What are Edibles?
Edibles are cannabis-infused foods, drinks, baked or candied goods that are ingested. They are predominantly sweets or baked items such as:
- Chocolate bars;
- Cookies and;
Brownies are the most common form of edibles. However, any food product can be infused with marijuana through a number of ways, such as:
- Direct infusion – where the marijuana leaves or flowers are placed directly in food items.
- Marijuana-infused cooking oils
- Marijuana-infused butters
Canada legalises cannabis edibles
The sale of cannabis edibles will be permitted in Canada no later than 17 October, 2019, according to Health Canada. The amendments to the already existing cannabis laws have been published by Health Canada under Canada’s Proposed Edible Pot Regulations. Currently, the production of edibles is permitted within an individual’s private residence. However, the sale of these items to the public is strictly prohibited.
The market for cannabis edibles in Canada
Studies show that cannabis consumers in Canada are willing to consider recreational cannabis as a food item. ) In American states where cannabis for recreational use is legal, edibles account for 12 to 15 percent of the market share.
According to The Arcview, a marijuana market research company, the edibles industry is expected to be worth $4.1 billion in Canada and the United States of America (U.S.A) by 2022.
Why is Canada’s approach enlightening for us?
Canada’s approach to legalisation is particularly impressive. The Canadian government has managed to create a thriving marketplace where Canadians have legal access to marijuana and its preparations. On the flip side, the government has done nothing to quell the stigmas associated with routine marijuana use – which could be potentially dangerous.
Contrary to popular opinion, cannabis legalisation has not changed the framework of society. Studies show that the social and cultural pillars of the society have remained vastly unaffected by the presence of cannabis.
A recent study conducted by Dalhousie University established that the social stigma associated with cannabis use is still very much alive. The study suggested that many Canadians support legalisation but remain unenthusiastic about it.
However, by establishing a thriving market for cannabis while highlighting the potential dangers of substance abuse, Canada has been able to create a much needed balance on the matter of cannabis. That balance is the lesson all nations considering legalisation should focus on. Canada’s legalisation journey is still early though, but so far so good. The country took a bold step, and we can too.
Concerns with Canada’s approach to legalising edible cannabis
Although Canada’s approach to legalising edible cannabis is noteworthy, there are a few concerns:
- Cannabis ingestion amongst children
The most pressing concern with the wide availability of edible cannabis is mistaken consumption by children. The ingestion of cannabis-infused foods by children is expected to increase following its legalisation. This can be attributed to the fact that many edible products are fashioned as gummy bears or baked treats and these appeal to children.
- Overdosing by novice cannabis consumers
The effects of edible cannabis products are not manifested directly after ingestion. Edible cannabis products take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin to manifest their effects. The individual effects of cannabis edibles are influenced by factors such as:
- Gender; and
Novice cannabis consumers who are still experimenting with edibles are especially susceptible to overdosing. This is due to the fact that many are still trying to find the right dosages for the desired effects, and those effects take a longer time to materialise than other consumption methods.
- Dosage Regulations
To cannabis retailers, the regulations set by the federal government on the legal sale of cannabis edibles are somewhat unclear. Cannabis edible products are to follow the same labelling guidelines as food and pharmaceuticals. A limit of 10 milligrams of THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) is applicable per edible. However, there is very little clarity on how much THC is permissible per package.
Canada’s approach to cannabis legalisation is indeed noteworthy. By creating a balance, Canada has been able to rightfully present the potential dangers of substance abuse while keeping cannabis accessible to society. Like every other law though, there will be some negatives – cannabis legalisation is no different. But that balance that Canada has found so far is a lesson what focusing on for nations considering cannabis legalisation.