Did you just complete your 420 medical evaluation? If yes, then you have opened the doors to the immense medical potential of cannabis. But to extract its benefits, you will have to first decide on how you would like to use cannabis. With dozens of delivery methods to choose from, you have to find a match that’s perfect for your condition and needs. So, are you considering choosing cannabis edibles?
If you aren’t clear yet, let me help you make a decision with this guide to edibles that’s perfect for a beginner.
What Are Edibles?
All food items infused with cannabis are called edibles. The most widely known types of edibles are brownies and cookies. While these were traditionally the commonly used edibles, with time, the cannabis industry has developed an assortment of edibles that have reached the interest of more consumers. Nowadays, you can find a cannabis infused version of every ingestible item you can think of. From macarons to protein powders, you can find it all. Cannabis beverages have also risen in popularity recently. While tea and coffee are basics, people also enjoy beers and tonics.
And if that’s not enough, you can also make your own edibles at home. All you need to do is perfect the recipe of cannaoil or cannabutter and you’ll be able to infuse cannabis in any of your favorite meals.
How Are Edibles Processed in the Body?
The reasoning for choosing a particular cannabis delivery method is the fact that each of the ways delivers cannabis in the body differently. It is the reason why the effects on the body also vary significantly. In the case of cannabis edibles, it is the digestive system that is involved in delivering the cannabinoids into the bloodstream.
When you ingest an edible, it goes into the stomach and all the other organs of the digestive system. It is only after all the organs have broken down the cannabinoids that it reaches the small intestine for absorbtion by the bloodstream. It is only then that the cannabinoids react with the CBD receptors in the brain and other parts of the body to produce the effects that you want.
Now you may wonder, why do you need to learn about the way edibles are processed in the body? Two reasons, one, onset time and two, potency.
Edibles take longer to show effects on the body because of their slow onset time. This is because the digestive processes make it longer for the cannabinoids to reach the CBD receptors. So when you consume an edible, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to kick in. This time varies from person to person depending upon individual factors like metabolism, hormones, genetics etc.
The effects of edibles are also stronger than other delivery methods. That’s because when the cannabinoids, specifically THC, reach the liver, it breaks it into 11-hydroxy-THC which has more bioavailability and is hence more potent. This is what gives you a ‘couch-locking’ high that’s often not tolerable by beginners.
Possible Side Effects of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis is a psychoactive drug. It can alter your brain functions significantly to deliver its therapeutic effects. But with only a difference of a milligram, cannabis edibles can turn your therapeutic effects into a miserable experience. Whether you smoke it as a joint or consume it in the form of edibles, cannabis can cause mild to severe side effects if not administered correctly. And in the case of edibles, it becomes a little more prominent.
It takes an immense amount of expertise to be able to create an edible with a perfect dose. But even then, the calculation for the correct amount is lacking. As a result, microdosing becomes a hefty task and the risk of overdose increases.
Overdose is Very Common
Unlike smoking, cannabis edibles can be difficult to microdose. Why? Because while smoking delivers effects instantly, edibles take longer to kick in. Beginners tend to mistake the late onset of edibles as ineffectiveness and consume more than they should. But that’s what you should refrain from doing at all costs because you can become a victim of an overdose.
The result may include drowsiness, delusion, hallucinations, nausea, headache, paranoia, impaired reflexes, severe anxiety and even heart problems. While safety tips can help avoid overdosing, you can always learn of the many ways to sober up from the intense high and tolerate it until it subsides.
Tips For Safe Use
Considering the fact that edibles pose a risk of overdose which can lead you to risky situations, you must know how to be safe with edibles. You can always ask the marijuana doctor who took your 420 medical evaluation to guide you through the important safety points to keep in mind while using edibles. In addition to that, read along to learn about a few important safety measures.
Buy From Trusted Sources Only
The first step to being safe with edibles is to buy from trusted sources only. Now that many states in the US have legalized medical cannabis, there are several dispensaries and online stores that are legally registered with the state government. These stores have to abide by the quality standards and safety protocols to sell only state-approved cannabis products. You can also find edibles of different potencies adequately labeled on the products. So microdosing becomes more manageable and you can be assured of quality too.
Choose a Safe Setting
Since overdosing is a common scenario with edibles, make sure that for the first few sessions, you are consuming edibles in a safe setting. Avoid any activities that involve motor skills like driving and walking or anything that can endanger your safety or that of others. The best option is to stay in a room with a trustworthy person if possible. So that in case something happens, a sober person can help you out.
Avoid Consuming it on an Empty Stomach
It is a common trick for people to consume edibles on an empty stomach. Why? Because it reduces the onset time of edibles. So the effects are delivered more quickly than they usually do. While it does make the edibles kick in faster, doctors do not advise this as a proper way of use.
Along with reducing the onset time, eating edibles on an empty stomach makes the effects stronger too. As a result, you may feel nausea, headache and anxiety. Also, considering the fact that cannabis increases the appetite, consuming edibles on an empty stomach may tempt you to consume more and as a result, overdose.
The last important step to remember with edible is to have patience. Avoiding overdose is the entire reason why safety with edibles is essential. So after you consume your dose, have patience. Cannabis will kick at its own pace. Do not consume any more than what you have been advised by the medical professional. Note down the amount of time it takes for edibles to kick in. It’ll help you determine how much to consume and when.
Now before you make your first purchase of edible and sit down for a session, remember these points to have a smooth and satisfying experience while being safe.