Washington: A research studying the effects of eating marijuana in mice found that they became less active, and their body temperatures dropped when they consumed edible THC, the primary psychoactive component in marijuana.
The research published in the journal ‘Drug and Alcohol Dependence’ reported on voluntary oral THC consumption in animals, a method of consumption that is similar to the way humans take the drug.
The study opens the door to additional studies that will help shed light on behavioural and physiological effects that occur in people when they eat food infused with marijuana.
The researchers also noted that the effects of edible THC varied based on the subject’s sex, said Michael Smoker, first author of the paper.
The study showed that mice will self-administer — or voluntarily choose to consume — behavioural-effective doses of edible THC, and do so repeatedly, Smoker said. The mice were given gradually increasing doses in dough made from flour, sugar, salt, glycerol, and THC.
Understanding the health effects of eating marijuana edibles is important, given the growing popularity of that method of consumption in states where marijuana has been legalised, Smoker said.
“People can buy cookies, candies and all sorts of things with THC in them. Back in the day, you had to make your own brownies or something like that, and now they are becoming more widely available and increasing in popularity,” he said.
Marijuana edibles can elicit extreme, adverse reactions, Smoker said. Many of the commercially made marijuana-based products have a relatively higher concentration of THC than does marijuana plant material. In some cases, people are unsure how much of marijuana edible they should eat and end up eating more than they should.