The world of cannabis is emerging fast. States after states are legalizing recreational marijuana. The day might not be far when we can say that weed is legal across the United States. With the improvement in cultivation and infusion technology, weed is not something that you can only smoke anymore. There is a vast world of weed edibles waiting for you to explore.
In this post, we’ll go over everything you might want to know about weed edibles. We’ll know how edibles work, how much you can consume, and what you can expect once you do. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What are Weed Edibles?
From baked goods to beverages, weed edibles have reached a new height of diversity over the last few years. But what are weed edibles?
In simple terms, food items that are infused with cannabis are known as weed edibles. They can contain anything from cannabis flower extracts to cannabis concentrates. THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids that go into making marijuana edibles.
For the longest time, the effects of weed were experienced through smoking. Whether it be blunts or vaporizing concentrates, they are equally bad for the lungs. Edibles have opened the pandora’s box for non-smokers who can now intuitively consume weed without coughing to death.
THC Edibles vs CBD Edibles
Cannabis edibles have two primary cannabinoids. THC and CBD. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s the chemical compound responsible for the euphoria a.k.a the high. On the other hand, CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating agent.
Both THC and CBD are extracted from the cannabis plant. But the properties are quite different. THC has psychoactive components that give us the perception of being high. CBD is completely stripped off of such components. That’s the biggest difference between the two.
How Does Weed Edibles Gets Absorbed?
The effects of weed are only experienced when the THC molecules bond with blood cells and interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. There are a few different ways that can happen.
Before we dive into the actual process of absorption, it’s important to keep in mind that things like diet, sex, weight, metabolism, and tolerance highly impact the reaction time. It varies from person to person.
For blunts/joints/bongs or vaporizing concentrates, the THC is absorbed quickly through the lungs. It’s the fastest way of getting the desired effects. But that’s not the case for weed edibles. Edibles can go into the bloodstream either sublingually or through the digestive system.
For weed edibles like gums, lozenges, or lollipops, the THC is absorbed through the mouth. There are mucus membranes in our mouth and tongue that work as the absorption mediums. This process is known as Sublingual absorption. It’s relatively faster than the digestive system.
Absorption Through the Digestive System
The majority of edibles are digested by the digestive tracts. Chewable foods and drinks fall into this category. Cookies, brownies, gummies, etc. go through the metabolization process and the THC is synthesized by the liver. It takes a while to kick in, but the effects last for much longer.
How Long Does Weed Edibles Stay in the System?
When compared to smoking or vaping, the effects of cannabis edibles last much longer. Given that you consume a THC infused item, you can expect to enjoy the euphoria for up to eight hours. It goes even longer for people with low tolerance levels.
Generally, after 2 to 3 hours is when the effects of weed edibles are the most intense. The duration also depends on the same factors as the reaction time. Sublingual absorption lasts a little less than chewable edibles. Again, it’s all variables and they change from person to person.
Bottom line is, no matter how hard we try to put a time frame on the effects of weed edibles, it might not match with your individual case. The results from cannabis edibles are highly unpredictable.
What’s the Dose of Weed Edibles?
Marijuana edibles come in all different sizes and shapes. In edibles, the strength of the cannabinoids is not measured in percentages. Rather, it’s done with the concentration of THC or CBD in the product.
If you’re eating off the shelf products, make sure that you read the labels. Such products are obliged to mention the concentration. It’s also important to understand whether the mentioned concentration is labeled for individual items or the entire package.
For example, if there is 200mg THC for 20 cookies in a pack, you get 10mg per cookie. You can try to control your consumption as much as you can, but at the end of the day, it’s not possible to determine how it’s going to react with you as an individual.
The doses for THC and CBD products are different as well. Let’s explore that trail as well.
The tolerance for THC is different for different people. Also, it’s different for smoking and edibles. Edibles generate a stronger high that lasts longer as well. Even for regular weed smokers, edibles should start with a small dose. A good thing to keep in mind is that 1mg of weed edibles can generate effects similar to over 5.7mg when smoked, depending on the strains.
Starting with a small dose is the way to. You can always fine-tune your dose according to your needs once you get the idea of how it interacts with you. Typically, over 30mg of weed edibles a day might lead to negative experiences.
It’s hard to resist the temptation of taking too much weed edibles, especially if you’re just starting out. As edibles take longer to show effects, it’s not uncommon to take another dose sooner than required. Somewhere between 1 to 5mg is a good place to start.
As we’ve already established, CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive components like THC. So, the risk of losing control is much less for CBD edibles. Too much CBD in the system can lead to fatigue or loss of appetite. Other than that, you shouldn’t expect anything bad to happen.
Why Weed Edibles over Smoking?
Now is a good time to shed light on why you should opt for weed edibles instead of smoking. Smoking generates a quicker effect than most edibles. But it comes with some substantial risks.
- Good for Respiratory Health
The biggest risk of weed inhalation is the impact on the respiratory system. As smoke is going to the lungs directly, it increases the risk of diseases like Bronchitis, and infections. Moreover, the smoke from cannabis contains carcinogens, the compound responsible for cancer. Edibles, on the other hand, eliminates all of the risks.
- Lasts Longer
You can enjoy a much longer effect from weed edibles when compared to smoking. When smoked, the effects can last up to 2 hours. But for edibles, it can go up to 8 hours and even more for some people. If you want to stretch out the benefits of weed, going with edibles is the way. They’re great for medicinal benefits like pain relief and anxiety disorders.
- No Funky Odor
One of the largest problems associated with weed smoking is the smell. Most people can’t stand the smell and you are on a journey to bother a lot of people if you’re not in your own home. Edibles can take the problem away, giving you access to a pleasant experience, anywhere, anytime.
How Weed Edibles Are Made
The processing of the weed edibles largely impacts the results you can expect from them. The ingredients and the overall processing can alter the onset time (time to react), duration, and side effects.
In most cases, off the shelf products use hashish or cannabis distillate. Hashish is a drug derived from the trichomes of the cannabis plant. It compresses the trichomes into edible forms.
Cannabis distillate, on the other hand, is an odorless oil. Both of these are very popular among commercial weed edibles manufacturers.
You can make your own edibles at home like cookies, brownies, cannabis tea, etc. Cannabis distillate is the easiest way to go. You can mix it directly into a liquid to mix it with raw food before cooking.
Can You Eat Raw Cannabis?
You might think about why people go through so much trouble to make weed edibles. Why not just eat it raw? Well, that’s a valid question to ask. What happens if you eat raw weed?
The answer is, as dull as it may sound, nothing. Eating raw weed won’t do anything. To understand why, we have to look at the decarboxylation process first. And for that, we have to get nerdy.
Decarboxylation is the chemical process of removing the carboxyl group from a compound and releasing carbon dioxide. This is the process where THCA is converted to THC. THC is found as THCA in weed strains.
Biologically, the human body cannot convert THCA to THC. Also, heat is a fundamental catalyst for the decarboxylation process to happen. That’s why the weed edibles are cooked. The heat while smoking does the same job.
Can You Make Weed Edibles at Home?
You certainly can. A lot of people do. Some succeed, some don’t. We are not going to touch on any of the recipes in this post. Rather, we’ll focus on cannabis butter and oils. You can easily make them using dry cannabis flowers and common kitchen appliances.
All you have to do is submerge the dry flower into oil or melted butter and heat it evenly. Carboxylation will take place to extract all the THC and CBD into the fat. You top it off with a thorough strain.
Later, you can the butter and oils to make your favorite recipe. The process of making cannabis oil or butter is very simple. The reason we use these is that fat is a great absorbent for cannabinoids.
Side Effects of Weed Edibles
Almost all edibles come with side effects when consumed over the threshold. Weed edibles are no different. There is an array of effects that you can encounter with either THC or CBD infused edibles.
For THC, too much consumption can lead to a very unpleasant experience. They can last anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on the overall health condition of the consumer. The side effects of CBD products are much milder compared to THC infused edibles.
How to know you’ve overdosed on THC edibles:
- You might feel cognitive impairment (lack of balance)
- You can fall victim to motor impairment (loss of ability to move)
- You might feel agitation, anxiety, and stress
- Your heart rates will shoot up with a feeling of nausea and often followed by vomiting
- You might fall into a deep sleep known as extreme sedation
- You might have hallucinations, psychosis, and delusions
How to know you’ve overdosed on CBD edibles:
- You might feel extremely tired
- You might get diarrhea
- Your appetite could change
- Your weight could fluctuate
Should You Contact a Doctor?
In general, the symptoms of cannabis edibles overdo go away on their own. If they don’t and you feel something is not right, contacting your doctor might be a good idea.
Also, weed edibles interfere with certain medications. If you are on any, contact your doctor before consuming any weed-infused food is recommended.
How to Stay Safe?
The first and most important aspect of weed edibles is dosage. It’s very hard to decide on a dosage, especially for beginners. Your job is to look for the labels carefully before you purchase any food. Going for a reputed manufacturer can save you from a lot of trouble.
Unknown and low-quality products often don’t contain the right dosage. They either understate or overstate the concentration of THC or CBD. If it’s below what’s labeled, you don’t need to worry so much. But having more than stated is a matter of concern.
Weed edibles have made a lot of people grow fond of the cannabis culture. As more people, especially non-smokers can reap the benefits of recreational weed, the popularity of weed edibles is on the rise. In this post, we’ve tried to cover every aspect of the weed edibles. If you are a consumer, make sure that you look at your dosage very carefully!