Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What parents should know about marijuana products

Since releasing the underage marijuana prevention booklet for parents, a few youth substance abuse prevention advocates contacted me asking for information to share with parents about marijuana products other than the kind that is smoked.  They are concerned with what they witness in their communities – teenagers eating high-THC marijuana  food products and suffering mental health problems and ingesting highly concentrated hash oil and ending up in the hospital. 

With that in mind, here is what I know.  (Since I am learning something new about marijuana almost every day, please email me additional information if I am not up-to-date.)

Marijuana-infused cake pops
Each contains 111 mg THC
What are marijuana-infused foods?
Over the past year, I blogged about marijuana-infused foods several times.  Most recently on July 3 and September 10.

According to the newly-adopted I-502 rules, a serving size will contain up to10 milligrams of THC and a package can contain up to 10 servings.  This means that one package of a marijuana-infused food can contain up to 100 mg of THC.  If children, including teenagers, get their hands on these foods and do not read or abide by the serving size information, they may ingest a great deal of THC.  This is especially a concern because the effects of marijuana that is eaten may not be felt for 90 minutes or more.  If someone eats marijuana-infused foods and doesn’t feel high right away, they may eat more.

A recent article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association - Pediatrics describes an increase in marijuana food-related hospital emergency visits among young children in Colorado.  A Health Impact Assessment about marijuana ingestion among children was conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health and Children's Hospital Colorado.

What is hash oil?
Rolling Stone magazine recently published a short article about hash oil.  Here is an excerpt:

Unless you spend a lot of time in medical-state dispensaries, you probably haven't encountered the latest superstrong stoner craze: butane-extracted hash oil (BHO). How potent is it? A chunk of the stuff the size of a Tic Tac can be the equivalent of hoovering up an entire joint in one massive toke. Even for hardcore smokers, the experience – which fans call dabbing – can be like getting high for the very first time. Your head spins, your eyes get fluttery, a few beads of sweat surface on your forehead and, suddenly, you're cosmically baked.

Cannabis Cup
Second Place: "Best Concentrate"

Contains 58.5% THC
BHO . . . comes in a variety of consistencies: from hard, amber-like stuff ("shatter") to soft, golden goop ("budder" or "earwax").

The recent Cannabis Cup held in Seattle gave out awards for the best marijuana products, including “concentrates”.  Wax, oil, and shatter fall under the "concentrate" category.

A recent post to the Prevention Hub brings up concerns about youth using e-cigarettes as e-joints. 

Smoking marijuana in liquid and wax forms out of e-cigarettes is a new alarming trend gaining popularity amongst young people. Worryingly, marijuana smoked that way does not produce an odour or a flame, making it harder to detect. . . .While there is no data on how many teens are using e-cigarettes to smoke marijuana, a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012 (5% to 10%). . . . Experts say drugs and drug products made for people using marijuana legally are increasingly finding their way to those who are using them illegally.

In New York it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.  A news report describes how one person used an e-cigarette to consume marijuana undetected during a long train ride.

Hash oil & I-502
I-502 does not include hash oil and other concentrates as legal marijuana products that can be sold in stores.  Recognizing that concentrates have become increasingly popular among marijuana consumers, the Washington State Liquor Control Board recently submitted a request to the state legislature that they change I-502 to include "extract products" as products that are legal to sell in retail stores. 

Want more information about marijuana products?
Analytics 360 is a marijuana testing lab located in Fremont.  Their website includes a section about test results.  It lists and shows pictures of marijuana products including flowers, concentrates, edibles, liquids, and topicals.  Visit their website to get a better understanding of what marijuana products can be expected in I-502 licensed stores when they open next year.  

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