What is a Cannabis Edible?
A cannabis edible is a food product that has been infused with cannabis extracts or concentrates, such as THC or CBD. Edibles can come in a wide range of forms, from traditional baked goods like brownies or cookies to gummies, candies, chocolates, and even savory foods like pizzas or pasta dishes. Edibles can be made at home using a variety of recipes and techniques, or they can be purchased from licensed dispensaries where they are sold in various strengths and dosages. When consumed, the effects of edibles can take longer to onset than smoking or vaping cannabis, but can last longer and have a more intense impact on the user. It’s important to use caution when consuming edibles, as their effects can be unpredictable and it can be difficult to gauge the appropriate dosage.
What’s the History of Edible Cannabis?
The use of cannabis as a food ingredient dates back thousands of years in various cultures. For example, there is evidence that the Chinese used cannabis seeds and leaves in food as far back as 6000 BCE. The ancient Greeks also reportedly used cannabis seeds in their cooking, and cannabis was included in various recipes in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
In the Western world, the use of cannabis as an edible became more prominent in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of the counterculture movement. Brownies and other baked goods containing cannabis became popular, often at “potluck” gatherings or “smoke-ins.” Since then, the availability and popularity of edibles have grown significantly, with a wide variety of products now available in legal cannabis markets.
It’s worth noting that the methods of preparing and consuming edibles have changed over time, and many modern products are much more potent than earlier recipes. Additionally, while edibles have long been associated with recreational use of cannabis, they are increasingly being developed and marketed for medical use as well.
The Medicinal Benefits of Edibles
Yes, edibles can be used medicinally. Many medical cannabis patients prefer edibles as a way to consume cannabis because they offer a smoke-free alternative to traditional smoking methods. Edibles also provide a longer-lasting effect than inhalation methods because they are metabolized by the liver and released into the bloodstream more slowly. This slower release of the active compounds can be particularly helpful for conditions that require long-lasting relief, such as chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. In addition, edibles can be a good option for patients who cannot or prefer not to inhale cannabis smoke, such as those with lung conditions or respiratory issues. However, it is important to note that the effects of edibles can be unpredictable and may be more intense and longer-lasting than inhalation methods, so patients should start with a low dose and wait several hours before consuming more to avoid over consumption.
Are There Any Side Effects of Edible Cannabis?
Edible cannabis can have a variety of effects on the body, depending on the dosage, the potency of the cannabis used, and the individual’s tolerance and sensitivity to the drug. In general, the effects of edible cannabis are similar to those of smoked or vaporized cannabis, but they can be more potent and long-lasting.
When you eat an edible cannabis product, the THC and other cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive system. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects, depending on various factors such as the individual’s metabolism and the contents of the stomach. The effects can last for several hours, with peak effects occurring 2 to 4 hours after consumption.
The effects of edible cannabis can include:
- Euphoria or a “high”
- Altered perception of time and space
- Increased appetite (sometimes referred to as “the munchies”)
- Dry mouth
- Bloodshot eyes
- Impaired coordination and concentration
- Drowsiness or sedation
In some cases, consuming too much edible cannabis can result in unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, rapid heart rate, and hallucinations. It’s important to start with a low dose and wait for the effects to kick in before consuming more, and to always follow the dosage guidelines on the packaging.
Various Types of Edible Infusions
Edible infusions are cannabis-infused foods or drinks, which come in various forms and have different effects. Some common types of edible infusions include:
Baked goods: Cannabis-infused baked goods such as brownies, cookies, and cakes are popular among edible users. They are easy to make and can be stored for a longer period. Baked goods can take up to 30-60 minutes to take effect, and the effects can last for several hours.
Chocolates: Chocolate is one of the most popular edible infusions. It is easy to dose, and the effects can be felt within 30-60 minutes. Chocolate can be infused with different strains of cannabis, which can give users a variety of experiences.
Gummies: Gummies are small, chewy candies that are infused with cannabis. They are easy to dose, and come in different shapes, sizes, and flavors.
Beverages: Cannabis-infused beverages are a popular way to consume edibles. Beverages can be made with different strains of cannabis, and they can provide a refreshing alternative to traditional edibles. The effects of cannabis-infused beverages can be felt within 30-60 minutes.
Tinctures: Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of cannabis, made with alcohol, that are typically taken under the tongue. They are fast-acting and can provide a quick and convenient way to consume cannabis. Tinctures can be added to food or drink to create an infused edible experience. Compared to cannabis-infused food or beverages, tinctures give you more control over the amount of cannabis you consume.
The potential benefits and effects of edible infusions depend on the type of infusion, the amount consumed, and the individual’s tolerance and sensitivity to cannabis. Generally, edibles can provide longer-lasting and more potent effects than smoking or vaping cannabis. Edibles can be used to alleviate pain, nausea, anxiety, and other medical conditions, and they can also be used for recreational purposes. However, it is important to start with a low dose and wait for the effects to take place before consuming more, as over consumption of edibles can lead to unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects.
Proper Use of Cannabis Edibles
Proper use of edibles involves several factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
Need: The first step to do is to get the assistance of your primary care physician or a cannabis expert. This way, you can figure out whether consuming edibles is the most effective approach to accomplish your goal.
Labeling: Always check the labeling on edibles to ensure you know the dosage of THC or CBD in each serving. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure proper use.
Dosage: Start with a low dose, especially if you are new to edibles or have a low tolerance. The effects of edibles can take longer to kick in and can be more intense and longer-lasting than smoking or vaping cannabis. It is recommended to start with 5-10 mg of THC and wait at least 2 hours before taking more.
Timing: Edibles take longer to take effect compared to smoking or vaping, so it’s important to be patient and not take more too quickly. Effects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to set in, depending on the individual’s metabolism and the type of edible consumed. If you are using an edible cannabis product for the first time, the best time to sample it is in the evening. That way, it won’t be a problem for you if you do need to go to sleep.
Setting: Edibles can have strong psychoactive effects, so it’s important to consume them in a safe and comfortable environment. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence of edibles.
Storage: Keep edibles away from children and pets and in a cool, dry place to maintain their potency and freshness.
By following these guidelines, edibles can be a safe and effective way to consume cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
Curious to learn more about medical cannabis or to start your medical marijuana treatment? Give the qualified team at Affordable Marijuana Clinic a call at (904) 586-0041 or submit a short application today!