Alarming Trend among Youth: Edibles

Hello everyone! If you read our blog last week, we discussed the trend of young people not drinking as much alcohol as previous generations. This is a positive tick in hopefully keeping more young people away from dangers like alcohol, vaping, and other drugs. However, the fight to give young people quality non-judgmental information so that they can make a positive decision for their lives is far from over. Today, we’re exploring a concerning trend in the marijuana world: the rising popularity of edibles. Edibles, which are foods infused with marijuana, like gummies, brownies, and beverages, are becoming increasingly popular. However, this trend poses significant risks, especially for underage users.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics highlights the dangers associated with the underage consumption of marijuana edibles. The study found a notable increase in emergency room visits due to accidental ingestion by children and adolescents. Edibles often come in appealing forms and packaging, making them particularly tempting and misleading for young people.

Additionally, because they are eaten and the trash or wrapper is easily discarded, and because there is no smell, it can make it easier for young people to conceal their marijuana use. This is why it is crucial for parents, teachers, and all adults to have open and non-confrontational conversations with the young people in their lives to foster an environment where they feel safe to ask questions or tell adults what is going on in their lives.

One major issue with edibles is their delayed effect. Unlike smoking or vaping marijuana, which produces almost immediate results, edibles take longer to kick in. This delay can lead to overconsumption, as young users may not feel the effects right away and mistakenly consume more. The result? A much stronger, potentially dangerous high that can lead to panic attacks, hallucinations, and severe anxiety.

Moreover, the potency of edibles is often much higher than expected. Many edibles contain high levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, which can be overwhelming, especially for inexperienced users. The unpredictable nature of edibles makes them particularly risky for underage users whose brains are still developing.

We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping marijuana out of reach of children and teenagers. The adolescent brain is highly susceptible to the negative effects of marijuana, including impaired cognitive function, memory issues, and an increased risk of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

With the recent move to reclassify marijuana, hopefully we will get more studies on the effects of high-potency marijuana on the developing brain.

It’s crucial for parents, educators, and guardians to have open conversations with young people about the risks associated with marijuana, particularly edibles. By providing clear, factual information and creating a supportive environment, we can help our youth make informed decisions and avoid the pitfalls of underage marijuana use.

Let’s stay informed and proactive in safeguarding the health and well-being of our young people. Together, we can help them navigate these challenges and make smart, healthy choices.