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DEA warns of dangers of marijuana edibles

Fox San Antonio

Gummy bears, cookies and drinks have THC. But what many people don't know it can knock you out for days.

It used to be pot brownies were the only edibles around, but now brownies aren't the only thing that contains that secret ingredient that many now swear by: THC, which is extracted from pot.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, is warning those who are buying marijuana edibles about their strength.

THC derived from cannabis is now a big seller even in states where marijuana is still illegal. But as the DEA tells us, many who are buying it have no idea that edibles take longer to affect you and may be taking more than they should with some extreme effects.

"You have these items that you can actually eat, it could be bakery products, candy-looking products, that contains THC, which is the content in marijuana that gives you the high," said Dante Sorianello, DEA.

As we saw during our recent trip to Colorado, the legalization of recreational marijuana has produced a whole new line of consumable products. Legal recreational pot products have become as common as what most of us have at happy hour according to this cannabis dispensary owner in Colorado.

"Having a joint at night or having the cannabis edibles at night do not affect you anymore then having a glass of wine at night with your spouse," said Wanda James, owner of Simply Pure Marijuana Dispensary.

But according to the DEA, the problem is that edibles take a little longer to affect most people, so instead of taking one gummy, they may take more, causing them to ingest a lot more THC than they should. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that gives you that high. As we were told by law enforcement in Colorado, some people have passed out for more than 8 hours because they ate too much THC. Another issue, according to the DEA, is that some of these edibles look like candy and can be picked up by children or by an unsuspecting adult.

"There may be a warning label on the packaging when they sell it, but if you have those open on the table, how do you know? How do you know, if you go to a friends house and you go to a candy dish, and I'd like to say I hope your friends aren't doing this, but they have some sort of edible candy that contains THC, " said Sorianello.

For now though dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal are seeing huge profits from edibles, especially in one key demographic that may surprise you.

"So women are the fastest growing consumers of cannabis, especially on the edible side," said James.

"It's important to get that load of narcotics off the street, but if there are people out there suffering or risking potential death, we want to do that first," said Sorianello.

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