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Edible cannabinoids

What are edible cannabinoids?

Edible cannabinoids or ‘Edibles’ are food (or drink) products that typically contain chemicals found in the cannabis plant. Edibles come in lots of different forms including packaged sweets or other confectionery products. These may look very similar to genuine products, often appearing in similar packaging, using branded names, and therefore likely to appeal to children. These products are often marketed as being ‘medicated’. It can be very difficult to know exactly what edibles contain or how strong they are- two products that look identical may produce very different effects.   

Why do people use edibles?

People take edibles to experience feelings of euphoria, relaxation and for a sedative effect, often known as a ‘high’.  Some users have also reported heightened auditory and sensory perceptions.

Using edibles can cause some unpleasant side effects. These may include:


  • Poor coordination

  • Dry mouth

  • Fainting

  • Nausea

  • Panic attacks

  • Increased appetite

  • Hallucinations

  • Memory loss

  • Paranoia

  • Uncontrolled vomiting

  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

  • Induce a psychotic episode

  • Impact on mental health

  • Problematic use / Dependency

Tips for staying safe

Using drugs carries risks. The only way to eliminate the risks associated with edibles is to avoid using them. For those who decide to use edibles, the following information can help reduce the risk of harm.  

  • Start low and go slow. Edibles can take 2-3 hours before reaching their peak effect, compared to 15-30 minutes when smoking or vaping cannabis. The effect from edibles will also last much longer, ranging from 4-12 hours, compared to 2-4 hours if smoking/vaping. Use a small amount first and allow plenty of time for the substance to digest before taking more. ..
  • Avoid mixing edibles with other drugs, including alcohol.
  • The predictability of effects of edibles is often worse than from smoking or vaping cannabis. Therefore, avoid using them when you are alone. It is better if other people are around to help if things go wrong.
  • Think about the environment. Make sure you are somewhere safe and know how you are getting home.
  • If you start to feel unwell or are worried about the effects, seek medical advice.

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