Marijuana edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. While they have risen in popularity recently, edibles aren’t really new. Humans have long been incorporating cannabis into their diets—from ‘bhang,’ a traditional drink in India, to the humble pot brownie in the US.
Thanks to the advances in infusion methods, you have a wide array of marijuana-infused baked goods, cooking oils, mints, seasonings, gummies, sodas, and countless other items choose.
How Edibles are Made
Marijuana edibles can be made at home or in a commercial dispensary. To extract the cannabinoids and cannabidiol, which will be incorporated into the recipe, you must heat the flowers from the female marijuana plant in an oil-based liquid.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana associated with the ‘high,’ is present in the plant’s non-psychoactive form tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA). THCA is further heated to convert it into THC. From there, THC can be diffused from the plant and dissolved in an oily liquid with other cannabinoids, like CBD.
Some particularly popular edible forms of marijuana include lozenges, brownies, chocolates, and gummies. While all of these can produce satisfactory, long-lasting effects, the strength of those effects and the nature of the high you feel will depend on the strains of marijuana used, as well as dosage.
What Dosage is Right for You
One person’s reaction to marijuana edibles can differ significantly from someone else’s experience. Several factors contribute to the effects you experience after consuming a cannabis edible, including gastrointestinal factors, previous history of cannabis use, and the sensitivity of your endocannabinoid system.
The ideal dose for you will depend on many things, including your tolerance level, individual body chemistry, and the type of experience you seek. However, one basic guideline will help you find the correct dose of marijuana edibles: the CBD to THC ratio.
Adding CBD to THC enhances the medical benefits of marijuana edibles. Furthermore, CBD can block the intoxicating effects of THC. So, consumers who wish to use cannabis specifically for its medical benefits, without experiencing a high, can achieve the best results without much impairment.
Edibles with a CBD to THC ratio of 1:1 are ideal for therapeutic usage, as they are less likely to produce the impairment associated with a THC-dominant product. As the CBD to THC ratio increases, the chances of unintended intoxicating effects decrease, and the quality of medical effects changes as well. Generally, a CBD to THC ratio of 4:1 or higher will produce fewer adverse intoxicating effects.
Edible marijuana products offer the same benefits as other forms of cannabis. However, the effects take longer to kick in than those of smoking or vaping. Typically, people choose edibles to achieve specific results like relaxation or treat medical conditions like chronic pain.
The effects you experience will depend on the dose you take. Generally, the effects increase with the dose. It is easy to take too much cannabis by accident, leading to adverse effects such as vomiting or nausea.
When it comes to questions like, “how long do edibles take to kick in?” and “how long does an edible high last?” popular culture offers many conflicting answers. The fact of the matter is that it takes around 30 to 60 minutes for the high of edibles to kick in. Depending on factors like the product’s active ingredients, the onset time can vary. Typically, a high dose or concentration of THC equals a shorter onset time.
Edibles can also have more potent and long-lasting effects than cannabis ingested via other methods. Edible highs last on average anywhere from six to 12 hours and tend to peak around the two- to three-hour mark.
Where to Get Edibles
In the United States, it varies on a state by state basis. Edibles are easy to get in California, but not Idaho. Thanks to Canada’s legalization of marijuana in 2018, you can buy all kinds of marijuana products from dispensaries, both online and in person. Even better, you can make them at home. All you need to do is pick the right strain depending on your requirements and find a recipe that works for you. While weed impacts everyone differently, a general rule of thumb is that sativas give users energy, while indicas are better for sleep and relaxation.
A few of the cannabis strains that will help you feel like getting up and conquering the world include White Widow, Golden Goat, and Sour Diesel. On the other hand, Bubba Kush, White Fire Alien OG, and Granddaddy Purple are ideal for a more relaxed Netflix evening.
Things to Look Out For
Though marijuana edibles offer a discreet and easy way to consume cannabis and can be downright tasty, they do come with some risks attached. According to some studies, regular cannabis edible use can adversely impact heart health, brain development, memory and cognition, and psychiatric health.
Furthermore, long-term marijuana edible use might increase the risk of schizophrenia and learning and memory-related illnesses in adolescents.
The Truth About Cannabis Edibles
Edibles are a discreet way to ingest cannabis, and they are without some of the risks of smoking weed. Nonetheless, you should be cautious when using edibles, especially when you are a first-timer. The effects of edibles can take up to three hours after ingestion to kick in, so be patient and cautious as you explore this method of cannabis consumption.