Different cannabis consumption methods can elicit different reactions from the same person. If you’ve ever wondered why edibles make you groggy when smoking or vaping doesn’t, we’ve got the answer.
Regular cannabis users typically have their favorite consumption methods, and when they try something else, they’re surprised to find that their body reacts differently. Grogginess is one of those things. Someone can vape or smoke often, with similar outcomes each time, but then, they’ll try an edible and feel…well, dazed and confused. Some people even find that edibles with profiles that promise to be energizing have the same dopey effect. So, what gives?
Timing is Everything with Edibles
When people start to use edibles, they often think that the effect should take place as fast as when they smoke bud or use a vaporizer. With smoking or vaping, the effects of the flower or oil can usually be felt within a few minutes. Edibles can take one to two hours to take effect depending on how fast your digestive system works and if you’ve had anything to eat prior to taking the edible.
Sometimes the groggy feeling can result from taking too much of an edible product too close to going to sleep. If you doze off before the edible fully kicks in or you wake before it wears off, you may be still feeling the effects. Also, those who are inexperienced with edibles often worry they haven’t taken enough to feel the effects, so they ingest more; it can take some people up to 24 hours to fully metabolize an edible, which means a longer lag time for the high to abate. The advice of “go low and slow” (which essentially means to start with a low dose and slowly increase it) applies to any cannabis product you try but especially to edibles for the reasons above.
The THC Conversion with Edibles
Changing how you ingest cannabis can also change how your body processes it. Edible THC is picked up by the liver and changed into Delta-11 THC, a more potent form of cannabis that takes much longer to kick in (up to 10 times longer) and tends to have a very dysphoric affect; this result may also be perceived as a hangover the next day. CBD edibles should not produce the same response. If this scientific explanation makes your head spin, here’s the bottom line: Edibles make you groggy because of how your body is processing the cannabis it contains.
Terpenes and the Edible-Grogginess Connection
Most plants have terpenes—these are naturally-occurring chemicals that are responsible for how botanicals smell. For example, citrus trees are usually abundant in limonene (go figure), which is known to be energizing. Cannabis strains can be bred with different terpenes in order to direct the high, so if an edible is made with a strain that is high in linalool (which is good for pain and anxiety but also has a sedating effect) or myrcene (which is often credited with the famous cannabis “couch lock”), you’re more likely to feel the drag into the next day. If cannabis edibles make you groggy as as a rule, take a look at the fine print on your packaging and consider trying a different type.
When in Doubt, Ask for Help
Ultimately, if you want to minimize or avoid grogginess, it’s worth doing some research into the products you select. Not sure where to start? Call us for guidance. Our cannabis counsellors are available to chat, free of charge, to help you get what you want and need out of your cannabis experience. And we’re not just talking edibles, either. We’ve got the answers to all of your cannabis questions, tailored to you.