While that headline didn’t come from the USA’s Surgeon General, we are pretty sure it will still offend a minority as once again the mice got all the fun and Vegans United™ Will probably not approve of such. With, most likely, the psycolibin-loving subset of vegans claiming they should be the next test group.
So researchers at IUPUI and Indiana University in Bloomington decided that they should spend academic grants on procuring mice with THC containing edibles, in order to study the effects of marijuana based edibles.
As is known from previous studies rodents will, when desired, self-administer which makes them ideal to be observed in their behavior and, even, potential addiction displaying behavior.
Unsurprisingly the mice did seem to prefer a life being high over one without consuming edibles, according to the study. Yet, the researchers noted that the mice would only consume sufficient THC-infused dough to feel the change in behavior. They wouldn’t consume until they reached a lovely stage of couch-lock1. The mice seemed to limit their consumption just enough to experience an improved life.
And then kept returning to get more.
But all without going overboard.
Obviously, this signals the early stages of potential addictive behavior. Additionally, the researchers observed that while intoxicated the mice would become less active and their body temperatures dropped.
Contrarily to human behavior we have been able to observe at times, the mice didn’t seem to get hyper as some have known to react to consuming edibles, neither did they push it to the limit. They just kept returning to stay intoxicated.
“In contrast to other cannabinoid self-administration models, edible THC is relatively low in stress and uses a route of administration analogous to one used by humans. Potential applications include chronic THC self-administration, determining THC reward/reinforcement, and investigating consequences of oral THC use.”
All this could hint at the risk of humans becoming dependent on THC infused edibles. Yet, as so often, the researchers did emphasize that more research is needed before being able to draw any conclusions from this mice model study. Research, which of course continuous to be the Achilles heel of (Medical) Marijuana.
The lead author of the paper, Michael Smoker, highlighted that it is important we understand the use, impact, and even possible withdrawal symptoms of THC-infused edibles. Smoker also mentioned a focus on people’s ability to think and long-term edibles consumption impact.
This is important especially now edibles stand to go mainstream — even more so if they are legalized in more in States and potentially also in Canada soon.
” 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
— Michael Smoker, Lead Author of “ Self-administration of edible Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and associated behavioral effects in mice”
Smoker did highlight that modern, commercially available edibles can contain much higher concentrations of THC than their smoked alternatives, and many consumers aren’t yet aware of how to properly (micro)dose their consumption.
While not necessarily a rebuke in style of the Surgeon General, it is timely reminder to consider the products we use and respect the substance. Many people have at times adversely reacted to edibles. More often than not this may have been due to not respecting the dosing recommendations, if any was available already.
All in all, this reminds of the pretty much eternal debate around edibles I experienced when being in Amsterdam, around the turn of the Millenium, and the debate was ongoing about whether edibles should be banned from being sold in coffeeshops or not.