The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Edibles
If you’re new to cannabis, you probably won’t be trying edibles yet for some time. However, they do provide a unique yet enjoyable experience completely different from inhaled cannabis. Edibles are notorious for their potency, so much so that it’s been associated with that “couch lock” effect that it can give you if you aren’t careful with your dosage.
For that reason, edibles can often surprise newbie cannabis consumers. You can easily go from no high to outer space within just a few minutes. Seasoned edible consumers, on the other hand, will tell you that it’s one of the best ways to experience cannabis. These days, though, edibles have clearly come a long way from back in the day when people used to mix cannabis in butter to make space cakes or brownies. So it’s not surprising that navigating the world of edibles in your neighborhood dispensary can be intimidating at times.
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about cannabis edibles.
How Edibles Work
Edibles, both in food and drink form, are metabolized in the body differently from how it would be if you inhaled cannabis. Edibles have to pass through your intestine before it makes its way to the liver, where the THC is finally broken down and transported to the bloodstream. This process alone means that edibles typically take 20 minutes up to two hours for it to take full effect. It’s pretty much the same way that your body would metabolize alcohol or other drugs, and just like with edibles, it can be unpredictable to tell exactly when you’re going to get that hit. Inhaled cannabis, on the other hand, tends to peak within just 30 minutes after you’ve consumed it.
There are many factors that also have to be taken into consideration. For example, a person who weighs 120 pounds and who hasn’t eaten anything for the entire day will definitely get hit more intensely than a person who weighs more and who had a big meal prior to consuming edibles. Metabolism and past experience with pot plays a role, but even the most experienced cannabis consumers can still get shocked at how hard they get hit with edibles.
For some people, 5mg of THC works just fine, while other people will need as much as 300mg or even more. There are also other things to consider, such as the type of edible you’re eating. You’ll absorb more THC quicker through the receptors in your mouth when you suck on an infused candy, while it’ll take longer for your body to digest the ingredients in a brownie or other type of baked good.
Edibles Are Stronger, But Last Longer
Smoked or inhaled weed can usually last for an hour, or as long as three hours if you ingest a lot. On the other hand, edibles bind to the fat in your body and typically don’t wear off for 6 or up to 10 hours, even if you only eat a miniscule amount.
For this reason, many people prefer edibles to help them sleep longer and better because its psychoactive effects will certainly help you get some much-needed sleep. But this also means that you should properly schedule when you’re going to chow down on a THC-infused candy bar, and make sure that you’re in a place that’s comfortable. It’s also critical that you avoid operating machinery until your hit has completely worn off.
If you’re eating a high-dose edible, it’s also common to feel lethargic the next day. This is the closest you’ll get to a “cannabis hangover”, because some of the remnants of the edibles may still be actively being metabolized or transported through your system. But don’t worry since these effects are mild. It’s nothing that a few glasses of water and a cup of coffee can’t fix.
Benefits Of Edibles
Many people find that smoking anything, including cannabis, just isn’t natural. This is why they’re more comfortable taking edibles, either for recreational or medical purposes. It’s also a great way to medicate if you’re worried about the potential effects of smoking in the long run on your respiratory health.
Edibles also offer more precise dosage. Pretty much all edibles you see in dispensaries these days let you know how much THC you’re getting in every dosage, so that you have a more accurate gauge of just how high you’re going to get with a certain amount. Edibles are also straightforward and simple to consume: you don’t need any kind of special equipment to eat or drink them.
The best way to work with edibles is to build up your tolerance. Timing will always be key, and remember that with edibles, it’s going to take much longer than any other kind of common medication or drug.
What Happens When You Consume Too Much
You can’t overdose on cannabis in any shape or form. But it is completely possible to consume way too much, and this will result in an uncomfortable experience. Overdosing on edibles isn’t harmful, but this can lead to several hours of anxiety, paranoia, drowsiness, distorted sense of time, a dry mouth, red eyes the munchies, and slow movement.
Should this happen, the best thing you can do is to wait for it to naturally dissipate. Here are other things you can do to help mitigate an intense high:
- Take some CBD; it’s been known to help alleviate the effects of THC.
- Go outside for a leisurely walk and get some fresh air, this can help reduce anxiety.
- Sleep it off.
- Distract yourself by watching something on Netflix, listening to music, or playing a video game.
- Take a shower. Many consumers swear by the therapeutic effects of taking a shower, especially when you’re too high. You might be surprised at how effective this simple act is in helping you come down.
Most importantly, never ever panic. Sure, you will feel uneasy for a while, but cannabis can’t harm you.
This situation can be prevented by always starting with a small dose of edibles. This is especially important to remember if you are new to edibles. It’s generally recommended to begin experimenting with 2.5mg of THC and work your way up eventually, but also avoiding taking a second dose too soon. When you’re able to do this, you’ll unlikely run into any problems with edibles, ever.
Choosing Cannabis Edibles
Walk into a dispensary and you’ll be greeted with easily dozens of different kinds of cannabis edibles. How exactly do you choose one for your needs? Here are a few things to consider:
- Opt for products that include detailed labeling on its packaging. This is the only way to find out exactly how much THC, CBD, and other ingredients are in the edible. Labels are also where you’ll find dosing information, so you’ll understand how much to eat in order to get 5mg, 10mg, or 25mg of THC for the desired effect.
- Study the ingredients being used. This is critical if you’re taking edibles for medication, because you might be sensitive to some ingredients being used. You might want to go for healthier edibles instead of candies, gummies, and chocolates which are full of sugar.
- Look out for lab-tested edibles. Again, this is important if you already have an existing health problem. Not all edibles are the same, but buying lab-tested edibles ensures that you aren’t eating or drinking pesticides, fungicides, and other nasty chemicals.
- Go for edibles that cater to certain needs. If you need edibles for long-lasting pain relief, you might want to opt for those that have higher doses of THC or CBD. If you want to medicate during the day, you’re better off with edibles made from sativa strains.
- Got kids? Go for edibles made with child-resistant packaging. Many states have strict requirements around child-resistant packaging for cannabis products, but not all companies comply just yet. If you have kids at home, you’ll want to stay on the safe side and buy or keep your edibles that are in a disguised or sealed container to keep it out of children’s reach.
If you like the sound of edibles, and their benefits, but don’t want to get high – you can use CBD edibles instead. Most edibles are high in THC, but there’s a market for CBD-rich edibles as well that won’t get you high. You can consume lots more of CBD edibles without having to worry about “overdosing”, the same way that you would with THC edibles.
CBD edibles can be used by just about anyone, whether you have a condition or not. CBD edibles are effective for treating insomnia, anxiety, and depression; it can also help you unwind after a long, stressful day at work without getting you high. For medicinal purposes, patients use CBD edibles for chronic pain, PTSD, muscle and joint pain, and some neurological disorders. In the long run, regular intake of CBD, in edible form or otherwise, can also help reduce your risk for cancer