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Learn about cannabis

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is the term commonly used for the plant or flower of the Cannabaceae family. It’s been consumed by humans for longer than we’ve written stuff down.

Sativa and Indica

There are two main types of cannabis for human use: Sativa and Indica. Each has a different shape, size, leaf and effect. Crossed with each other, they make hybrids. Indica is generally considered to provide a calming and relaxing effect. Sativa can have more energizing, uplifting and cerebral effects.

Hybrids

And those hybrids? Somewhere between the two, with a dominant effect from one of the two parent plants.

THC and CBD

The active compounds in cannabis are cannabinoids. Cannabis has more than 100 of them, of which THC and CBD are the most common.

Odour

Ever noticed the distinct smell of cannabis? You can thank terpenes for that. They’re volatile aromatic compounds in the essential oil of plants, including cannabis.

Trichomes

Terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD are both contained in trichomes, tiny and sticky hairs on the cannabis flower.

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Educating about edibles

It looks innocuous enough. Chewy. Chocolatey. Delicious.

Aside from carbs and calories, what could possibly be wrong with a brownie?

Plenty, if it’s an edible. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports that emergency room visits for THC poisoning over the past three years have almost tripled, from 887 cases in 2013-2014 to 2,266 cases in 2017-2018.

And the problem isn’t limited to adults and children. Between 2010 and 2015, cannabis toxicity in dogs saw a four-fold increase in Colorado; over the past six years, the US-based Pet Poison Helpline reported a 448 per cent jump in reported cases.

Whether medical patients are new to homemade edibles or seasoned consumers, HEXO product specialist Guy DeGrace says the same rule applies: start low and go slow.

“The biggest mistake people make is eating too much straight away. The cannabinoid distribution throughout a batch of edibles will be uneven, so you don’t know how much THC you are consuming. The classic situation is when you try some and top up too soon.”

Of note:

Keep all edibles and cannabis products out of reach of children and pets.

Most edibles require refrigeration. Consider storing them in the fridge, locked in a small cash box.

Possible side effects of THC toxicity include increased heart rate, anxiety and vomiting. Some cases may require hospitalization.