This might seem like a non-issue for social work professionals, after all, substance impairment during social work practice is against our ethical standards. I address this issue because of the ease in which technology allows social workers to practice even when not at a physical place of work and the new addition of a mood altering drug which may fly under the radar of professionals unfamiliar with its effects. The legal opening in some states and healing effects touted by people using THC make an attractive package for those never privy to this illegal substance. Some people who never used illegal substances may be curious. Others live memories of substance use in bygone days of yesteryear. These are not the substances being sold today.
Availability of THC opens the door for medical, psychological, and recreational use by social workers. Legalization paves the way for smoking, tinctures, edibles, and concentrates to an entire new market. While alcohol stays in the blood for 12 hours, THC can be in the blood for up to 336 hours.The high from smoking marijuana only lasts a couple of hours depending upon the amount used. Ingestible THC stays in the system for a longer period of time with a more intense effect. A high from ingesting THC can last hours with the peak up to four hours after consumption. Documentation of effects, depending on the chemical composition, can last up to 24 hours.