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The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Edibles in 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Cannabis Edibles In 2023

You live in the US in a state where using cannabis is legal and want the full-blown cannabis experience. But rather than blowing clouds of smoke, wouldn’t it be better to drop a trail of edible crumbs instead?

It’s 2023 and probably the best time to swap out that blunt for a cannabis edible. But before you head out and dig into your favorite edible, there are several things that you must educate yourself about.

This guide aims to guide and educate you throughout as cannabis edibles can be quite intimidating at times. If you are reacquainting yourself with edibles or are a first-time rookie, keep reading along this ultimate guide to learn everything there is to know about marijuana edibles.

Cannabis Edibles – Covering the Basics

Marijuana edibles have witnessed a big glow-up in the cannabis industry during the past decade. What started out in the form of a humble brownie now comes in the form of perfectly dosed Willy Wonka treats that are served over the counter in dispensaries across the nation.

Cannabis edibles include any food product containing cannabinoids, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This broad spectrum includes traditional items such as the stereotypical ‘pot brownie’ as well as an expansion into sparkling beverages, savory snack foods, and delectable desserts like ice cream and cakes.

Edibles these days come in all forms of shapes, sizes, and flavors -from micro-dosed mints, and chocolate bars to colorful gumdrops and gooey caramel treats.

Cannabis edibles offer a wonderful smoke-free option for individuals who prefer to avoid inhaling smoke. Another notable feature is the activation process of cannabis. When you smoke or vape cannabis, the active compounds are decarboxylated through heat, which triggers their effects. However, in the case of cannabis edibles, these compounds are already activated, allowing you to simply enjoy the taste and embark on a delightful journey.

How Are Edibles Made & How Do They Work?

Creating a cannabis edible can be a complex endeavor. It requires a delicate blend of artistry and expertise, wrapped in an air of secrecy. While we can’t reveal all the captivating intricacies of the process, let’s learn some of the magic that lies within.

CO2 Extraction:

To infuse cannabis into food or beverages, the initial step is obtaining a cannabis extract. This is accomplished through CO2 extraction, wherein liquid carbon dioxide is introduced to raw cannabis materials. The mixture undergoes high pressure and heat, similar to the nerves felt when meeting your in-laws for the first time. After completion, the CO2 is released as a gas, leaving behind a concentrated cannabis extract.

Short-Path Distillation:

Once the concentrated cannabis extract is obtained, it undergoes further refinement using a process called short-path distillation. This technique utilizes precise vacuum and heat control to separate the various cannabinoids and terpenes present in the extract. The result is a refined extract known as cannabis distillate, which is suitable for integration into edible products.

Infusing The Edible:

Incorporating cannabis distillate into solid edibles is a straightforward process. However, when adding it to beverages, additional effort is required as cannabis distillate is not water-soluble. Nevertheless, due to stringent regulations, you can have confidence that cannabis distillate delivers precisely measured doses of high-quality cannabinoids for all cannabis edibles.

Ingested cannabis is processed differently by the body than inhaled or vaped cannabis. When you inhale cannabis, the active compounds are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, which is why the effects can be felt within seconds to minutes. 

On the other hand, ingested cannabis must travel through the digestive system and be processed by the gut and liver before it can enter the bloodstream. This means that the effects of ingested cannabis can take longer to feel, up to 2 hours.

Dosing With Edibles Responsibly

Cannabis edibles are a popular way to consume cannabis, but it is important to be responsible when using them. Here are some tips for responsible cannabis edible consumption:

  • Adopt a cautious approach by starting with a low dosage and gradually increasing it. It can take up to 2 hours for the effects of cannabis edibles to be felt, so begin with a small dose and allow time to assess how you feel before consuming more.
  • Be mindful of the prolonged duration of the effects. The impact of cannabis edibles can last up to 12 hours, so ensure you have ample time to relax and fully enjoy the experience.
  • Never drive when you are high. Cannabis can impair your ability to drive safely, so it is crucial that you wait at least 24 hours after consuming an edible before operating a vehicle.
  • Keep cannabis edibles securely stored out of the reach of children and pets. Ingesting cannabis edibles can be harmful to both children and pets, so it is essential to store them in a safe location.
  • Only purchase cannabis edibles from legal and regulated sources. Edibles obtained from the illicit market may lack proper regulation and could potentially contain harmful ingredients.

Following these tips can help you have a safe and enjoyable experience with cannabis edibles.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, the variety and creativity of marijuana edibles expand. Whether you have a sweet tooth or a preference for savory treats, there is a vast selection of cannabis-infused edibles to explore and enjoy. Remember to choose reputable brands, follow dosage recommendations, and savor the experience responsibly.

How are Edibles Different From Smoking a Joint?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is what induces the feeling of being ‘high’ when consuming cannabis. This compound is responsible for the sensations experienced after smoking a joint. Upon metabolism in the liver, delta-9-THC converts into 11-hydroxy-THC. 

The intensity of the effects caused by 11-hydroxy-THC varies depending on factors such as age, sex, tolerance, and other individual characteristics, but it generally has a more potent impact on the body.

Although research on this topic is limited, one lab analysis revealed that the effects of consuming 1 milligram of THC through an edible are comparable to smoking approximately 5.71 milligrams of THC.

The food you consume prior to consuming an edible can influence the digestion of THC and consequently affect the onset of its effects. Consuming a large meal before taking an edible can slow down the digestion process, leading to a delay in experiencing the effects. Additionally, individuals with faster metabolisms may experience the effects of THC more rapidly, as their bodies process it more quickly.

Timing is another important factor to consider. Research indicates that the most pronounced effects of smoking cannabis typically occur approximately 20 to 30 minutes after smoking, and gradually subside within two to three hours. In the case of edibles, the effects may take longer to manifest, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes after ingestion, and reach their peak between two to four hours.

Make Your Experience with Edibles Enjoyable and Safe.

Start Low and Go Slow 

The effects of edibles can take up to an hour to kick in, so it’s important to start with a low dose and wait to see how you feel before taking more. A good starting dose is 5 mg of THC.

Be Patient

 It can be tempting to eat more if you don’t feel the effects right away, but it’s important to be patient. The effects of edibles can take up to an hour to kick in, so take it easy before you decide to eat more.

Remember Your Limits

Everyone’s tolerance is different when it comes to cannabis, so it’s important to know your own limits. If you’re new to edibles, always start with a low dose and gradually increase as and when needed as edibles work in a different way in comparison to smoking a joint. It is always a good idea to talk to a licensed medical marijuana doctor to learn about dosing.

Never Mix It With Alcohol Or Driving

Mixing edibles with alcohol can increase the risk of negative side effects, as both substances can have sedative effects and impair your ability to function. It’s best to avoid consuming edibles and alcohol at the same time. It’s also not a good idea to be driving while you’re high.

Be In A Safe And Comfortable Setting

Edibles can make you feel relaxed and sleepy, so it’s important to be in a safe and comfortable setting where you can relax and unwind.

Have A Plan

If you’re planning on consuming edibles, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place. This could include things like having a sober friend with you, having a designated driver, or having a safe place to sleep.

Be Prepared For The Unexpected

Even if you follow all of these tips, it’s still possible to have a negative experience with edibles. If you start to feel uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that the effects will eventually wear off. You can also try to calm down by taking a warm bath, eating some good wholesome food, listening to calming music, or doing some deep breathing exercises.

Different Types of Edibles and Their Effects

You can easily incorporate cannabis into your diet by consuming cannabis-infused foods and beverages.

Cannabis edibles have gained significant popularity in the last few years. The market now offers a wide range of THC and CBD-infused edibles, such as gummies, chocolates, and oils. The specific health benefits associated with these edibles can vary based on the particular type you select.

Chocolate And Baked Goods:

The high-fat content in these products facilitates the delivery of THC to the liver, where it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC. Although the onset of effects may be slower (allow approximately 90 minutes to two hours), they tend to be more intense and have a longer duration.

Mints And Hard Candy:

These edibles dissolve in the mouth, allowing for relatively quick absorption into the bloodstream. As a result, the effects of these edibles kick in faster compared to other types of edibles, but their duration is typically shorter.

Cannabis Drinks:

Developing THC-infused beverages posed a challenge due to the hydrophobic nature of THC, which binds to fat. However, advancements in nano-emulsification techniques now allow for the creation of water-soluble THC products. Microscopic cannabis oil particles are combined with an emulsifier, enabling THC to dissolve in water. The small molecules are rapidly absorbed by the body through the mouth and stomach lining, resulting in faster onset and quicker metabolism. Companies like SōRSE claim noticeable results within 10 to 20 minutes.

Dissolvable Cannabis Powders:

Water-soluble powders offer the convenience of transforming any beverage into a cannabis-infused drink (excluding alcohol, as advised). These powders utilize emulsified THC, ensuring rapid onset. For instance, dissolving Ripple into your preferred drink reportedly leads to measurable THC absorption in 15 minutes, with peak effects around an hour. Alternatively, you can directly place the powder on your tongue using Ripple’s Quick Sticks.

Gummies:

Dr. Elizabeth Ardillo, the director of medical education at Green Thumb Industries, suggests that compared to baked goods, gummies are easier to absorb and provide consistent dosages. Gummies also have better shelf stability, offering consumers more flexibility in terms of when they choose to consume them. Additionally, advancements in nano-emulsification technology have been applied to gummies, further enhancing their absorption rates. Dr. Eschino adds that gummies, typically high in sugar content, may enter the system slightly faster.

Ready to Try Your Tasty THC?

If you have prior experience with marijuana products, you may be familiar with the potential consequences of consuming too much. While not everyone encounters discomforting side effects, novice users are especially susceptible to this possibility.

Additionally, it’s important to note that each edible manufacturer employs their own unique approach when crafting their products. As a result, the levels of THC and CBD, as well as their potency and flavor, can vary among different edibles.

Although this guide covers every aspect of cannabis edibles, we recommend you still see a licensed cannabis practitioner before consuming edibles even if you are a novice or a seasoned cannabis user. 

We hope you have a wonderful edible session soon!