When most people think of cannabis, they tend to envision the female plant’s flowers in their natural form. This is because smoking dried flowers are the most common form of consuming cannabis.
However, in recent years, manufacturers have developed a means of extracting the plant’s one-hundred-plus cannabinoids (aka “hash oil”), then making both cannabis butter and cannabis cooking oil which they infuse into various types of food products called “edibles”. In fact, some cannabis users find that consuming cannabis edibles to be more palatable and that the effects are both more intense and longer-lasting than when smoking or vaporizing cannabis.
What are cannabis edibles?
So, for those of you who are not familiar with cannabis edibles, they are defined as any edible or drinkable product that has been infused with cannabis.
Therefore, cannabis edibles can consist of products that have been infused with either cannabis oil extracts or tinctures as well as food products that have been infused with cannabis butter or cannabis cooking oil.
Consequently, cannabis edibles may contain the psychoactive cannabinoid THC as well as non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD or, they may only contain one or the other.
What the different types of cannabis edibles?
Furthermore, cannabis edibles come in many different forms ranging from cakes to gummies, to chocolates to hard candies. In addition, there are also cannabis-infused hot and cold drinks, which are also classified as “edibles”.
In fact, cannabis can be infused into nearly any food product. This has resulted in a variety of cannabis edible manufacturers and companies. A new trend is cannabis chefs who have created recipes for infusing cannabis into various dishes ranging from relatively simple dishes to complex gourmet cuisines.
How do cannabis edibles work?
It should be noted that cannabis edibles are absorbed by the human body in a different manner than when smoking or vaporizing cannabis. When smoking or vaporizing cannabis, the plant’s various cannabinoids are absorbed by the lungs and thus, the effects are felt almost immediately.
However, consuming a cannabis edible can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours for the various cannabinoids contained in the edible to be absorbed by the human body because the body needs to first digest the food product and the cannabinoids are then taken up by the liver instead of the lungs.
Consequently, the amount of time it takes for a user to feel the effect of consuming a cannabis edible varies from person to person because different people have different metabolic rates and different gut biomes. Therefore, everyone will experience edibles a little differently. Some people have certain bacteria that naturally occur in their digestive system that makes it so that edibles have no effect on them, while others will get very high off of the same dose.
Furthermore, it should be noted that metabolizing cannabis edibles often causes a user to feel the effects much more strongly than when smoking or vaporizing cannabis because cannabis edibles are typically made with highly concentrated cannabis extracts (aka “hash oil”), cannabis-infused butter or, cannabis-infused cooking oil. This is also due to the fact that your liver metabolizes the THC into another different, stronger form of THC, which can be up to 11 times stronger than the THC originally ingested.
Cannabis Edible Dosing & Usage
The number one rule when experimenting with cannabis edibles is START LOW, GO SLOW! If you have never had edibles before, we suggest starting out with a 2.5mg or 5mg dose. The State of Colorado defines 10mg of THC as a single edible dose but this can still be too much for some people. Once you have taken your starting dose, we suggest waiting 1-4 hours before taking another dose. Everybody’s body is different, so what feels great for your buddy, might result in a completely different experience for you.
The effects from edibles can last up to 10 hours, but for most people, they last around 4-5 hours. Cannabis-infused drinks tend to kick in faster than food does, only because they make it through your system faster. Consuming too many edibles can result in anxiety, paranoia, elevated heart rate, and hallucinations.
If you or a friend have consumed too many edibles, we suggest moving to a quiet, safe space, putting on some calming music or a funny movie, and waiting it out. It helps to stay hydrated, distract yourself, smell or chew on black pepper, and most importantly, don’t panic. The best way to avoid eating too many edibles is to know your personal limits.
THC is fat-soluble, therefore you always want to make sure that you have some fatty food in your stomach before consuming edibles. If you eat edibles on an empty stomach, you will most likely feel little to no effect, whereas if you just had a full, fatty meal, the edibles will be much more effective. We suggest avocado before you eat your edibles, as they are a healthy, fatty choice.
Cannabis consumers should be aware that unlike smoking or vaporizing cannabis which causes the user to feel the effects almost instantly, the concentration of cannabinoids in cannabis edibles differs from product to product and thus, it can sometimes be difficult for a user to gauge their level of medication when consuming cannabis edible. Cannabis edible dosing suggestions should be closely followed and always make sure to carefully read the label! If someone is offering you edibles, make sure to ask how strong they are.
So, although consuming cannabis edibles causes a significant delay in the user feeling their effects, ingesting a cannabis edible often causes the user to feel their effects much more strongly than either smoking or vaporizing cannabis does.
In addition, consuming a cannabis edible provides a user with a much more discreet means of medicating because there is no distinct smell or cloud of smoke. Thus, cannabis edibles provide a cannabis user with the ultimate means of stealthily consuming cannabis. Please remember that edibles are one of the most appealing cannabis products to children. Always keep your edibles locked away and out of reach!