Cannabis edibles can be a wonderful, discreet, delicious way to consume cannabis, but they can also pose potential safety concerns if not done responsibly.
If you want to get high without smoking, edibles are exactly what you need. Beginners that would rather ingest then inhale their cannabis should be aware that both forms are different, and it is good to know what are the expected effects. But even if you are an experienced marijuana enthusiast, it would be excellent to brush up your knowledge about edibles.
There are various types of edibles at dispensaries from which you can pick the ones with a suitable dosage. In the beginning, it is worth choosing a product with low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the substance with a psychoactive effect.
Additionally, cannabis edibles have a delayed onset of 90-minutes to several hours, making it extremely difficult to predict the onset time, dose-response, and duration of the experience.
Of course, cannabis edibles are meant to be enjoyed and can be an excellent addition to and healthy lifestyle with some basic education.
By following these few safe edible recommendations below, you can ensure you are prepared to have an experience that is safe, positive, and rewarding.
No matter if you are new to edibles or already have some knowledge, read those essential tips on how to safely guarantee yourself and your friends a good time instead of an uncontrolled trip.
Why Are Cannabis Edibles So Popular?
California was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Marijuana industry researchers have noticed that while smoking cannabis remains the most popular way to get high, people are increasingly preferring to eat cannabis products in lieu of smoking. The reasons behind this are multifaceted.
Reasons for the Increase in Edible Popularity
First, smoking can be disruptive in some situations. It’s illegal to smoke indoors in many places throughout the country, and smoking cannabis is still something of a taboo in some areas. Even if it is completely legal to do so, smoking cannabis outdoors in a public place may draw unwanted attention or disturb others nearby. Discretion is one of the most common reasons for people to try cannabis edibles when they want to enjoy a THC high without drawing too much attention to themselves or raising questions about secondhand smoke.
Second, cannabis is now legal in many parts of the country. People who were opposed to the idea of trying it for legal reasons just a few months or years ago may be more receptive to the idea now that is legal in their areas. However, they may still be hesitant to try smoking. Edibles to the inexperienced may seem like a “lighter” option for trying cannabis, but this is far from true.
Third, many people do not like the idea of smoking cannabis simply due to the known risks of smoking any plant-based material. While the effects of tobacco smoking on the body are well-documented, there is a great deal of misinformation surrounding the smoking of cannabis. Ultimately, smoking cannabis requires the combustion of plant matter, which produces ash, smoke, and charred resin, none of which is “good” to inhale despite the known medical benefits of THC and CBD for certain medical conditions. Edibles provide an accessible and effective alternative for those who do not wish to smoke.
Finally, one of the major driving forces behind the surge in cannabis edibles’ popularity is the high potency of most edible products available from dispensaries. Eating cannabis produces a very different effect than smoking it, and it is generally much more noticeable, intense, and longer-lasting than smoking.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DECARBOXYLATION
Before getting started, it is important to note that all raw or dried cannabis must undergo a process called decarboxylation to enjoy the active forms of CBD or THC.
Raw and dried cannabis flower contains what is known as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).
These cannabinoids are found in the raw cannabis plant material and contain their own powerful health benefits.
However, these cannabinoids are not intoxicating in their natural state.
Decarboxylation is a process that converts THCa → Δ9-THC and CBDa → CBD.
Using heat and/or solvents is the most common way to decarboxylate the cannabis flower before enjoying it.
Mastering the process of cannabis decarboxylation is an important skill to have for anyone who wants to infuse their own cannabis recipes home.
Do Not Rush with It
Even a few hours after eating edibles, you may feel no effect, so don’t rush and eat all of it at once, as it can get you later with double the power. If you have already eaten a portion of your edibles, don’t eat more until you have waited for at least 2 hours.
Eating too much because you haven’t felt anything after 30 minutes can make you suddenly feel very high later. The smokeless intake of CBD products has not such immediate effects, and it fades out more slowly. It usually takes about 1 or 2 hours to hit you, but the feeling lasts longer. You don’t want any unwanted effects, so please, remember to consume this product with care.
It is also not easy to predict the results edibles are going to have on different digestive systems; therefore, try it safely, and remember to follow this simple rule: start low and go slow.
What Dosage Can You Take?
Always read the label carefully, and stay away from edibles that are not clearly labeled. The amount of THC in a single package is a critical piece of information, so remember not to miss it. Understanding how THC content may affect you derives from how much you will consume, so start with small portions if you don’t know your body’s reactions yet.
5 mg should be enough if you are interested in effects like the relief of mild pain or anxiety, and increase of focus and expanding the imagination. Microdosing is perfect for beginners and for those who are experienced but are looking for, for example, good night’s sleep. Euphoria and impaired perception may occur with a dose of around 20 mg. That dosage is recommended for people using THC regularly.
More than 100 mg of THC is for high-tolerance consumers who are familiar with their body reactions. Everyone has a unique sensitivity to the endocannabinoid system and different previous experiences with cannabis. It would be best if you won’t risk the negative results of overconsuming THC.
SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR CONSUMING THC EDIBLES
I always encourage my online course students to prepare their own medicinal oils, butter, edibles, or capsules at home for many reasons, including cost savings and flexibility with personal preferences.
Consuming CBD oil in food does not pose much of a risk, and making homemade CBD gummies is unlikely to produce any intoxicating effects.
It is when you are working with THC dominant strains that you begin to run the risk of accidentally experiencing an intoxicating or even a hallucinogenic effect if the enzymes in your liver hydroxylate Δ9-THC to form 11-OH-THC, the potent intoxicating metabolite mentioned above.
Consuming too much THC can pose a safety risk, mainly for unsuspecting individuals.
The most common unwanted side effects that may pose a safety risk to some individuals include:
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Short-term memory issues
- Slow reaction time
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Increased appetite with dry mouth
THC Safety Considerations Summary: Unknowingly consuming too much THC, especially in the form of cannabis edibles, may result in disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, and tachycardia.