Whether you are looking to add a little sparkle to your holiday festivities or to sneak in some much-needed R&R, there’s a cannabis edible that’s right for you. Infused cookies, chocolates, and savory treats are a great way to enjoy the benefits and pleasures of cannabis.
But, achieving the right effect can be tricky, especially if you’re new to cannabis. That said, with a little trial and error, you’ll be able to find the right product and the perfect dose. Here we’ve listed a few tips to help you.
What Are Cannabis Edibles?
A cannabis edible is any food infused with cannabis compounds such as THC, CBD, or CBN. This also includes beverages such as the new lines of cannabis-infused waters, sodas, or juices. Cannabis edibles aren’t new – for many years, people have been adding cannabis to foods. The most famous of course, are the homemade weed brownies of the 1960s and early 1970s.
A long list of cannabis brands create edibles containing precise formulations of cannabis compounds tailored to meet just about every need. The new generation of edibles provide an alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis, and they’re helping to bring cannabis to a broader range of consumers.
Commercially produced cannabis edibles contain various combinations of cannabis compounds and terpenes. Most include some amount of delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabidiol, or THC, the psychoactive cannabis compound that produces that euphoric "high." Other edibles contain more CBD than THC, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which has gained attention for its relaxing effect.
How Edibles Work: Pros and Cons
Bon Bombs (Washington)
Cannabis edibles can be safer than smoking, which creates toxins from burning cannabis leaves. But if you’re accustomed to smoking – or even if you aren’t – you’ll want to exercise some caution when trying edibles because they act differently on the body.
Cannabis edibles are simply foods that contain cannabis, so they’re processed the same way as other foods – through the digestive system. For that reason, it can take an hour or more to feel the effects of an edible, so it’s easy to overconsume. If you’re consuming edibles with a high THC content, it’s easy to have too much, and the result may be an unpleasant experience.
Likewise, because edibles are food, it can be hard to stop with just one bite of a chocolate bar or a nibble of a cookie. That can make it difficult to measure an appropriate dose, and it’s easy to consume more than you intend to. But edibles can be an easy and enjoyable way to consume cannabis for both recreational and therapeutic purposes if you follow a few key guidelines
recommended by experts in the cannabis community.
Eating Edibles – Start Low, and Go Slow
Garden Society Peach Prosecco Gummies (California)
Cannabis edibles can be potent, so if you’re trying edibles containing THC, it’s important to follow the basic rule of cannabis consumption: start low, and go slow. Start your edibles journey by microdosing – take a small amount and gradually increase your intake until you get the results you want.
Some cannabis experts suggest keeping a log of your experiences as you work up to the right dosage. Note the kind of edible you tried, the amount you used, and the percentage of THC and other compounds it contains. Track your dosage until you get it right – there’s no "one size fits all" prescription, and cannabis can affect people very differently.
Allow for Digestion – Be Patient
Kiva Terra Bites (Illinois)
Give your edible time to work, since it can take more than an hour to feel its effects. Eating more of an edible because you don’t feel an immediate effect can lead to a bad experience later. If you end up overdoing it with a high THC edible, keep in mind that the experience will pass, and it isn’t fatal. Consider keeping a high CBD product such as a tincture or lozenge on hand, since CBD can balance out the effects of THC.
Get Your Edibles from Quality Sources
The 1906 Go Drops for Energy (Colorado)
To get the perfect dose of your edible, it’s essential to know what’s in them. Your friend’s homemade brownies might taste great, but it’s impossible to know the amount of THC you are consuming and how it might affect you. Quality edible products have clear labeling that indicates the product’s cannabinoid content, including percentages of THC and CBD. That can make it easier to get just the right amount every time.
Edibles combine the taste and texture of cookies, chocolates, and other treats with the potent benefits of cannabis. For many people, they’re an ideal way to enjoy cannabis for recreation or for healing – and with a few guidelines in mind, you’ll be able to get the perfect dose every time.
If you are new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s 100% online, private and efficient.