Updated on October 4, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Many patients with qualifying health conditions who would like to explore the alternative therapeutic use of medical cannabis are deterred by the methods of delivery available to them. Dispensaries provide tinctures for sublingual uptake, topical creams, ointments, and vaporized cannabinoid oils. Smokable marijuana (generally whole-plant cannabis) products are currently available in some states. But many patients in Missouri enjoy medical marijuana gummies.
Generally, the options for patients involve inhalation for relief of chronic pain and other debilitating health symptoms. However, individuals who are certified for medical marijuana may have other health conditions that make smoking or vaporizing cannabis difficult.
For individuals with conditions like asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, or COPD, inhalation of medical cannabis through combustion/vaporization devices could create additional inflammation in the respiratory system. Depending on the patient’s health conditions, the benefits of medical cannabis therapy through inhalation may not outweigh the detriments.
That is where edibles are a viable option for medical marijuana patients. Edible medical marijuana products can vary from oils used on salads, to baked goods. Confectioneries that are produced with THC are extremely popular because they are portable and easy to use. This can include chocolates, lozenges or candies, and chewable gummies.
Medical marijuana consumed in gummy confectioneries has a longer shelf life than other types of edible cannabis products. They are also “less messy” or prone to problems from heat exposure (melting). Cannabis gummies are produced in a variety of flavors and are formulated to be highly digestible without issues for individuals who may have gastrointestinal symptoms.
Missouri’s Concerns About Medical Marijuana Gummies and Minors
While the use of low-dose medical cannabis gummies is not a cause for concern, it is the appearance of the product that regulators feel poses a risk to the health and safety of children. Marijuana gummies are often produced in bright colors and in primary shapes or cartoon characters. Therein lies the problem.
Children who may encounter edible gummies may assume they are candy. They can, in some instances, resemble chewable multivitamins marketed for children (particularly the cartoon character shapes of cannabis gummies).The new law In Missouri requires cannabis gummies to be conventionally shaped. Either geometric circles, ovals, or triangles. The intention is to help children visually differentiate so that accidental use does not occur, in households with minors.