If you’ve never tried edible cannabis products before, you may be surprised at the number of options there are. Whether you currently use other products, or you’ve never tried cannabis before, here’s what you need to know about cannabis edibles.
What Are Edibles?
Instead of being smoked or vaped, cannabis edibles are ingested. They’re foods and beverages that have been made with cannabis. These products include such things as:
- Candies and gummies
- Sauces and dressings
- Coffees and teas
- Energy drinks
- Infused water
Edible cannabis products are typically made using activated, or decarboxylated, cannabis. This means that the plant has been heated, a process that releases the carboxylic acids in the THC. Without decarboxylation, your edibles wouldn’t provide the desired effect.
Is Edible Cannabis More Potent?
Cannabis edibles are more potent than products that are smoked or vaped. This is due to how they’re metabolized in your body.
When you inhale cannabis, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and goes to the fatty tissues inside your body, including those found in your brain. Here, they connect with the CB2 receptors to provide the desired effects.
When you ingest cannabis, it first needs to be digested and processed through your liver. Enzymes in your liver break down the THC, turning it into an even stronger compound known as 11-hydroxy-THC.
After being processed, then the components enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain to provide the beneficial effects of the product.
How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Work?
An important thing to keep in mind is that edible cannabis products take longer than other products to take effect. When smoked or vaped cannabis can take effect in approximately 15 minutes, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours before an edible begins to work.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
Edibles may take longer to kick in, but the effects last longer than other forms of cannabis. Appropriately dosed edibles can last as long as six hours, as opposed to one to three hours with smoking. The effects typically peak at around four hours. If you consume a large amount of cannabis, you may still feel residual effects for up to 24 hours.
Is It Possible to Overdose?
Since it takes longer for edibles to take effect, you should wait between 90 minutes and two hours before consuming another dose. Eating too many edibles in a short period of time can lead to unwanted side effects. While these effects aren’t typically harmful, they can be uncomfortable and include:
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Delayed reaction time or slowed movements
- A feeling of extreme sleepiness
- Dry mouth
What if You Don’t Feel Anything?
While edibles are an effective way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis, they don’t work for everyone. If you don’t feel anything at first, wait two hours and try again. You may not feel the effects of edible cannabis because:
- The cannabis hasn’t been decarboxylated
- You have a high tolerance and require a larger dose
- Your body metabolizes THC too quickly
- Your stomach is empty before you consume your edible
- It just isn’t the right form of cannabis for you
What are the Benefits of Edibles?
Benefits of edibles include:
- They look just like any other food, making them discreet
- The effects last longer than other cannabis products
- You don’t have to inhale smoke or vapor
- Doses are more accurately measured
How Do You Ensure a Positive Experience?
To ensure that you have a positive experience with edible cannabis products, be sure to select a product made for your desired purpose. Different products are made with different strains. You can always talk with the budtender at your local dispensary to find the right edible for you.
Read the ingredients before you buy. Edibles, like any other food, may be made with common food allergens. If you have any allergies, you should know what’s in the food before you consume it.
Start small. Edibles are a great way to micro-dose. Start with a small serving and wait. If you don’t feel anything after two hours, try a larger dose. You can adjust the amount you consume until you find the right dose for you.
Have something in your stomach before you consume an edible. Taking a dose on an empty stomach could cause the cannabinoids to hit your system faster or cause undesirable side effects.
Edible cannabis products provide you with a whole different way to enjoy the many benefits that cannabis has to offer. Not only can you purchase cannabis products from your local dispensary, but you can also use your favorite strains to create your own unique recipes at home.