What Are Cannabis Edibles?

Stephen Andrews
03 Jan 2023

Edibles are all types of cannabis products that are consumed by eating or drinking. Brownies, cakes and gummies are some of the more classic edible options. With the market expansion, there are now various other products infused with cannabinoids, like coffee, seltzers, soda, ice cream, chocolates, chips, crackers, mints, lollipops, lozenges, caramels, chews, etc. Cannabis edibles are billed as an alternative to smoking, however, some of the products are pretty potent and can hit quite powerfully.

Cannabis edibles may look like ordinary food items, except they are anything but ordinary. Products can be infused with THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids, offering an alternative delivery route to smoking and vaping. Below are a few important things to note about edibles. 

Read the Label

Cannabis edibles differ in their appearance and content, including how much THC or CBD they might contain. This information is usually available on the label of the edible product (if it's not, I would probably not buy it). If you are trying edibles for the first time, begin with a 2.5 mg dose of THC (if the cookie says 5 mg eat half the cookie). Then wait for the effect to kick in. Sometimes it may take an hour or more before you notice the first tingling from the THC. While cannabis edibles do not have nutritional value, they do have an expiry date and can contain allergens. This information is also supposed to be on the label. 

Long-Lasting Effects

The lungs are pretty quick to let through the THC from smoke into the bloodstream. After that the effect wears out in a maximum few hours. But the stomach needs to work longer to process THC from cannabis edibles. Also, once ingested, the THC from the edibles remains in the body for a longer period of time, sometimes 12 or more hours. You might feel dizzy and slightly high even after you sleep it out. That is why it's wise to consume edibles at a place where you feel comfortable and with people you feel safe. 

Effects Take More Time to Hit

Cannabis edibles may take between half an hour and two hours to take hold. In some cases, this can be three or four hours. All effects may take 24 hours to wear out completely, so some of the sensations may last the next day. Therefore, the edibles experience is quite different from smoking your average joint. Why does it take more time for cannabis edibles to work? Like other foods, edibles must go through the gastrointestinal tract. The speed of your metabolism determines how fast the cannabinoids will be absorbed in the body, whether it takes an hour or three hours. A common mistake with edible products is that users don't wait for the full effects to hit and consume more while they wait for it to get them high. This carries the risk of over-intoxication, which can result in greening out, anxiety, panic, headaches, etc. 

Effects Can Be More Intense

Munching cannabis-infused snacks is likely to generate a more intense high sensation for some people than smoking or vaping, even if similar dosings are in question. Thank your liver for that. The liver converts THC into a more potent form as it processes the greeny food. Subsequently, the body is exposed to both the THC from the original product and the THC byproducts generated by the liver. This is the main reason why those who have never tried edibles are advised to take small dosings and test how they'll react after ingestion. 

Don't Mix with Alcohol or Other Substances

Beer plus joint might be a win-win combination for some people, but alcohol will not work that well with edibles. Alcohol is an enhancer. It boosts the intoxicating and impairing effects of weed. The stronger the drink, the more noticeable this effect is. With edibles, the high is likely to be much stronger. Even a small amount of THC may produce a more powerful effect than what you're used to, so you don't need alcohol as an extra. For a positive experience, it's wise to stick with just one of the two, either cannabis or alcohol. Also, avoid mixing cannabis with other substances, such as stimulants or prescription medicines you might be taking for a particular therapy. 

Keep Away from Children and Pets 

Unintentional ingestion among children happens more often than you might assume and often ends with hospitalization. A lot of cannabis edibles look like regular candy and sweets. It's fairly easy for adults to mix them with standard snacks, not to mention children. That is why keeping your edible essentials in a well-hidden place out of reach to children is crucial. While edibles are not suitable for children, they are also not for your furry friends. So, handle it with care!

Stephen Andrews