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Edibles 101: A Crash Course for Beginners

Posted on February 22nd, 2021 to Education

Cannabis edibles—the potent, easy-to-dose alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis. Cannabis-infused foods have grown to be a staple in the world of weed – and for good reasons. However, consuming an edible is far different from your typical cannabis consumption experience. Without the right guidance, you can certainly ‘overdo’ it, and end up with a paranoia-filled high.

What are edibles made of, do weed gummies taste like weed, and what actually happens when you eat an edible? We’ve pulled together the specifics in edibles 101, your crash course on cannabis-infused edibles.

How are edibles made?

Every edible is made in its own unique way, and there are so many great edibles to try. From hard candies and baked goods to chocolate truffles and even drinks, each edible goes through a careful process during manufacturing to infuse the proper amount of THC or cannabinoids.

Cannabis gummies are perhaps the most popular edible available for a few reasons. Gummies are small, easy to dose, and easy to manufacture. The general process of creating an edible involves using either high-concentrate cannabis products like hash oil or cannabis-infused oil or butter as an ingredient in the recipe.

Edibles vs. other consumption methods

One of the reasons smoking or vaping cannabis has been the go-to for many is you get practically instantaneous results. You feel the effects so quickly that it is easier to gauge when you’ve had enough. This is because inhaling cannabinoids allows for the effective agents to get into your bloodstream quickly, within as little as a few minutes to be exact.

Edibles, on the other hand, can take longer to get into your bloodstream. The body has to digest the cannabinoids, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on your metabolism.

Another fact to note, THC ingested as an edible can get broken down by the liver and transformed into other byproducts. Therefore, some people claim that it takes more THC to feel effects with an edible than it does with smoking. Nevertheless, everyone can have their own experience, so it is best to start with a low-dose edible, monitor for effects for several hours, and adjust your dosage levels the next time as needed.

How to know when edibles kick in

You can feel a range of effects depending on the amount you consumed, the potency of the edible, and your own physiological system. You may feel:

  • More relaxed and calm
  • Somewhat giddy or euphoric
  • Pain relief
  • More focused

Every individual’s experience can differ, but usually, you’ll know when an edible has started to work simply by how you feel.

Edibles 101: FAQs

What are the effects of edibles on liver function?

Since the liver plays such a role in breaking down food, it’s natural to question whether edibles could be bad for your liver. So far, even though studies are lacking, professionals do state that there is no indication that cannabis could be toxic to the healthy liver. Some cannabinoids in cannabis have even been shown to be beneficial for liver health.

How much of an edible should you eat?

The general recommendation is to start with one portion or serving size and patiently wait for the effects to kick in. However, every edible has a different level of THC, so be sure to know what you are consuming. You may find gummies that have 10mg of THC and cookies that have upwards of 20mg. Most people consider 10mg of THC a standard ‘dose,’ so to speak, so try to stick with at or below that number as a first-timer.

How long will the effects last after eating an edible?

The duration of the effects is one reason people admire edibles. You could potentially feel the effects for up to 24 hours with some edibles. So, make sure you set enough time for the full experience. By contrast, smoking effects may last for a few hours and some effects may hang around for around eight hours.

Should you use an edible on an empty stomach?

For first-timers, it can be best to eat and then use an edible. The effects with a full stomach may not hit quite as hard. And, unlike with alcohol effects that can be deterred by eating, effects from a cannabis edible can be heightened by eating after consuming the edible. In a sense, eating after eating a cannabis edible can push the cannabinoids into your system faster.

Tips for Eating Edibles and Having a Positive Experience

To make sure you have a positive experience with weed edibles for the first time, remember:

  • Know the potency of what you’re eating
  • Eat before not after consumption
  • Trust only high-quality edibles from reliable sources
  • Give the edible ample time to take effect before assuming what you ate didn’t work
  • Try edibles for the first time with a sober friend who can offer support just in case
  • Fully anticipate the effects could last up to 24 hours

THC edibles are quite a different experience from consuming THC by smoking or vaping, and edibles may not be for everyone. Some people find that eating THC does not offer the same therapeutic value as smoking, while others can find that edibles are far more preferred for medicinal purposes because the effects can last so long.

Cannabis Edibles: The Bottom Line

Cannabis edibles can be preferable for some people. No smoke and no smell and easy dosing that lasts a while can be valuable when using cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, consuming edibles does come along with a few caveats to keep in mind, and should always be attempted with care as a newcomer. If you believe edibles may be right for you, take a look at our menu at Elevated Roots.

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