption of the [edible] product into the blood stream,” says Kari Franson, PharmD, PhD, the Associate Dean for Professional Education, Department of Clinical...

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