If you’re like us, you are patiently waiting for the federal government to legalize edibles. Luckily, the wait will be over before we know it, as the government has stated that cannabis edibles will be available for purchase by October 17th, 2019. This is good news because edibles provide significant benefits for consumers, medical patients, and the cannabis industry as a whole.
Edibles are safer for your health
Consuming cannabis by ingesting it (edibles) is safer for your health than other methods of consumption like smoking. This is because when you ingest edibles you’re not irritating your respiratory system or risking other health concerns like you would by smoking or vaping.
Also, there are many people who might want to try cannabis but don’t want to inhale anything, in which case the idea of smoking is a major deterrent. This is especially true for older adults, medical patients, and people who are not familiar with cannabis in general. For example, parents or grandparents might be more likely to try cannabis in a gel capsule or tincture than they would be if they had to hit a joint.
Legal edibles mean variety
While dried flower will always will be a staple of the cannabis community, smoking (or vaping) do not offer the diverse selection of choices that edibles do.
Edibles can take pretty much any shape or form, such as brownies, cookies, milkshakes, soda beverages, gummy candies, sugar, salt, salad dressing – you name it. Especially once they’re legal, you can bet that we’ll be seeing all sorts of cannabis-infused food products and there’ll always be something new to try.
Legal edibles can provide accurate dosing
Difficulties dosing with edibles (or rather overdosing) is one argument that’s often used against the legalization of edibles. It is true that eating too many edibles can leave you feeling bad, but the issue of dosing is really just another argument for why they need to be legalized.
Edibles can provide much more accurate dosing than inhaling and this makes it an important type of consumption for all types of cannabis users. Problem is that right now, the potency or contents of illegal edibles can be all over the map. With unregulated or ‘DIY’ edibles, the contained dosage is pretty much anyone’s guess, which means that one infused gummy may not contain the same amount of THC as the next and accurate dosing becomes near impossible.
Even though there are ‘store-bought’ edibles out there that look professional and are labeled, you aren’t completely safe because there is no regulation to ensure that they actually contain what the manufacturer claims. Because ingesting cannabis delivers much stronger effects, it’s extremely important to understand dosing and go about it correctly.
To minimize side effects like overconsumption, we need edibles to be legalized and a regulatory framework established. This is the only way to solve the safety issues concerning infused edibles.
Government regulation will require products to be lab tested for safety and to ensure they contain a consistent amount of THC (dosage). Serving sizes will be controlled and products must be labeled with the correct information. The regulation will provide products that are safe and include information consumers need so they can achieve the desired effect without running the risk of overdosing.
Legalization will deliver a safer product
Apart from controlling the amount of THC contained in an edible, regulation through legalization will also require that all products are professionally lab tested and found safe to consume. It’s important because edibles are typically infused using some form of extract, be that budder, THC distillate, RSO, or some other type of concentrate. This can potentially be dangerous because a lot of these extracts are made from less than savoury cannabis.
Unfortunately, grey market extracts are sometimes made from low-quality flower, trim off the floor or even moldy cannabis, while others aren’t properly purged and could contain traces of chemical solvents. Although it’s not as critical with edibles as it is with smoking, dirty edibles aren’t something you want to be consuming and the only way to ensure safety is to legalize, regulate and lab test them.
Education is a part of regulation
Alongside regulating the actual edible products, consumers must have access to the information they require to help educate themselves about the differing effects, dosage intensities, and any health impacts applicable to certain products. In short, consumers need to be taught responsible consumption.
Safety packaging to protect minors
Infused edibles deliver a much more powerful high than dried flower and are also a delivery method that is easier to consume, especially for minors.
Leave a container of dried flower cannabis on the coffee table and a minor would have to grind it up and then smoke it to get high. This isn’t the case with edibles though, because all a minor would have to do is eat the edible like they would a regular cookie or what have you. Not only that, but a minor could easily consume an edible without even knowing it, thinking that what they were ingesting was a regular treat.
Again however, this doesn’t mean edibles should remain illegal. In fact, the opposite is true and legal edibles become a necessity.
Right now, even though edibles aren’t legally sold, they are not illegal to possess and have already become a big part of Canadian cannabis culture. This would be fine, except that infused edibles come in all sorts of packaging, most of it not child proof in any way shape or form. Legal edibles, on the other hand, will not only be regulated for strength and dosage, but the packaging that contains them will be regulated as well.
Correctly labeled childproof containers designed to ensure no minors accidentally ingest a cannabis edible sound like a pretty good reason for legalization.
Legal edibles will be great for the cannabis industry
Since the legalization of recreational dried flower cannabis, the consumer market has been growing slower than expected. It could really use some additional stimulus and cannabis edibles can provide just that.
Infused edibles are a very popular way to consume cannabis, as can be seen by looking at the more mature cannabis markets of some US states. For example, in Colorado, cannabis edibles is a $170 million industry with over 13% of the recreational cannabis market being represented by edibles, and that number is growing.
Between 2014 and 2017, the number of edibles consumed in Colorado grew an average of 15.4% faster than the cannabis market overall, a testament to the popularity of the products. In California, edibles represent 18% of the overall cannabis market and in Oregon, that number is estimated at 17%.
Additionally, an ArcView report suggests that the North American market for edibles could reach $4.1 billion annually by 2020. These numbers show just how widespread edibles are, and that when legalized, they could provide a needed boost to the Canadian cannabis economy.