A medical marijuana patient has more options now than ever before.
Edible products are coming increasingly more popular as the medical
marijuana industry is growing. Edibles offer a great-tasting way to get
the benefit of medical-grade cannabis without smoking. For some, edibles
are be a more efficient way to introduce cannabinoids, specifically THC,
into their system. Below are five
edible products differ from traditional flowers.
Different Delivery Methods
Ingesting marijuana-infused edibles requires the body to metabolize THC
through the liver. The liver converts the THC to 11-hydroxy-THC, which
is a practical delivery system. The converted THC is better able to
cross the blood-brain barrier, creating a more intense effect. Inhaled
cannabis, whether smoked or vaporized, travels from the lungs directly
to the brain. The effect of the drug is faster, but lasts for a shorter
The different delivery and absorption methods mean that edibles take
longer to metabolize. A person who smokes or vaporizes cannabis will
feel the effect quickly. In an edible form, it may take up to 2 hours to
get the benefit, but it will be longer lasting.
While edibles may feel stronger, they actually deliver a smaller
concentration of cannabinoids. An edible product may offer only 10 to 20
percent of THC, while smoked cannabis has closer to 50 to 60 percent.
The smoked product will peak in the first 10 minutes and likely
disappear in less than an hour, whereas the effects from edibles can
last several hours.
Calculating the THC content of edibles, either homemade or manufactured,
is a challenge. With inhaled cannabis, the patient knows right away if
they are close to the right dose and can adjust as needed. Edibles,
however, must be ingested and metabolized before the patient feels the
effect, making it hard to gauge the proper dose.
Since dosing is difficult with edibles, it becomes tough to measure the
potency of products from batch to batch. The first time a patient tries
a form of marijuana-infused candy, for example, it may produce a mild
effect. The next time, he or she may take more to get a stronger dose
and find this batch is twice as potent. Steps are being taken to
regulate the testing of manufactured edible cannabis products and
control its THC content, but it may take time. Those who live in a state
that does not yet require testing should use edibles cautiously to
ensure they get the proper effect.
Health Concerns of Smoking
Smoking cannabis can have long-term health effects, which is why many
turn to edibles or vaporization. Others may worry about the sugar
content of edible products, but now days, not all edibles are brownies
or sweet treats. Today, there are edible recipes for hummus, vegetable
medleys, teas, and even bacon. Those making their own edibles should use
caution to ensure they get accurate doses.
Each person must find the delivery method that works for them. For
patients with chronic pain, edibles offer sustainable relief. People who
want an immediate benefit and are okay with a shorter-lasting duration
will find that smoking is an effective route. Overall, it will take some
experimentation to find the optimum delivery system for each patient.