What are cannabis infused edibles?
Cannabis edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. Though they’ve risen in popularity recently, edibles aren’t exactly new. There’s a long history of humans incorporating cannabis into their diets, ranging from traditional drinks in India to the humble pot brownie in the US. Now, thanks to advances in infusion methods, you can find a wide selection of cannabis-infused baked goods, gummies, seasoning packets, cooking oil, chocolates, breath strips, mints, sodas, and countless other items.
Why consume cannabis infused edibles?
The benefit of consuming cannabis-infused edibles is the ability to feel the effects of cannabis without having to smoke flower or vaporize concentrates. Consuming is easy and intuitive — we all know how to eat and drink.
Edibles are enjoyed for a multitude of reasons, such as avoiding the inhalation of particulate matter or seeking a specific level of potency maintained over a longer period of time. Further benefits include:
- Precise dosage
- Control over ingredients
- Avoiding pollen and other plant particulate matter
- Longer-lasting effects
- People’s ability to make their own recipes, so they know exactly what they’re consuming
How should I dose cannabis infused edibles?
The ingestion of edibles is a two-edged sword. As noted above, eating cannabis offers users a variety of benefits, but it can also adversely affect consumers. Ingested cannabis is absorbed through the digestive system, which means that its intoxicating effects may take hours to set in, and even more time to pass through the body. Another aspect is finding the right dose. Dosing edibles correctly can require trial and error, even if users are accustomed to smoking or vaping cannabis. Weight, gender, age, genetics, and more can affect how your body metabolizes cannabinoids. Everyone is different.
Edibles enter the body through the mouth and are absorbed through the stomach for metabolization in the liver. The liver turns delta-9-THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent, has a longer half-life in the body, and can convey sedative effects. The stronger form of THC is also particularly effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier, which results in stronger potency and longer-lasting effects. The mechanism in the liver that converts THC into 11-hydroxy-THC is chiefly responsible for the varying effects of edibles.
Due to edibles’ delayed onset and their duration, users must find their way with trial and error. First, consumers must read the packaging to understand dosing information. Edible packaging includes milligram dosages by serving and by package to fully inform consumers of what they’re ingesting. Another critical factor is whether the edible is consumed on an empty stomach, as an individual who ingests an edible without eating beforehand will feel the effects much more quickly than someone with a full stomach.
A general rule for dosing tells beginners to start with a single dose of 1 to 5 milligrams of THC. Consumers should then wait 2 to 4 hours to evaluate its effects before consuming more.
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