Can Marijuana Be Deliciously Deadly?
Will you be having a pinch of marijuana in your cake? Or a dab of it in a cookie? Or drizzle into your drink?
The choice is yours.
With the recent rise of drug users also known as ‘science students’ in cosmopolitan cities like Lagos, marijuana is now infused in all kinds of baked foods and drinks.
Even though marijuana’s medical use of easing pain, fighting insomnia and boosting appetites, has long been understood, recreational use is more popular.
Marijuana is illegal in Nigeria, but smoking marijuana has become part of the culture in places like Lagos and other parts of the country.
As you read this, there are people around Ojuelegba and Lagos Island in Lagos, Dakata in Kano state, Karu in Abuja and Upper Sakponba Edo state smoking marijuana in public.
While some people who want to ‘sample’ the effects of marijuana, while avoiding the unmissable, distinct, dank odour, become stoners by patronizing dealers who mix and prepare it with familiar foods and drinks - problem solved.
Thus, we have drinks like Skuchies, Gutter Water, Kush cakes, and other marijuana edibles, without the distinct taste or smell of marijuana.
The result has opened new business vistas where people get high while consuming regular foods and attracting no attention.
According toBounce News findings, one marijuana infused cake or brownie could cost between 300 and 600 Naira. It could also cost 3,500 Naira for a box of 6 cup cakes, and 7,000 Naira for a box of 12 cupcakes.
But the major problems of ingesting and inhaling marijuana, is how it is absorbed and metabolized.
Kari Franson, Clinical Pharmacologist at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, in the United Sates says it is easier to self-monitor when smoking a joint, since one feels the effects so quickly.
In the case of these marijuana edibles, one might easily overdose since it takes between 1 to 3 hours before the user begins to feel the effect.
According to Franson, variables like food, medication and body metabolism can also increase the amount of marijuana in the blood up to five-folds.
Another, tricky issue is knowing the amount of marijuana in the cake or other edibles.
The symptoms of an overdose from edible marijuana are similar to that from the inhaled version, but apparently have the potential to be more severe.
But whether it's smoked or eaten, marijuana still shows the same physical and psychological symptoms after prolonged use.
Toyin Abmbola, a Clinical Psychologist who spoke to Bounce News lists the effects of marijuana as psychotic episodes, vomiting, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, impaired motor ability, increased heart rate and breathing problems.
So before one considers ingesting marijuana via baked goods or any other means, one may want to consider the adverse effects it could have on the health.