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UCI expert: Approach cannabis edibles with caution

Although safer for the lungs, consuming too much can be hazardous

March 20, 2024
university of california irvine professor and cannabis researcher daniele piomelli standing in front of his desk and a bookcase with legs crossed in khaki packs and brown sportscoat
UCI cannabis researcher Daniele Piomelli, PhD, says that edibles are
easy to overdo because their effects aren't felt immediately.

IN THE NEWS: Little research has been done on cannabis edibles compared to smoking. However, a new study has linked daily cannabis consumption with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, regardless of consumption method.

verywell health logo white verywell and turquoise health letters on dark backgroundIn fact, daily cannabis users are 25% more likely to suffer heart attack and 42% more likely to suffer stroke than those who don’t consume. UCI cannabis researcher Daniele Piomelli, PhD, spoke to Verywell Health about how edibles differ.

“Cannabis edibles do not irritate bronchi and lungs and do not cause chronic cough and phlegm production, two of the most common effects of smoking cannabis on a regular basis.”

Because their effects aren’t felt immediately, Piomelli says it’s easy to consume too much of an edible.

“Experienced adults should make sure they don’t exceed a dose they know they can handle.”

Pionelli is the director of the UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis, a distinguished professor of anatomy and neurobiology and the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences at the UCI School of Medicine.

He currently studies how endocannabinoid substances and other lipid-derived signaling molecules affect the function of the brain and other organs. Piomelli is the author of more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, three full-length books and he holds 34 patents. He is also the editor-in-chief of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the first peer-reviewed journal entirely dedicated to the study of cannabis, its derivatives and their endogenous counterparts in the human body.

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