Edibles are becoming increasingly popular among marijuana users, and are often seen as a safer alternative to smoking. However, there is some evidence that edibles can damage the liver, and this has led to some concern among users.
We took a closer look at the science behind edibles, and the potential risks they pose to the liver – read on to learn more, and keep your body safe and healthy in the long run.
What Are Edibles?
Edibles are cannabis-infused food products, such as cookies, brownies, gummies, and other snacks which, as the name suggests, are enjoyed through eating. Edibles are made by infusing cannabis into fat or oil, which is then added to the food product.
These products work by being digested, rather than inhaled, and as such, they take longer to take effect. This can lead to users taking more than they intended, as they don’t feel the effects immediately.
What Role Does The Liver Play In Digestion?
The liver plays a vital role in digestion, as it is responsible for breaking down and metabolizing the nutrients found in food. It also helps to filter out toxins from the body and produces bile, which helps to break down fats.
The liver also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and produces proteins that help with clotting and other functions. In addition, the liver is responsible for storing vitamins and minerals and producing enzymes that help with digestion.
This means that consuming edibles can put a strain on the liver, as it has to work harder to break down and metabolize the nutrients found in edibles.
Can Edibles Damage The Liver?
The short answer is yes – in some cases, high consumption of edibles can cause damage to the liver, and studies have shown that cannabis-infused edibles can cause liver toxicity in some individuals.
This is largely because edibles are metabolized differently than smoked cannabis, and can lead to higher levels of THC in the blood (see also “Can You Donate Blood If You Smoke Weed?“).
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis (see also “What Is THCA VS THC?“). It is responsible for the “high” that users experience when consuming marijuana, and forms the basis of edibles.
High levels of THC can cause liver damage, as it is metabolized by the liver. This can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver, which can be serious if left untreated.
Can Edibles Cause Digestive Issues?
In addition to issues with the liver, there is also evidence that edibles can also cause digestive issues (see also “How To Recover From Edibles“). This is because edibles are absorbed through the digestive system, and can cause upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Additionally, edibles can also interact with certain medications or supplements that you may be taking, which can further exacerbate these symptoms.
It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the effects of edibles on your digestive system.
Some of the main digestive issues that can arise with edibles include:
Some users report feeling nauseous after consuming edibles, which can be caused by the high concentration of THC in the product, and the manner in which the substance is digested and absorbed by the body.
As well as feeling sick, physical vomiting is another common side effect of edibles and can be caused by taking too much or consuming a product with a higher-than-expected potency.
Diarrhea is also a potential side effect of edibles and can be caused by the body’s reaction to the high concentration of THC in the product (see also “How To Boost Your High“).
It is important to note that edibles can also interact with certain medications or supplements, which can further exacerbate these symptoms.
Additionally, it is important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the effects of edibles on your digestive system.
Finally, it is important to be aware of your own limits when it comes to edibles, and not take more than you can handle. This will help you avoid any potential risks associated with overconsumption, including digestive issues and liver damage.
What Are The Dangers of Edibles?
While edibles may seem a more convenient option, some risks and dangers can come with their consumption, and these include:
1. Delayed Onset
One of the main risks of edibles comes from the delayed onset of effects. Unlike smoking, edibles can take up to two hours to take effect, and this can lead to users taking more than they intended if they are impatient to achieve the high, and this can lead to liver damage.
As mentioned above, edibles can take longer to take effect, and this can lead to users taking more than they intended. This can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of liver damage from high levels of THC in the blood.
3. Longer-Lasting Effects
Edibles can also have longer-lasting effects than smoked cannabis, and this can lead to users feeling the effects for longer than they intended. This can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of liver damage from prolonged exposure to high levels of THC.
4. Varied Strengths And Potencies
Edibles can also vary in strength and potency, and this can lead to users taking more than they intended. This can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of liver damage from high levels of THC in the blood.
5. Negative Side Effects Can Be Enhanced
Finally, edibles can also enhance the negative side effects of cannabis, such as anxiety and paranoia. This can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of liver damage from prolonged exposure to high levels of THC.
In conclusion, edibles can be dangerous if not consumed responsibly, and this includes the risk of liver damage.
To reduce this risk, it is important to start with a low dose, wait for the effects to kick in, be aware of your limits, be mindful of potency, and know your source.
As with everything in life, it is important to enjoy edibles in moderation and to be aware of any potential risks associated with overconsumption.
Additionally, it is important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the effects of edibles on your liver and to avoid this option if you have any history of liver disease or related illness.
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