Cannabis Edibles: What to Know Before You Try
Cannabis edibles are foods that contain cannabis. They might look like regular sweets or snacks, but they have a special ingredient. They are different ways to enjoy cannabis, not by smoking but by eating.
This article is a guide to understanding these edibles. We’ll look at what they are, how they work, and what to be careful about. Our aim is to help you try cannabis edibles safely if you choose to do so. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this interesting world.
What are Cannabis Edibles?
Cannabis edibles are simply food items that have cannabis mixed in. You might have heard of ‘pot brownies,’ but there’s much more to the world of cannabis edibles.
Cookies are a common form of cannabis edible. They’re just like the regular cookies you love but with cannabis added to the dough. They come in a variety of flavors and styles.
Gummies are another popular type of cannabis edible. They’re chewy candies that are infused with cannabis. They are often fruity and sweet, making them an easy way to consume cannabis without the usual smoke.
Chocolates can also be mixed with cannabis. These sweet treats can range from simple chocolate bars to elaborate truffles, all with the added twist of cannabis.
Apart from these, you can also find cannabis in drinks like sodas or teas, savory snacks like chips or popcorn, and even in more substantial foods like pizza or pasta sauce.
So, when we talk about cannabis edibles, we mean any food or drink that has cannabis in it. The cannabis could be mixed in while cooking, or it could be sprayed on afterward. The important thing is that when you eat or drink it, you’re also getting a dose of cannabis. Always remember to check the package to know how much cannabis is in an edible before you try it. It’s important to stay safe and enjoy responsibly.
Why Choose Edibles Over Smoking?
Why would someone choose to eat cannabis edibles instead of smoking? There are a few reasons.
Edibles offer a different kind of experience. The effects can be more intense and last longer. This can be a pro if you’re looking for a long-lasting experience, but it can also be a con if you’re not prepared for it.
Edibles also don’t require any smoking. This is good if you don’t like smoke or if you want to be more discreet about using cannabis. But, eating edibles takes longer to feel the effects compared to smoking. So, you need to be patient.
The Science Behind Cannabis Edibles
Understanding cannabis edibles involves a bit of science. Let’s break it down.
Digestion and the High
When you eat cannabis edible, it goes through your stomach and into your intestines. From there, the active parts of the cannabis are absorbed into your bloodstream. They then go to your liver. In the liver, the THC (we’ll explain what that is in a moment) gets changed into a stronger form.
This process can take a couple of hours. That’s why you don’t feel the effects right away like you do with smoking. But when the high does kick in, it can be stronger and last longer.
THC and CBD
So what are these active parts of cannabis? The two main ones are THC and CBD.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is what gives you the ‘high.’ It can make you feel happy, relaxed, and creative. It can also make you feel hungry, sleepy, or even paranoid.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is different. It doesn’t make you feel high. Instead, it’s often used for health reasons, like to help with pain or anxiety.
How to Safely Consume Cannabis Edibles
If you’re new to cannabis edibles, it’s important to start with safety in mind. Here are some tips to help you consume responsibly.
Start Low and Go Slow
The rule of thumb with edibles is to “start low and go slow.” This means you should begin with a small dose of THC, usually between 2.5 and 5 milligrams. It’s important not to eat more just because you don’t feel the effects right away. Remember, edibles take time to work their way through your system. If you eat more before the first dose has taken effect, you could end up taking more than you can handle.
Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind:
- Be Patient: Don’t take more edibles if you don’t feel the effects right away. It can take up to two hours for them to kick in.
- Know Your Edible: Always check the label to see how much THC and CBD are in your edible. This can help you choose the right dose.
- Don’t Mix: Avoid using edibles with alcohol or other substances. This can make the effects unpredictable.
- Safe Storage: Store your edibles safely out of reach of children and pets. They can easily mistake them for regular food.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Like any substance, cannabis edibles can come with risks and side effects. It’s important to know these before you decide to try them.
Health Risks and Side Effects
Overdoing it with cannabis edibles can lead to unpleasant experiences. Too much THC can result in side effects like confusion, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and an increased heart rate. It’s also possible to feel ‘hangover’ effects the next day, like grogginess and fatigue.
Long-term use of cannabis can affect memory, learning, and attention, especially if use starts in the teenage years. Mixing cannabis with other substances, like alcohol, can also increase risks.
Laws about cannabis use vary a lot. In some places, it’s legal for adults to use cannabis, including edibles. In others, it’s only legal for medical use, or it’s not legal at all. It’s important to know the laws where you live.
You also need to be careful about where you use edibles. Even if it’s legal where you bought them, it might not be legal to use them in public places.
How to Choose the Right Edible for You
Choosing the right cannabis edible for you can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some things to consider.
The potency of an edible is how strong it is or how much THC it has. Edibles can range from very mild to very potent. Always start with a low dose, especially if you’re new to edibles. You can always take more later if you want a stronger effect.
Look at the other ingredients in the edible. If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure the edible fits your needs. Also, consider the taste. Do you want something sweet, like a cookie or chocolate? Or would you prefer something savory?
Your personal tolerance to cannabis is also a big factor. If you’ve used cannabis before, you might have a higher tolerance. But if you’re new to cannabis, your tolerance will be lower. Always start with a lower dose if you’re not sure.
Myths and Misconceptions
Cannabis edibles are often misunderstood. Let’s set the record straight by debunking some common myths.
Myth 1: Edibles Work Instantly
One of the biggest misconceptions is that edibles will work instantly. This is not true. Unlike smoking cannabis, where you feel the effects almost immediately, edibles can take up to two hours to kick in. This is because they need to be digested and metabolized in your liver first.
Myth 2: All Edibles Are The Same
Not all edibles are the same. They can come in many forms, from cookies and gummies to drinks and capsules, and each can have different levels of THC and CBD. This can greatly affect the strength and duration of the high.
Myth 3: More Is Better
This is a dangerous myth. Consuming more edibles when you don’t feel the effects right away can lead to overconsumption. The “start low and go slow” approach is the safest way to consume edibles.
Myth 4: Edibles Are Not as Effective as Smoking
In fact, the opposite is often true. Because of the way the body processes edibles, the high can be more intense and last longer than smoking.
Myth 5: You Can’t Overdose on Edibles
While it’s true that a fatal overdose is unlikely, it’s possible to have a very uncomfortable experience if you consume too much. This can include anxiety, paranoia, and extreme confusion.
So, there you have it, a basic rundown of what you need to know before trying cannabis edibles. We’ve discussed what they are, why you might choose them over smoking, the science behind how they work, and how to consume them safely. We’ve also debunked some common myths and given tips on choosing the right edible for you.
Remember, the most important thing is to start low, go slow, and always prioritize safety. Cannabis edibles can offer a unique experience, but like all things, they should be used responsibly. Happy and safe consuming!