Food products containing cannabis extract (edibles) have emerged as a popular and lucrative facet of the legalized market for both recreational and medicinal cannabis. When you think of cannabis edibles, the staple image of a sketchy, foil-wrapped pot brownie may be the first thing that comes to mind. But the range of cannabis-infused edible products the nascent marijuana industry has to offer is truly impressive. The variety of products includes consumables like cookies, candy, chocolate bars, snacks, spreads, pill capsules, drinks, and, of course, brownies. Honestly, if you can infuse it with marijuana, there is probably an edible product sitting on some dispensary shelf for sale.
Cannabis infused edibles are processed very differently than cannabis flowers, so their effects can also be very different. Edibles are absorbed through the stomach and intestines, passed through the liver, absorbed into the bloodstream, and sent to the brain. Consumers of marijuana should expect to wait forty minutes to an hour to feel the effects of the edibles, but those effects can last anywhere from six to eight hours. That sustained effect can be extremely beneficial for someone struggling with chronic pain or insomnia.
Cannabis can infuse almost any edible substance. It is specifically oil-soluble, so it makes butters to use in recipes, oils to mix with ingredients, and tinctures to apply under the tongue. So, in all its forms, edibles can please casual users at one end of the spectrum to incapacitated medical patients in the hands of caregivers.
- Eating cannabis is not so harsh on the lungs. Smokers risk inhaling other toxins that can damage lungs.
- Edibles better serve those people who cannot smoke because of existing illness or just don’t like smoking as a habit.
- While the THC high hits the brain, the edible high is more sedative and relaxing, a “body” high that eases pain and suffering with a laid-back chill.
- Edibles take longer to produce a reaction, but it will last longer (3 to 7 hours). I will also feel more intense, thus, reducing the need to dose frequently.
- Marijuana medical professionals recommend edibles for patients suffering from insomnia, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or some problems with the liver or digestive tract.
- For those who want or need the benefit of marijuana throughout the day without messing with their workday or focus, edibles can be consumed as discretely as candy, protein bars, or hot or cold beverage.
Despite the potential promises of edibles for treatment of a variety of ailments, there are also dangers inherent in edible use that present challenges for users and policy makers.
- The tricky part about that is that sometimes a single edible can contain as much as 100 milligrams of THC. People are used to eating an entire cookie or candy bar at a time, but consuming an entire edible could result in a high that is far too potent for enjoyment.
- The package and labeling are not clear or accurate about contents or dosing.
- Because edibles are slower to take effect, it temps users to consumer more than recommended.
- Anxiety and paranoia: Although cannabis contains cannabidiol (CBD), one of the anxiety-relieving cannabinoids present in the marijuana plant, consuming more of an edible than you can handle may still trigger this side effect. If you experience this side effect, remember that it will pass and do your best to stay calm and think positively.
- Cotton mouth: Dry mouth is usually a symptom experienced after taking too much THC. A drink of water can quickly remedy this discomfort.
- Lethargy: Once the high has worn off, you may feel extremely tired after consuming too much of a cannabis edible. Do your best to get rest and drink water.
- if you have severe allergies, you may want to avoid edibles all together. The kitchens where these products are produced may be contaminated with allergens like gluten, nuts, lactose, and possibly even pet dander.
Because everyone reacts to edibles differently, it is important to take the appropriate precautions. First, start with a small amount. Give your body a reasonable amount of time to absorb the edible before eating more. This means waiting 40 minutes to an hour.