|Marijuana edibles are becoming a popular alternative to smoking cannabis. Edibles are a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis, particularly for those who cannot tolerate smoke. Made by infusing cannabis with food, many find that edibles offer a high that is more calm and relaxing than smoking pot. On the other hand, the effects of edibles can be hard to predict and tend to differ between individuals. Before sinking your teeth into edibles, do yourself a favor and get to know the facts.
What are Edibles? When thinking of edibles, marijuana brownies usually spring to mind. But edibles actually come in many shapes and sizes. These include cookies, gummies, cakes, hard candies, chocolate bars and more. Unlike smoking cannabis, where cannabinoids enter the body through the lungs, edibles introduce cannabinoids through the gastrointestinal tract. The result is a high that is more intense and lasts much longer. Some edible products are manufactured to contain as much as 100 milligrams of THC, and therefore should be used for multiple servings. Other edibles have lower dosages of THC such as 5 or 10 milligrams.
What are the Effects?
There are differences between eating and smoking cannabis that should be kept in mind. This is because the active ingredients are absorbed by different parts of the body. The most traditional form of ingestion is smoking marijuana by pipe, joint or bong. The effect from smoking pot generally affects users immediately, but also begins to diminish immediately. Marijuana edibles take longer to start working — usually 30 to 60 minutes. However, the effects can last between 4 to 12 hours depending on the dose.
Edibles are often a preferred method for ingesting cannabis because of the negative impact smoking has on one’s health. Additionally, edibles can be discreetly consumed in places where smoking is not allowed. The high that accompanies edibles tends to be more relaxing than the high experienced through smoking, giving you more of a “body” high rather than a “head” high.
Eating and Dosing Responsibly
State laws require that total milligrams of THC and number of servings be included on packages. In Colorado, one serving constitutes up to 10 milligrams of THC. New users or people with smaller frames might find 10 milligrams is too potent, and therefore might be better off starting with 5 milligrams Keep in mind, a single chocolate bar can contain as much as 100 milligrams of THC. Rich and dense products such as brownies or chocolate also take longer to digest, which means it will take longer for you to feel high. On the other hand, infused drinks and tinctures begin to work much faster. Weight, metabolism, gender and eating habits also play a role in how fast you’ll feel the effect from edibles. It is recommended that edibles be taken with food and not on an empty stomach, or the effect will intensify.
Consuming Too Much…
Consuming too much edibles is rarely a pleasant experience. In fact, eating less may give you a better buzz than eating too much.
Because it may be hard to determine how much your body needs to medicate or get high, it’s best to wait at least one hour to assess the effect.
Signs of an edibles overdose include paranoia, lack of coordination and hallucinations.
If you feel like you’ve gone overboard on edibles, don’t panic. Remember, symptoms usually subside within a few hours. Stay calm, stay hydrated and eat food.