The CDC Warns of Edible Marijuana Dangers After 19-Year-Old Student’s Death
A young Colorado man fell to his death from a fourth story balcony after eating an entire marijuana cookie — the equivalent of 6.5 servings. The CDC said the incident illustrates recreational marijuana’s dangers.
The police report stated that the sales clerk who sold the man the cookie advised him to eat only one-sixth of the cookie, The man did follow the clerk’s advice, at first, at least. The man ate the rest of the cookie after not feeling effects after 30 to 60 minutes, the police report said. Over the next two hours, the man became hostile and his speech became erratic. The man jumped from the balcony 2.5 hours after he consumed the whole cookie.
The autopsy found 7.2 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the man’s body. Colorado’s legal driving limit of THC is 5.0 ng/mL as a point of reference.
Edible Marijuana: Potent and Easy to Over-Consume
It takes one to two hours for edible marijuana to reach its full THC concentration, whereas smoking marijuana reaches maximum THC concentration after five to 10 minutes. Edible marijuana’s intoxicating effects last much longer than when the drug is smoked, too.
“Because of the delayed effects of THC-infused edibles, multiple servings might be consumed in close succession before experiencing the high from the initial serving, as reportedly occurred in this case,” the CDC said. “Consuming a large dose of THC can result in a higher THC concentration, greater intoxication, and an increased risk for adverse psychological effects.”
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician, offered a different point of view. Glatter told HealthDay that the amount of the drug ingested by the deceased was not a lethal amount:
“You could eat several of these cookies and be put into a euphoric state, and possibly have anxiey,but that, in and of itself, would not be lethal. He likely may have had a predisposition or some underlying mental illness we didn’t know about, that became unmasked when he ate the cookie. That’s probably the issue here.”
Recreational Marijuana in Colorado
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado for people 21 and older, but it is illegal in most other states. Drug use in the workplace can decrease productivity and efficiency, and increase tardiness and absence among employees who abuse substances.
Find your nearest location for assistance with drug and alcohol testing for your workplace