Cannabis Edible Products

What are cannabis edibles?

Cannabis can be taken in different ways by smoking, eating or drinking in herbal tea. It can also come in oil format or as ‘butane hash oil’.

Cannabis ‘edibles’ are food products infused with cannabis. Edibles come in many forms—including baked goods, sweets, ’gummy bears’, ‘cannabis gummies’ chocolates and lozenges.

Food products containing cannabis extract have been available internationally in locations such as the Netherlands as cakes sold in coffee shops or in situations where a cannabis consumer independently prepares  cannabis for cooking.

More recently, food products containing cannabis extract have emerged as products sold as part of the legalised market in Northern America and are not legalised in an Irish context.

The digestion of cannabis may be chosen by those who don’t wish to consume tobacco. But with these products, it is harder to know how a person will react as they can take a long time to kick in increasing the risks.

The amount of THC in edibles can vary across a single product and across batches made at different times, making it difficult a person to estimate how much THC they consume and how they react.

Any products seized in Ireland have not been subjected to quantitative analysis, meaning we are are unsure of the amount of THC contained in products and if the packaging correctly shows the dose/strenght.


Are there risks?

Each person will react differently to a substance. People may have a different experience if they use cannabis edibles compared to smoking.

The effects a person experiences will depend on multiple factors, such as personal factors, their metabolism, their past experiences or tolerance to the substance, their mental health and the situation in which the cannabis is consumed.

  • A person will not feel the effects immediately. In some cases it could take over two hours before the peak effects are felt.
  • Effects can last longer, over a number of hours compared to inhalation
  • It is harder for a person to know an accurate dose or gauge how they will react compared to inhaling. People may easily consume too much THC without knowing until the effects are felt some time later. This can increase the risks.

You can never be fully sure how you will react and there are always risks.

Although taking too much may not be fatal, it can cause paranoia, anxiety, vomiting, nausea, delusions or hallucinations which can be frightening, mentally difficult or lead to accidental injury.

Risk reduction information can be found here