Chicago Health | Homepage
How safe are foods that contain cannabis?

How safe are foods that contain cannabis?

By Matt Ruscigno, M.P.H., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter

There may not be a more controversial plant in existence than cannabis (aka marijuana). Long heralded as both a beneficial commodity for human use and a dangerous gateway drug, it has a rich history of human cultivation — and positions, political and otherwise — on its potential benefits or risks. Public opinions and laws on recreational and medicinal cannabis use have shifted dramatically in the last decade, with some states fully decriminalizing its use. Statistically, nearly half of American adults have used marijuana at least once.

Behind THC

The active cannabis component is tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Reported effects and benefits of THC include sensory alteration, pain reduction, appetite stimulation and reduction of nausea. The push for medical legalization has come primarily from those suffering from chronic diseases like HIV and cancer, in which reducing pain and increasing appetite are an integral part of treatment.

Though the anecdotal evidence supporting these benefits is widely available, scientific research on the benefits is difficult to come by. For example, the Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has been unsuccessful in obtaining federal research grants to study cannabis, because it is listed by the U.S. government as a drug with no medicinal value and a risk for addiction.

Risks of edibles

Like any medication, there are risks. The “high” that is created from ingestion impacts motor skills (such as driving) and the relaxing effects may have social and professional costs. Along with new legalization and increased recreational use has come a rise in the practice of ingesting THC edibles.

Edibles are foods, like brownies or cookies, which contain cannabis. THC is fat-soluble, and the most common cannabis-infused ingredients are oils and butters that are used in the baking process. Consuming THC orally, as opposed to smoking, may increase the dosage and levels of active metabolites. Problematically, this method takes more time to impact individuals, which increases the risk of overconsumption.

Earlier this year, the CDC released a report about a marijuana-related death in Colorado. Despite the warnings of the seller to only consume one sixth of the cannabis cookie, the young man continued to eat it because he “didn’t feel anything.” Not long after, he showed erratic behavior and jumped to his death from a fourth-story balcony.

The bottom line

Cannabis may prove to have medicinal benefits in the future, and its use will most likely increase. Therefore it’s important to consider safety first; discuss using it with your health care professional before you decide to include it for medicinal use in your regimen.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)

(c) 2016 BELVOIR MEDIA GROUP. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Your Integrative Medical Home

Your Integrative Medical Home

Programs combine traditional and complementary medicine By Leigh Page Often, medicine seems like it operates in separate silos,

Count ingredients, not calories

Count ingredients, not calories

By Sharon Palmer, R.D.N. Shift your focus from the calories label to the ingredients label, and

Pneumonia a leading cause of hospitalization for children

Pneumonia a leading cause of hospitalization for children

What Doctors Know Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pneumonia puts thousands of young children

Cartilage repair, restoration becoming more common

Cartilage repair, restoration becoming more common

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I recently heard about cartilage being used in knee joints. Last summer

Discovering need to treat high blood pressure may be too late

Discovering need to treat high blood pressure may be too late

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham whatdoctorsknow.com Untreated high blood pressure, or hypertension, wreaks havoc on the

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

December 2016
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
November 27, 2016 November 28, 2016 November 29, 2016 November 30, 2016 December 1, 2016 December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016
December 4, 2016 December 5, 2016 December 6, 2016 December 7, 2016 December 8, 2016 December 9, 2016 December 10, 2016
December 11, 2016 December 12, 2016 December 13, 2016 December 14, 2016 December 15, 2016 December 16, 2016 December 17, 2016
December 18, 2016 December 19, 2016 December 20, 2016 December 21, 2016 December 22, 2016 December 23, 2016 December 24, 2016
December 25, 2016 December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Categories

Recent Comments

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

A Hazy Shade of Healthcare: What does tort reform

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives