What Are Cannabis Edibles?
An edible product is anything suitable for consumption through eating or drinking. Cannabis edibles, commonly known as edibles, have cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds present in the cannabis or marijuana plant. The cannabis plant has many chemical compounds, but people use it because of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the compound responsible for the intoxicating or euphoric (high) effects of marijuana and its products. On the other hand, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that has shown potential for some medical and therapeutic benefits. However, more research is necessary to affirm the medical uses of CBD and marijuana.
You should note that edibles are not meant to provide any nutritional value. However, they are alternatives to other methods of cannabis use like smoking or vaping.
What Are the Different Types of Cannabis Edibles?
Cannabis edibles are any food or drink that has a dosage of cannabis or its chemical components. According to the Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, cannabis edibles can fall into actual edible infusions and binding agents or infusion methods.
Actual Edible Infusions
These are the edibles you eat or drink. They include:
- Solids: They include substances you usually chew. Common examples include cookies, brownies, cakes, gummies, mints, and more.
- Drinks: Cannabis drinks like beer have a slower acting process compared to other edibles, and their effects last longer.
- Sprays: There are edible spray products with cannabis. Users will spray it under the tongue to use. Cannabis sprays give almost immediate effects and are highly portable.
- Inhalers:there are non-smoking inhalers, although their availability is minimal.
- Dissolvable: Cannabis edibles are also available in dissolvable form like powder. You can dissolve them in any liquid, and they usually lack flavor or taste. Athletes also dissolve cannabis dissolvable infusions to supplements or proteins to help in their workout programs.
Binding Agents or Infusion Methods
Binding agents are semi-edible cannabis ingredients that help to make the final edible product. Common examples include:
- Butter: It is a binding agent that helps to make consumables like cookies and more. Cannabis butter can help delay psychotropic effects in edibles and allows you to control the cannabis dosage.
- Oil: Some people infuse cannabis in various oils to make edibles. Examples include coconut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.
- Distillates: Cannabis distillates are highly versatile when it comes to edibles infusions. It helps you to target a certain effect from the use of the edible. Moreover, cannabis distillates provide pure edibles that concentrate on the compound you target.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cannabis Edibles?
Cannabis edibles do have some benefits. Some health benefits of cannabis edibles compare to smoking, while other benefits are associated with cannabis and its chemical compounds. There is moderate evidence to support some of the benefits of cannabis, including cannabis edibles. The benefits include:
- Cannabis Edibles Are a Healthier Alternative to Smoking Cannabis: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana smoke contains irritants, some toxins, and carcinogens just like tobacco smoke. Thus, smoking marijuana increases the risk of cough, bronchitis, and the production of phlegm. Moreover, the use of cannabis edibles protects those around you from the effects of passive smoke.
- Helps to Ease Gastrointestinal Upset: Research showsthat patients undergoing chemotherapy cancer treatment are prone to vomiting and diarrhea. Thus cannabinoids are usually part of an adult patient’s medication after chemotherapy.
- Cannabis Edibles Help With Inflammation and Pain Management.Edibles rich in CBD help to reduce inflammation and pain. CBD interacts with vanilloid cells to reduce pain reception and lower inflammation. Research shows it is beneficial to patients with chronic conditions like cancer, arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injuries, muscle pain, and more. However, you can still use cannabis edibles to treat normal pain like workout pain.
- Cannabis Edibles Are Alternatives to Seizure Treatment: THC and CBD components act on your brain to produce relaxation and anxiety relief effects. Research shows that these properties make cannabis a good alternative treatment for seizures and epilepsy.
- Cannabis and Its Products Help to Address Psychiatric Disorders: Research shows that cannabis can help individuals cope with psychiatric or motivational disorderslike depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia, bulimia, and insomnia. Cannabis is helpful because it has soothing and relaxing properties that help to ease related stress or strain. Edibles act better than smoking because their effects are more potent and last longer. Also, the dose you take depends on the issue you are facing and your physician’s advice.
- Cannabis Edibles Help to Stimulate Appetite: Patients with chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS and cancer usually experience cachexia. It includes loss of appetite, loss of weight, muscle loss, decreased strength, and fatigue. Research shows that cannabis can help to ease cachexia to increase appetite and weight even in HIV and Cancer patients.
9 Surprising Facts About Cannabis Edibles
As the use of cannabis edibles becomes more common, here are some 9 surprising facts about cannabis edibles you didn’t know about.
1. They Are Legal and Illegal at the Same Time
How can cannabis edibles be legal and illegal at the same time? First, you should know that Marijuana is entirely legal in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. That is the part that makes cannabis edibles legal.
However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement or any edible. As an individual, the law may not get into any legal trouble for the personal use of edibles. However, as a business entity, it is very risky to deal with marijuana edibles. The FDA has not standardized cannabis products and could put the general public at health risk.
2. Edibles Take Time to Deliver the Effects of Cannabinoids
You will begin to experience the intoxicating effects of cannabis edibles 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. The effects will peak at about 4 hours after consumption. Moreover, the ‘high’ will last for about 12 hours. People also experience residual effects, which can last for up to 24 hours.
The effects of smoking cannabis have a different timeline.
It takes a few seconds or minutes to experience the effects—moreover, the peak after 30 minutes. Cannabis edibles take longer because the THC has to travel from the stomach to your liver, to your bloodstream, and lastly to your brain.
You must take small doses of cannabis edibles with THC. each dose should be about 2.5mg. Also, avoid taking more edibles as you wait for the effects of the first dose to kick in. it risks an over-intoxication, which has symptoms like nausea, vomiting, anxiety, panic, and paranoia.
3. Some Edibles Cause Euphoria and Others Don’t
The euphoric properties of a cannabis edible depend on the compounds present in the given edible. Some edibles cause euphoria or psychoactive effects, while others do not. Edibles that pose psychoactive effects have a substantial amount of THC in them. Those that fail to bring euphoria have a significant concentration of CBD. Moreover, the effects of the cannabis edibles will also depend on the strain of cannabis present.
4. The Quality of the Edibles Is Not a Guarantee
Production of marijuana and its products has rapidly increased in states where it is now legal. The rapid increase in these products makes it hard to regulate them, which brings out a quality issue on the edible. They may lack the anticipated potency. Some products indicate that they have no or minimal levels of THC, which may be untrue.
The FDA has only approved one cannabis product to help treat some rare forms of epilepsy.
The only option consumers have to check the label of various products. Ensure that they have a THC concentration of up to 2.5 mg.
5. Edibles Are More Potent Than Smoke
The effects of cannabis edibles are more intense than the effects of smoking. One of the major contributing factors is your liver. Chemicals in cannabis edibles go through your liver on their way to your brain. They cause your liver to turn to a stronger form, which increases the intensity of the effects of cannabis edibles.
6. Effects of Edibles Last Longer Than the Effects of Smoke
Cannabis edibles have effects that last longer than that of smoke because ingestion takes more time to absorb THC. You will experience the intoxicating effects for up to 12 hours. Moreover, you will also experience residual effects for up to 24 hours after using cannabis edibles.
The effects of edibles are usually more intense for people who use marijuana or edibles for the first time. Therefore, it is better to be in the company of friends or family, especially if it is your first time. Moreover, you should avoid driving or operating any machinery after you use any form o marijuana.
7. You Can Get Too High
Some people will assume that the delay in effects results from low dosage and unknowingly take more. It is possible to over-intoxicated on marijuana edibles if you take too much or start with a high amount for your first use.
It is also very important to store your cannabis edibles safe from the reach of unsuspecting friends, family, and children. Remember, edibles are similar to the daily foods and drinks we eat. For example, if you leave some cannabis cookies lying around, a child or family member may overeat and get over-intoxicated. You should get medical attention in case you or a family member over-intoxicates on cannabis edibles. In case it is your first time, start with small doses.
8. It Is Highly Inadvisable to Do Edibles Concurrently With Other Drugs
You should avoid using cannabis edibles alongside alcohol and other substances because they can easily cause serious health complications. Concurrent use of drugs increases the level of intoxication and impairment.
The intoxication of cannabis edibles will cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, paranoia, anxiety, and the effects of the other substance. Some of the substances you should avoid include alcohol, nicotine, and other stimulants and depressants. In case you need some prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about how safe it is to use them together.
9. Regular Use of Cannabis Edibles Is Risky for Your Mental Wellbeing
Research links regular marijuana use to various mental disorders. For example, regular cannabis use increases the risk of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Moreover, if an individual has bipolar disorder, everyday use of cannabis tends to increase the bipolar symptoms. People who use cannabis edibles regularly are also prone to develop suicidal thoughts and increase social anxiety disorder risk.
How to Find a Good Marijuana Dispensary
- How Many Brands Do They Sell?
You need a dispensary with various brands and suppliers to improve your selection in terms of quality and price.
- How Many Strains Do They Sell?
A good marijuana dispensary also offers a wide selection of strains. The wide selection makes it ideal for experimenting for recreational purposes and plenty of choices for medicinal use.
- What Do Other Customers Think?
You should also check a dispensary’s customer reviews before purchase to know their service standards and costs.
- Do They Offer Quality?
Some people go for quantity over quality. However, when it comes to marijuana, it is better to go for quality over quantity. Ensure that the weed is fresh and also on display in a clear glass so you can confirm.
- What Are the Costs?
You should also compare prices before you select a marijuana dispensary to make your purchases. However, you must try to balance quality and cost.