Marijuana is the most popular recreational drug in the United States. But, its use among those under 21 is not advisable due to its drastic effects on the developing teen brain. However, 24 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, while four states have legalized even its recreational use.
Looking at this, there is a rising concern about inappropriate dosage information regarding edible products infused with marijuana. To overcome this problem, scientists have devised a new technique that can measure the amount of marijuana used in edibles such as gummy bears, chocolates and other products. The technique will help ensure product safety in the ever expanding world of marijuana-infused products.
A study was presented at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in March 2016 in San Diego. Researchers Melissa Wilcox of Grace Discovery Sciences and Jahan Marcu, vice-chair of the newly formed ACS Cannabis Subdivision, performed the experiment by placing marijuana-infused edibles into a cryo mill containing liquid nitrogen or dry ice. They then added a silica-based compound known as diatomaceous earth to the product to form a homogenous mixture.
A technique called flash chromatography was then used to separate out various chemicals, while the liquid containing only cannabinoid compounds was passed through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for further analysis. The process can be used successfully to measure the cannabis content in snacks like gummy bear, cookies and brownies.
Wilcox said, “Producers of cannabis edibles complain that if they send off their product to three different labs for analysis, they get three different results. The point of our work is to create a solid method that will accurately and reliably measure the cannabis content in these products.”
A lot of edibles containing marijuana display labels that don’t list the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient found in marijuana. Infused edibles provide a typical high that is definitely different from the high obtained from smoking the drug.
“It’s a lot easier for an individual to control their dose when smoking. The effects of edibles can take a while to happen. You eat them, and then wait to see how you feel in an hour or two. If you ingested too much, you could be in for an unexpectedly bad experience,” said Wilcox.
In fact, marijuana-containing snacks take a longer time to show the effect on the consumer, hence these discrepancies are important to know, said Marcu.
Evidence shows that marijuana use can affect one’s body and mind, causing serious implications. Marijuana use can have a long-term impact on the learning ability of young adults. It increases the risk of triggering a psychotic problem or a mental illness like schizophrenia. Its use can have a number of harmful consequences on health and is linked to higher odds of getting numerous diseases and health abnormalities. Some of its ill effects include:
The harmful effects of marijuana have been observed to last for hours, days, weeks, months and even years. Over time, it can lead to changes in the brain and body that contribute to develop an addiction to marijuana.
A habitual marijuana use may produce noticeable behavioral or personality changes, including irritability, restlessness and anxiety. Drug dependence can have far-reaching impacts, affecting the most important organs of the body. It may interfere with an individual’s ability to make decisions and can lead to frequent cravings. This is when a person needs professional help to get rid of the devastating habit.
If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental illness or substance abuse, please seek medical treatment immediately. An early diagnosis can help better and long-term recovery. The 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you find the best treatment options in your vicinity. Chat online or call at 855-441-4405 for further information.