What to do if grandma accidentally eats an edible

Updated: September 10, 2019

illustration-of-a-brownie Photo by Siberica/Shutterstock

Wait, did Granny just eat one of Uncle Carl’s special brownies? Ruh-roh. “Edibles can be very potent,” says Ruth Ross, a cannabis researcher with the pharmacology and toxicology department at the University of Toronto. No biggie for you and Uncle Carl! “But for first-time users, or someone who used cannabis many years ago but hasn’t in a long time, the reaction is unpredictable,” says Ross. 

Good scenario? Granny craves bacon sandwiches and gets sleepy. Bad scenario? Extreme anxiety, paranoia, or hallucinations. Only time can reduce these effects. Reassure her, and don’t leave her alone. “You wouldn’t want a person to, for example, run away into the woods,” says Ross. And watch for physical symptoms. Cannabis could affect her balance, cause her blood pressure to drop and her heart rate to increase, plus interact with any medications she’s taking. If you’re in doubt, head to the ER. And if she seems fine? “With edibles, there’s a delay in reaction. It could take an hour to see an effect,” says Ross. “Someone thinks, Oh, I don’t feel anything, and they eat more.” Hide the brownies, and don’t let Gran go swimming or get in the boat.

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