Edible cannabis products or shorter-term edibles are cannabinoids products eaten or drunk. Cannabinoids are chemicals in cannabis plants with mind-altering properties and affect your body when consumed. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol oil is a cannabinoid that creates that distinct euphoric and intoxicated high.
On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating and is known to have some therapeutic benefits.
Various edible cannabis products are being sold. Although some of these edibles look like regular food, they are not food and are not designed to give nutritional value.
Edible cannabis products provide an excellent alternative to consuming cannabis besides smoking and vaping.
The use of cannabis is now garnering wide acceptance.
Where to Buy Edibles in Canada and the U.S.? Canada permits cannabis for medical and recreational use, while the U.S. cannabis laws differ state by state. You can purchase cannabis products, including edibles, in-store in places where it is allowed.
Enter the world of edibles. Read this guide to cannabis edibles to know more.
Does a Cannabis Edible Taste Like Cannabis?
The answer to this question is a somewhat confusing yes and no. But whether or not an edible has that distinctive cannabis flavor will be dependent on variables, including its potency and flavor profile.
Some edibles mask the cannabis taste more than others. Seek the help of an experienced budtender or read High Chew Edibles – Buying guide to help you choose an edible containing the optimal amount of weed you are looking for.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
Edibles’ average duration of impact is considerably longer than smoking cannabis. First off, edibles typically take anywhere between 45 minutes and up to a couple of hours to take effect. Liquid edibles, on the other hand, take less time to work.
Food edibles’ effects could last up to eight hours, whereas liquid products typically max out five hours. If you are consuming edibles for the first time, you should wait at least an hour or two before consuming more. The reason is to avoid being overwhelmed by that extreme and high sensation.
How Edibles Work in Your Body?
Edibles are absorbed into your system via the stomach and traverse the intestine. Finally, this essence reaches the liver, which undergoes a metabolic process. The THC breaks down and enters the bloodstream. After that, the cannabinoids travel to your brain. Hence, edibles work noticeably slower compared to marijuana joints.
THC vs. CBD
Both THC and CBD are compounds contained in cannabis plants. The psychoactive compound THC is responsible for that high consumers yearn for. On the other hand, CBD may be extracted from the cannabis plant or hemp and carries robust anti-inflammatory properties.
Many edibles contain both CBD and THC. As of this writing, 33 states, including Washington, D.C., have passed cannabis-related laws to make medical marijuana with high levels of THC legal. Many states have now given the green light to cannabis and THC for recreational use.
Cannabis Edibles’ Potency
Potency refers to the strength of a cannabis edible. The potency can be measured as milligrams of THC or CBD. The most potent cannabis edibles have more than 1000 mg of THC. Those with the lowest strength will only contain as little as one milligram.
What Are the Best Cannabis Flower Edibles for Beginners?
If you are a novice consumer, starting with low potency products is recommended. If you start consuming cannabis edibles, start with the lowest potency and work your way up. It is always possible to consume more, but it is impossible to flush away what’s already in your system once you go over the limit.
Consuming Edibles: Start Low and Go Slow
The maxim “start slow and go slow” should guide edibles newbies.
To give a specific measure, start with cannabis edibles with no more than 10 mg of THC. Most experts advise a dose of 2.5 to 5 mg the first time.
Nearly every bad unforgettable cannabis edibles experience follows this pattern. A novice consumer starts slowly with a tiny nibble here and there. After half an hour, they don’t feel much of anything. So, they eat some more of these tasty treats. But remember, it takes up to a couple of hours for the high from edibles to kick in. They soon get a shocking surprise that they have consumed way too much!
This scenario is the biggest issue with cannabis edibles. Many consumers have overmedicated in this way which makes for a terrifying experience.
To avoid this experience, experts recommend waiting at least a couple of hours before consuming more cannabis edibles. But to be entirely safe, wait longer; in fact, wait a day. The next time, start with a slightly higher dose and increase the amount by 5 mg or so until you find the optimal level that gives you the desired effect.
It pays to be patient. It might take two or even three tries to get the right feeling. But erring on the side of caution is better than consuming five times what you need in one sitting and then spiraling into a panic attack.
Another mistake of rookies is making cannabis edibles at home.
It may seem like a good idea because it gives consumers complete control of what they are eating. But remember, it is tricky to infuse edibles with a specific amount of THC precisely.
According to experts, if people are baking cannabis edibles goodies at home, in most cases, they wouldn’t have an idea what is exactly in each piece. Bear in mind that it is already hard enough for the pros to figure everything out.
Because of this, many experts recommend that beginners purchase their first edibles prepared by pro-level artisans.
Are Edibles Dangerous?
The answer to this question is a somewhat confusing yes and no. Although there are no deaths directly associated with consuming a cannabis edible, accidentally consuming too much of this treatment can cause adverse side effects from dizziness and anxiety to vomiting.
Some people might also have an allergic reaction to cannabis. If you have trouble breathing after taking cannabis, immediately get help from an emergency medical professional.
If you have a mental health condition, cannabis can trigger a psychotic episode. Cannabis use can also cause feelings of anxiety and panic. Please consult your doctor before trying cannabis.
What Can I Expect to Feel?
The effects will vary depending on the person who consumed the edible and the weed edibles being consumed.
Most users report that eating an edible propels them to a bodily high. But keep in mind: edibles often produce intense highs that can be unpredictable.
Also, factor in how long a high will last. There is a vast difference in the duration of intoxicating effects when you smoke cannabis than when it is eaten.
Smoking weed impacts consumers for up to three hours. On the other hand, edibles bind to fat in your system and do not wear off completely for eight hours or even ten hours.
Because of this, eating is the preferred method for most consumers who use this substance as a sleep aid. The mind-altering effects of cannabis get them the desired eight hours of sleep. Hence, people should make sure their schedule is clear and find a comfortable place before consuming cannabis-infused foods and drinks.
When treating yourself to cannabis, make sure you don’t have to go anywhere. Some people might find it hard to go out in public. More so, don’t drive.
How Much Should I Eat?
The optimal dosage will depend on the following factors: your tolerance, metabolism and weight.
You may need to apply trial and error to find the best dosage for you. A standard dose is typically 10 mg. But it is recommended to start smaller than this at 1 mg to 2.5 mg and then hike it to another 1 mg to 2.5 mg the next time you eat edibles until you hit your sweet spot.
Err on the side of caution. Remember, once you consume an edible, there is no going back. It will take hours for the effects to wear off.
Do Edibles Expire?
Yes. Like all other food products, cannabis edibles do expire at some point. Your pre-packaged cannabis edibles will have an expiration date printed on the label.
Homemade edibles, on the other hand, usually last about a week. The good news is you can extend their shelf life by wrapping them in plastic or foil and storing them in the freezer.
As with other types of food, you can smell your edibles before ingesting them. If it smells funny and seems like something you don’t want to eat, it’s probably best to leave it and not consume it.
6 Things You Need to Know About Edibles
Read the Label Carefully
Edibles have a wide-ranging appearance and ingredients. This includes their amount of THC and CBD content.
Always read the label before ingesting edible cannabis.
If you have never tried edibles before or are entirely new to cannabis, it is best to stay within the limit of 2.5 mg of THC.
Before taking another bite, wait until you feel the effects. It is best to research how THC and CBD interact with your brain and body.
Inhalation and Ingestion of This Substance Cause Different Effects
Remember that edible cannabis products have an expiration date, and other ingredients mixed in could cause allergic reactions.
Examine the THC and CBD concentrations label and follow the instructions for use.
Duration of Effects
It takes more time for your system to absorb the THC content from edibles. Because of this, THC present in your body lasts longer compared to smoking or vaping cannabis.
If you are starting out experimenting with cannabis, it is best to be under the guidance of friends or family members who have experienced using this substance.
If you plan to use edibles in someone’s home, arrange for travel arrangements ahead of time or make plans to stay over.
Never drive or operate heavy equipment after using cannabis. You will be under cannabis’s long-lasting effects, so clear your schedule before ingesting these edibles.
Metabolic Processes Impact the Intensity
The intoxicating high only kicks in after 30 minutes to two hours with THC edibles. After that, the feeling peaks at about four hours.
This high can last up to 12 hours after use, and the residual effects can last up to a day. Hence, you could be feeling the dregs of your high the next day.
However, this timing will differ from smoking or vaping cannabis. The effects start within a few seconds or minutes and then peak at about 30 minutes.
Once you ingest edibles, the THC works to your gut and then your liver before entering your bloodstream and passing the brain barrier.
But this process could vary from person to person, making it impossible to predict when you will feel the full impact of edible cannabis.
It could take up to four hours to feel the full spectrum of euphoria.
As a caveat, going over the limit with your marijuana flower cannabis within this period can cause over-intoxication, which can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, nausea, vomiting, and symptoms of psychosis or paranoia.
Store Your Cannabis Products Properly
Cannabis-infused Chocolate and brownies do not appear different from typical cannabis-free chocolates and brownies.
Hence, they look appealing to both adults and children. But unintentional ingestion of edibles by children and pets is common and leads to severe health problems.
Therefore, if you have edibles at home, including the ones you made yourself, be sure everything is properly labeled and stored in a child-resistant container and resealed after use. It must be kept out of sight and beyond the reach of children and pets. It is also recommended to invest in a lockbox or DIY your own.
Never Mix Cannabis with Alcohol or Other Substances
Alcohol revs up cannabis’s intoxicating and impairing effects.
Ingesting cannabis and alcohol simultaneously can considerably raise your risk of over-intoxication and mobility issues.
As discussed, cannabis intoxication has the undesirable effects of anxiety, panic, nausea, vomiting, and paranoia. To eliminate these risks, choose either cannabis or alcohol and not both.
In addition, avoid taking cannabis with nicotine or other intoxicating substances, including stimulants or uppers and depressants or downers.
An uncontrolled mix can cause health complications. If you take or plan to take prescription meds, consult with a healthcare professional about whether cannabis will have adverse interaction.
Regular Use of Cannabis Can Impact Your Mental Health
Daily or near-daily use of cannabis could increase your risk of dependence and exacerbate disorders already related to anxiety or depression.
Using cannabis products containing high THC levels can make you vulnerable to developing psychosis, especially if you already have a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia.
Do in-depth research and understand the risks of using cannabis to help you make a more informed decision.
To mitigate your risk of developing mental health issues, choose products with no more than 100 mg or 10% of THC for those who inhale and 10 mg THC for those who ingest.
Limiting your cannabis use can also control the risks.
Can I Make My Edibles? The Importance of Decarboxylation
Are you an advanced consumer of cannabis?
Then yes, you can make homemade cannabis edibles. Cannabis can be infused into your day-to-day dishes. One great example is heady cannabutter.
If you plan to make edibles at home, it is critical to understand the process of decarboxylation.
Every raw or dried cannabis must undergo a decarboxylation process to activate the CBD and THC.
Raw and dried cannabis flowers contain these robust compounds. Cannabinoids, in particular, are known for their powerful health benefits.
But the cannabinoids are not intoxicating in their natural state.
The decarboxylation process converts THCA to THC and CBDA and finally, CBD.
THCA → THC and CBDA → CBD
Heating these materials is the most common way to decarboxylate the cannabis flower to enjoy its full effects.
Mastering cannabis decarboxylation is critical for anyone who wants to infuse their homemade recipes with cannabis.
When shopping for edibles for cannabis consumption, you might notice that each dispensary grade product has a clear label of how much THC and CBD amount it has. It serves as a guide to cannabis edibles and is one of the many advantages of purchasing lab-tested treats.
Similar to alcohol, everyone’s tolerance level for THC and CBD differs. It is similar to the ABV (alcohol by volume) label on booze bottles. To give you an idea, a glass of wine with 12% ABV will have a different hit than a glass of gin with 40% ABV.
Some people have a glass of wine, which is enough for the night. But some people can drink the contents of an entire bottle and even crack open a second.
Experts agree that first-time cannabis consumers must follow the golden rule. Start low and go slow. This translates to eating cannabis with 5 mg or less of intoxicating THC.
It is best to start with tiny amounts and work in increments upward.
Try edibles in 5 mg doses. In this way, you can gauge the effects. If the experience is too intense, go lower. Even if it is too strong for you, the effects won’t last as long as eating an entire brownie with a staggering 100 mg of THC.
Experts recommend searching for products with a 1:1 ratio, equivalent parts THC and CBD.
CBD helps reign in the raciness of THC.
Bear in mind you can always eat more to propel you to higher highs. But there is no undo button if you have too much. When in doubt, consume half of a single serving.
Be patient and hold on tight. Then, go from there.