Edibles and ingestibles may seem new to the recreational market, but they have been being used for recreational, as well as medicinal purposes for some time now.
When we first saw edibles in the recreational market we saw capsules, oils and sprays. Either consumed on their own, or sprayed/added to food to create your own edible. More recent additions to the market, we have seen soft and hard candy, chocolate, canned beverages and teas, as well as cookies! These low dosed treats are ideal for beginner or low tolerance cannabis users. Most of these treats have anywhere from 2mg of THC to a maximum of 10mg of THC per package. Health Canada recommends a safe starting point for edibles to be around 2.5mg of THC. To read more Health Canada recommendations: check out this infosheet. So whether you’re interested in the Houseplant Grapefruit Beverage at 2mg of THC per can, or a single Aurora Raspberry Gummy at 2.5mg a piece, both would be great options for you to start out with. While CBD edibles don’t have as physically relaxing effects as THC edibles, some people consume CBD daily to ease aches and pains. My personal favourite is the Chowie Wowie 10:10 THC:CBD Chocolate for when I’m feeling sore.
Edibles can affect people in such drastically different ways because of their body chemistry. Two people who consume the same amount of cannabis in a day, could ingest the same amount of THC orally, and have vastly different experiences. The reason being is that their two bodies are not the same. Their Endocannabinoid Systems and metabolisms are different. The simplest way to describe the function of the Endocannabinoid System, is that it is a system that produces cannabinoids in our bodies that work with the cannabinoids in cannabis in order for it to have an effect on our bodies. To learn more check out this article the OCS posted: The Endocannabinoid System. Metabolism also plays a large part in how quickly you can feel the effects of edibles, how intense the feeling can be, and how long the feeling can last. Let’s talk about some tips on how to create the best experience for you when consuming edibles.
Be Patient - Edibles can take a while to kick in & last a lot longer than smoking
Edibles can take effect within different time periods for different people. After consuming an edible, you can begin to feel its effects in as little time as 15 minutes, but it can also take as long as 4 hours to kick in. It’s effects tend to last far longer than when you inhale cannabis. When you inhale cannabis, your lungs bring the cannabinoids directly into your bloodstream. That’s why the effects from inhaling cannabis usually have a fairly immediate onset, and last 2 to 4 hours. Edibles are metabolized through your stomach and liver to your bloodstream. That’s why the effects from edibles take up to 4 hours to kick in, and can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, sometimes lasting up to 12 hours.
Be sure to consume food with your edibles
As a budtender I found some consumers didn’t realize how important it is to eat something with your edibles, thinking the edibles would “hit them harder” on an empty stomach. Ingestible cannabis does not work the same way alcohol does in respect to stomach absorption. Alcohol on an empty stomach tends to make for quicker and stronger effects. Cannabis on an empty stomach can sometimes have little to no effect. Eating something after your edible will help to kickstart your digestion and ensure your body can absorb the cannabinoids into your bloodstream. Foods that are high in fat are the best for speeding up your metabolism and getting those cannabinoids into your bloodstream.
Low and Slow - Enjoy responsibly!
If you’ve read to this point, you can understand how different edibles are from inhaling cannabis. Another difference is the physical effect edibles can have on your body versus inhaling cannabis. When your stomach and liver absorb the cannabinoids, they tend to have a much more physically relaxing, and sometimes “couch-locking” effect on the body. Some people have even described it as sedative and incapacitating when too much THC is consumed. Start low and slow and be patient. That way, your chances of going overboard are slim to none. Finally, make sure to enjoy your cannabis responsibly. Never drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence of cannabis. Keep yourself and others safe.