From brownies to peanut brittle, marijuana has found its way into a multitude of food items over the last several years.
Now a Los Angeles startup is looking to carve out a niche of its own by selling frozen pot-laced pizzas to multiple L.A. dispensaries. Stoned Oven Gourmet Medibles says their product offers “smoke-free pain relief,” but buyers beware: these pizzas pack a serious wallop.
The Edible Trend
The Stoned Oven’s six-inch pizzas contain 250 mg of “ethanol-extracted THC concentrate from an indica-dominant hybrid strain.” Customers can get them topped with cheese, pepperoni, or vegetables and the marijuana is baked right in. They’re selling for $10 each and, despite the fact that L.A. city law prohibits people from eating on-site, a few dispensaries are willing to cook the pizzas for their customers.
Henry Mark, the owner of Stoned Oven, says he spent months coming up with his new pizza recipes. “You cannot taste one bit of marijuana in there,” he told LA Weekly.
And therein lies the problem. Most people don’t understand that ingesting pot changes the drug’s potency and duration. Unfortunately, that lack of knowledge has come at a serious price for many.
The Danger of Marijuana Edibles
The most concerning issue with marijuana edibles is their inconsistency. Edibles are notorious for giving users a different kind of high than they’re used to getting from smoking the drug. Instead of being absorbed through lung tissues, edible THC is absorbed through the lining of the stomach. The effects kick in slower, last longer, and can be much more intense. Additionally, most people unknowingly eat more than they mean to. When THC levels are extremely high, people can experience extreme paranoia and anxiety that borders on psychotic behavior.
Initial safety concerns erupted following a couple of tragic incidents in Denver. The first incident involved a 19-year-old college student who jumped to his death from a local hotel balcony after eating a marijuana cookie. Several weeks later, while experiencing extreme effects of marijuana that included hallucinations and paranoia, a Denver man shot and killed his wife after eating marijuana candy and prescription medication.
After public concern grew to new heights, Colorado lawmakers opted to completely rework the state’s regulations on marijuana infused foods. Final wording on the state’s new edible cannabis regulations has yet to be released, but the new rules are expected to have a huge impact on the industry. In California, the city of San Francisco has already enacted the most stringent guidelines in the state, requiring that makers become state-certified food handlers and follow sanitation guidelines. Only time will tell if Los Angeles follows suit.
Learn more about the warning signs of marijuana abuse and dependence.