Cannabis edibles have come a long way since the original “pot brownie” days. Now, you can buy CBD gummies over the counter and legally add marijuana to every meal.
Marijuana edibles are an increasingly popular way for people to get the benefits of weed without the drawbacks of smoking. However, if you’re not careful, you can end up with too much or too little in your recipe or mess the flavor up entirely.
With marijuana recipes everywhere today, there are a few basic things you should know before you start eating and cooking with cannabis.
1. Edibles Can Be Food or Beverages
If a product contains THC and/or CBD, it’s considered an edible. Marijuana edibles have THC in them, as well as other compounds that are found in weed. The difference is that you don’t inhale them through your respiratory system to get the benefits.
Edibles are a preferred method of choice for lots of people who need medical marijuana but don’t want the side effects that come with smoking and vaping.
However, you’ll see beverages at your local dispensary, too. These sodas and energy drinks have THC as an added component. Drink or eat your edibles; the choice is yours!
2. Edibles Have a Different Absorption Rate
If you’re brand new to marijuana, you won’t notice any absorption issues with edibles. As you slowly introduce the ingredients into your system, you’ll learn how your body reacts.
Typically, it can take up to an hour for you to notice any changes. Don’t eat more until you’ve waited 60 minutes before you eat or drink more than the recommended dosage.
Inhaling Versus Ingesting
However, users who are used to the quick absorption rate that comes with smoking and vaping will quickly feel the difference. Those two methods push the compounds straight into your lungs, then into the bloodstream. The effects are almost instantaneous.
Edibles like gummies have a slower absorption rate. They’re introduced through the digestive system, which takes longer to process. The bioavailability rate is much lower as well, meaning less THC is actually absorbed into your body.
With edibles, you get around 4% to 12% of the compounds. The average bioavailability from smoking is 30%.
If you want the benefits of an edible faster, use sublinguals, like lollipops and gum. Because they dissolve in the mouth, they don’t have to go through the digestive process before they start working.
3. Be Cautious of the Dosages
Something else to keep in mind is that dosages between marijuana methods and strains vary. What works well for you as a joint will be completely different as an edible. And what your friend takes for their anxiety might not be what you need for yours.
Think of marijuana as you would an alcoholic beverage. Each drink has varying alcohol content, making some stronger than others. And each person who drinks will have an individual effect, depending on their tolerance, medical conditions, and other factors.
Marijuana edibles work in a similar way. General oral dosages of CBD can range from 100 – 800 mg per day. Some people can handle higher dosages, and certain conditions respond well to specific levels. Adding in THC changes the dosages entirely.
If you’re planning on using THC edibles in your recipe, first, you need to figure out the potency of the marijuana strain you have. Then, use an edible dosage calculator to determine how much of your product (in grams) you should cook with.
4. Edibles Can Have Side Effects, Too
When research studies talk about marijuana edibles as ‘safe,’ this is in comparison to smoking or vaping weed. That doesn’t mean they don’t have potential side effects.
Because it’s so easy to binge eat, you can get very sick from consuming too many edibles. Sticking with the right dosage in your recipe helps you limit how much you can ingest (even if you eat the whole thing).
But if you buy your product and have full access to a lot of edibles, make sure you portion yourself. Split the package up into reasonable dosages, and put the part you don’t want to use far away in case you end up with the munchies.
Whether you’re using CBD edibles you bought in a store or marijuana edibles from a dispensary or your kitchen, you have to be careful.
As long as you stick to the recommended dosages and take it slow, it’s a fun and tasty way to enjoy your weed.