The Beginner’s Guide to Eating Cannabis Edibles
How should you use marijuana-infused food? Our beginner’s guide to eating cannabis edibles safely will give you answers. Different dosage forms have been developed in the hopes of optimizing consumer experience. There is no special technique for using any type of infused pot. Among these dosage forms, medical cannabis edibles are the most diverse and arguably the most popular in the medical world. You’d easily confuse this section in your local medical marijuana dispensary for a snacks bar; such is the vast array of marijuana snacks on offer. However, leaving consumers spoilt for choice is not always a good thing.
What is an Edible?
Edibles are food infused with weed. This addition to smoking marijuana gives first-time consumers more options. They are now faced with a dilemma in the local dispensary. Do I go for a joint, or a brownie, cake, or gummies? Or should I just abandon all the good looking snacks in favor of a liquid edible like magic buzz? How about having a legal, licensed medical marijuana delivery of your favorite pot-infused goodies? Making a choice becomes even more difficult if you do not know what to expect from or how to use a medible. This guide hopes to provide you with all you need to know about using marijuana as food.
Ingesting Your Cannabis-Infused Edibles
Pot infused food is one of many ways to ingest marijuana. In some quarters, you could see them being referred to as ‘medibles’; a combination of medicine and edible forms of pot. They are usually regular foods that have been infused with a standardized amount of edible cannabis oil. The infused pot is usually ‘activated’, that is, it has been heated and thus transformed into its active forms. There have been infused content and products on sale for a while but they have become more popular and much more diverse in this age.
How Should You Use Marijuana-Infused Food?
There is no special technique for using any type of edible. You simply eat them (or drink as the case may be). However, this doesn’t mean you should eat anything you can lay your hands on and eat as you like. Here are some tips on using edible products as a beginner.
- Buy your edible product at a registered dispensary. The best pot edibles on display should come with labels indicating the THC content.
- The importance of buying a snack you love cannot be overemphasized. There’s no point buying a cannabis-infused brownie when you can’t stand a regular brownie.
- As a first-time user, store your pot snacks in a safe place, in the presence of an experienced friend, or just any sober person that could help you in case there’s an emergency.
- Start small and move up the ladder. Some experts recommend a dose of 2.5 or 5 mg of THC for beginners.
- Depending on THC dosage in the food, the effects should set in after about two hours of use. If you do not feel anything, you should wait for a whole day or two before moving up the ladder.
- Up your dose by another 2.5 mg and watch what happens after another 24 hours.
- You should adopt this gradual increase in dosing until you find the right dose for your condition.
- If the initial dose is too high for you, there is no need to panic. A marijuana overdose is not fatal. Drink a lot of fluid and engage in a distracting activity until the feeling dissipates.
- In the unlikely event, you suffer adverse effects and need emergency care, your friend should be able to come to your aid. Rest assured, the chances of this happening are negligible.
Do I get a Different Experience from Consuming Edible Cannabis Products?
If you already know a thing or two about inhaling herb by smoking or vaping, the feeling you’ll get from medibles could be slightly different. This form produces a stronger, longer-lasting high when compared with the inhaled forms. Although these effects would not incapacitate you as you would expect with alcohol or other stronger drugs, the intensity could knock you off balance. This is why you need to start with a small dose and increase it gradually until you attain the effective dose for your medical condition.
How Fast is the Onset of Action of Medibles?
Unlike the inhaled forms, ingesting weed as food has a slow onset of action. It might take about 30 minutes to 2 hours before you start feeling their effects. This is because they have to undergo the normal physiological process of digestion and absorption before you can start feeling their effects.
The time it takes to feel the effects also vary from individual to individual. If you have a fast metabolic rate, you might start feeling the effects earlier than other people. Taking the drug on an empty or full stomach also affects digestion and subsequently, the onset of action. Absorption would be much faster if your stomach is empty and the side effects could be more intense. Generally, you are advised not to take weed foodstuffs on an empty stomach.
Again, you should give your body enough time to digest and absorb the cannabis edible before taking another dose, especially if you are a first-time consumer. Even if you do not feel any effect after two hours of use, you should wait for about 6 to 8 hours, or the next day even. If you take too much cannabis, you should expect unwanted side effects once your body starts absorbing the drug.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
Weed medibles have a long duration of action, making up for the comparatively slow onset of action. The effects typically last for 3 to 6 hours and you can expect peak effects about hours after consumption. In some patients, the effects may last for more than 6 hours. A longer duration of action is especially helpful with chronic pain states. A few people complain of ‘cannabis-induced hangovers’ characterized by lethargy, slight headache, or weakness. This is usually uncommon and it is almost always mild whenever it occurs.
Are there Special Advantages to Consuming Cannabis-Infused Foodstuffs?
It appears pot-infused food is more acceptable in the medical world and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Although studies have shown that inhaling marijuana is not nearly as harmful as smoking tobacco, there are still concerns over the safety of smoking anything at all. Studies have shown that the stress on the respiratory system could lead to a higher incidence of bronchitis and some other diseases among marijuana smokers. We do not recommend smoking weed during an active viral or bacterial infection. Some other benefits of pot medibles include:
- Measured dosage leads to better dosing control
- A longer duration of action could reduce the frequency of use
- The psychoactive effects could be better tolerated when the pot is eaten as opposed to when it is inhaled
- Cannabis food is more discreet to use and there are no concerns over the possible effects of secondary smoking
- They do not require extra equipment
Is it Possible to Overdose on Marijuana Edibles?
It is possible to have a bad experience on pot snacks if you eat more than you should, although the overdose is never fatal. The only price you would pay is several hours of discomfort. Your ability to go about your daily activities could be impaired during the period. Below are some of the side effects you could experience if you overdose:
- Red eyes
- Lethargy and slowness of movement
- Dry mouth
- Hypersomnolence or excessive drowsiness
- Hallucinations (in rare cases)
There is no need to panic if you experience any of these symptoms. As mentioned earlier, you should increase your fluid intake and engage in a distracting activity. Some suggest chewing fresh peppercorn balls or using pure CBD. These could reduce the effect of THC in your system.
Overdosing shouldn’t put you off marijuana medibles forever. It should only teach you to be more careful the next time you are using cannabis. Remember, the key is starting small and gradually increasing the dose until you achieve a level you are comfortable with. A recent article in HealthLine Med, Cannabis Edibles Aren’t as Safe as People Think, presents an additional viewpoint. Of note, the effects of cannabis THC and CBD homemade edibles can be variable. Accidental ingestion of edibles can have serious adverse effects.
Can I Get Marijuana Edibles in Florida?
While medical marijuana products are legal in Florida, the state has yet to legalize recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, prepared pot snacks are not widely available in the Sunshine State yet. The weed industry in Florida is gearing up to sell them.
Can I Make Marijuana Edibles on My Own?
There are countless DIY tips to teach you how to make edibles work in your kitchen. You should know that even manufacturers find it difficult to correctly calculate the THC dosage. Their preparation goes through a lot of standardization and regulatory checks and there’s a lot of trial and error in the process. It is advisable to leave cooking cannabis for the pros and purchase your edible at a licensed dispensary. There are, of course, many options if you want to make your infused food tailor your personal diet experience. From cooking oil to salad, cannabis-infused sustenance varies the amount of THC for the desired effects. Creating baked goods or other food products with infused butter takes cooking to a new level. As long as you have a medical marijuana card, you can walk into any dispensary in Florida for the purpose of fulling your medical marijuana prescription.
Enjoy the Best Experience with Infused Snacks
The way herb affects you could be different from the way it affects your friend. If you are willing to use medical or recreational marijuana responsibly, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying the best experience with medibles. Once you achieve the dose that is appropriate for your ailment, simply stick with it and continue enjoying your cannabis. You should talk to your doctor if you notice a dose that was once good for you is no longer adequate. Indiscriminately increasing your marijuana dose could lead to unwanted side effects. Perhaps, it’s time to explore other medical marijuana strains or other routes of administration. Read here for more tips on how to dose edibles safely.
Since this post was written, commercial medical marijuana edibles in Florida have been legalized. Edible medical cannabis is allowed for sale at the medical marijuana treatment centers. From chocolate bars and gummy bears to sodas and elixirs, states with a recreational edible marijuana market have it all. As well, some states have medical marijuana programs that allow edibles.