Ever since the Liberal government announced it will be legalizing marijuana for recreational use in 2018, there have been discussions about everything from where it will be sold to how parents should talk to their kids about it.
And now, a new survey has found that the smoke-filled parks and bars you might be envisioning won't come to pass at all — because Canadians are just as likely to eat weed as they are to smoke it.
Earlier on HuffPost:
As Ipsos discovered in a poll conducted for Global News, among those who don't currently use marijuana recreationally, six per cent say they're likely to try it once it becomes legal, while 12 per cent said they're likely to opt for edibles in the future.
Currently, about 38 per cent of respondents say they use weed for fun, and 26 per cent indicated they use edibles. Marijuana has been legal in Canada for medicinal use (with a few provisions) since 2001.
So why is it, exactly, that edibles are so much more appealing to those who don't currently use weed?
It could be the negatives of the very act of smoking, which has become less and less commonplace even for cigarettes, reports the Toronto Star, and also has been thoroughly linked to cancer. It's also plain easier than rolling a joint, and it could be, as Mic.com puts it, because eating weed is "just a better way to get high."
"In a nutshell, eaten cannabis gets metabolized by the liver, so delta-9 THC becomes 11-hydroxy-THC, which passes the blood-brain barrier more rapidly and has more of a psychedelic effect than standard THC," Understanding Marijuana author Mitch Earleywine told The Daily Beast. "Smoked or vaporized cannabis bypasses the liver and doesn't create the same 11-hydroxy-THC."
Basically, weed is stronger and lasts longer when eaten.
Basically, it's stronger and it lasts longer when eaten. But it's also for those exact reasons that people need to take care when consuming weed.
As Alternanet reports, one marijuana edible can be made from a multitude of sources, making it unclear just how potent the product is. Though the Canadian government will undoubtedly impose regulations on how much THC, for example, goes into each item, how it affects each individual can also differ greatly.
It is estimated that about 10 milligrams is a "dose," but the Cannabist also recommends starting slow by eating half if you've never tried an edible before, making sure not to have an empty stomach, and waiting 45 minutes before determining if the weed has affected you.
It's that last point that really has health professionals concerned, so we're going to emphasize it again — edibles take a longer time to have an impact, so don't go eating the rest of the weed chocolate bar after the first 10 minutes. The giggles and munchies and however else you're affected could be on their way.
There's also the appeal of the form in which edibles come, which can include anything from candies to lollipops. While it might be playing on the deep-seated notion of "treats" from childhood, several jurisdictions where weed is already legal have or are trying to ban items that might compel a kid to try them.
The Canadian government, for its part, has specifically said they'll be delaying the legalization of edibles past the planned July 1, 2018 deadline, and instead, will be focusing on making available products like fresh cannabis, cannabis oils and seeds and plants to allow people to grow their own weed at home.
Also on HuffPost: