Edibles are considered to be any food or beverage containing cannabinoids, mainly THC. They can also contain other cannabinoids, like CBD and CBN. Whether you’re a newbie to edibles or have had negative experiences with them before, we believe knowledge is power and we are here to educate you on the best practices for using them.
Benefits of edibles
In comparison to other cannabis consumption methods, there are several reasons one may choose to opt for edibles. Here are a few notable benefits of using edibles:
- Edibles are a smoke-free alternative to consuming cannabis.
- Edibles offer precise and consistent dosing.
- The longer duration of edibles can be beneficial for creating a healthy sleep regimen.
- Edibles are a convenient and discreet way to medicate.
- Edibles can be great for managing pain as they have a longer duration and often result in a more intense body high.
How does the body process edibles?
While smoking or vaping cannabis is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream through the lungs, edibles are processed through the stomach and liver. Your liver works to metabolize the THC into a more potent form called 11-hydroxy-THC. This results in a longer onset time and a longer duration of effects than other cannabis consumption methods.
Onset and duration
Unlike inhalation methods, whose effects can usually be felt within 5-10 minutes, edibles can take up to an hour or longer to feel the effects. This is completely dependent on the individual and how quickly their body metabolizes the compounds in cannabis! Just as each body metabolizes food differently, each body metabolizes cannabinoids differently.
Along with a more delayed onset time, the duration of “blissful effect” you may feel while consuming edibles will be longer than smoking. The effects tend to peak after an hour or two and will slowly dissipate over the following hours. This is one of the reasons that edibles can be perfect for helping to regulate your sleeping regimen. They can help you fall asleep and stay asleep!
Tips for worry-free edible consumption
If you have had an experience that turned you off from using edibles, knowing how to use them properly can make all the difference. Keep these tips in mind if you want to medicate with edibles.
- Start low, go slow. Even though the onset time of edibles tends to be longer than other cannabis consumption methods, when you DO feel the effects, it can feel intense depending on your dosage. Don’t forget, you can always take more if you are not getting the results you want. Alternatively, it can be uncomfortable trying to come down from taking “too much”. Beginners may consider starting out with just 2.5mg and work their way up from there.
- Use a ratio product. Ratio products are those containing a ratio of THC and CBD. Products containing a balance of THC and CBD can result in an even better, balanced, blissful feeling, thanks to the entourage effect.
- Consider your setting. When consuming edibles, you will want to make sure you are in a place and setting where you feel calm and comfortable. This is even more important if you are new to edibles since it’s hard to predict exactly how you will feel when you take them. You may want to get cozy on your couch with a good movie or try to spend some time in nature.
- Prepare for future you. You may find yourself getting snacky after an hour or two. Consider preparing a healthy snack before-hand so that you have something nutritional AND tasty when you need it. Additionally, when you fully feel the effects, you may find yourself ready to go to bed. Do any preparations before taking your edible that will set you up for success when going to bed and the following morning.
Oops! You took “too much”.
First of all, there is no need to experience shame around accidentally taking too much! Many of us have experienced an uncomfortable feeling if we have consumed too much THC, especially when we are learning how much our body needs and how it reacts.
Luckily, this amazing plant has a natural antidote for THC… CBD! These two cannabinoids work together in what is called the entourage effect. This is the theory that all the compounds in cannabis work together, and when taken together, they produce a better effect than when taken alone. We recommend that if you have taken more THC than you feel comfortable with, you combat that with a dominant dose of CBD to help calm yourself.
Why don’t some people feel the effects of edibles?
As we discussed above, each body is different and each body will have a different reaction to consuming edibles. While some people only require a minimal dosage to feel the effects of an edible, others may not experience any effects after taking a larger dose. There are a few potential causes of this.
First of all, people that consume large amounts of THC through other methods may find it difficult to feel the effects of edibles. This is due to having a high tolerance to the cannabinoid. While they may experience health benefits of consuming it, they may not experience the same psychoactive effects that others do.
The second potential reason patients may not experience the effects of edibles is still being researched. Researchers hypothesize that these individuals may have an unusual variation of a key liver enzyme, which would impact the way that the body metabolizes THC. There is little research to support this hypothesis, but we will know more as research on the body’s endocannabinoid system grows.
If you would like more individualized guidance on how to incorporate edibles into your medical cannabis regimen, book your consultation with us today!