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Educational

Educational

What Are Edibles? An Easy 101

By Andrew Ward

What Are Edibles? An Easy 101

Cannabis-infused edibles seem simple enough, and they essentially are. But, this rapidly growing sector of the weed world contains many layers and critical points consumers need to be aware of. 

 

What Are Edibles?

While smoking marijuana remains the most popular form of cannabis consumption, eating and drinking the plant has gained prominence steadily over the past several decades. Today, just about every food and drink imaginable is capable of infusion. If it can be infused with THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids, then it qualifies as an edible.

 

While the world of edibles was once relatively small and limited to baked goods, candies, gummies, and baking essentials like butter and oil, that isn't the case today. Now, edibles include just about every option under the sun, spanning foods, beverages, ingredients, condiments, and anything safe to eat or drink.

 

Edibles are made using extracted cannabinoids from a heated, or decarboxylated, cannabis plant. Heating the plant converts its non-psychoactive acid cannabinoid THCA into delta 9 THC, the psychoactive compound often associated with a cannabis “high.” A similar process occurs with CBDA becoming CBD, except no psychoactive effects are created through the compound conversion. 

 

For decades, producers exclusively worked with the plant when making edibles. But today, thanks to various extraction methods and proprietary techniques, producers can also use various extracted cannabis oils, such as hash rosin, to create their infusions.

 

Edibles originally became popular in the modern marijuana movement thanks to their beneficial effects on various medical patients, including individuals undergoing cancer treatment, those living with HIV or AIDS, and other painful, often life-threatening conditions. 

 

In the years since, edibles became a popular choice for anyone looking to experience the elevated effects of the plan in a delicious and discrete function. Thanks to legalization, accessibility has spread, opening up the doors for millions of medical and recreational consumers to enjoy a range of edibles.

 

Market research into American cannabis consumers has revealed that, to no surprise, many enjoy eating and drinking marijuana. Medical consumers particularly favor edibles for many reasons, ranging from a lack of smoke or vaporization to the heightened effects of a discreet edible. Whatever the reason, there's lots to love about edibles [link].

 

Effects of Cannabis Edibles

Eating or drinking your cannabis provides a thoroughly different experience than the classic smoked or the more modern vaped option. While edibles contain the same active ingredients found in any other cannabis product, the process various significantly otherwise. Understanding these differences is critical for anyone looking to enjoy the benefits of an edible.

 

With smoked and vaped marijuana products, the effects are almost instantaneous. Once consumed, THC, or any other primary cannabinoid, travels through the lungs and directly to the brain. These effects are felt in seconds, if not minutes, allowing the consumer to quickly assess if they require additional dosages.

 

With edibles, the consumer must wait, on average, 15 to 120 minutes to experience the effects and decide if any additional dosages are needed. This prolonged waiting game is due to the edibles' necessary path through the body, which goes through the digestive system and is eventually metabolized in the liver. 

 

Once metabolized in the liver, the cannabinoid delta 9 THC converts to the more potent psychoactive compound 11-hydroxy-THC. Consumers need to be aware of their ideal dosage, as 11 hydroxy THC will drastically increase the effects felt. Meaning, the dosage that works for you in smoked or vaped form may be excessive when consumed as an edible [link].

 

Edible Benefits

Through lab analysis and years of anecdotal feedback, it seems that edibles have a high potential for delivering many benefits to their consumers. Some of the positive effects of marijuana-infused food and drinks include [link]:

 

Alleviating Various Conditions

Edibles, with their higher potency and prolonged effects, are considered a viable treatment option for several medical conditions and symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Muscle Spasms
  • Chronic Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Epilepsy
  • Appetite Loss
  • Certain Psychiatric Disorders (PTSD, Anxiety, Depression

 

Additional research into most claims is required, but scores of anecdotal feedback have led many to try edibles regardless of clinical research. 

 

No Smoking or Vaping Required

Edibles eliminate the possible adverse side effects caused by smoke inhalation as well as any risks of inhaling cannabis vapor. While cannabis vapor risks are subject to further analysis, eliminating smoke from the equation reduces the consumer's chance of developing issues related to lung inflammation, bronchitis, and other pulmonary conditions and symptoms. 

 

Extended Duration of Effects

Any prolonged effects of an edible typically last six to eight hours, providing consumers with significantly longer felt effects than a smoked or vaped option, which usually lasts between one and four hours. Edibles, on the other hand, tend to last for six to eight hours. 

 

Discretion and Convenience

While vaping has helped make cannabis consumption more discreet, some still would prefer not to produce any vapor clouds or look like they are inhaling from any device in public. Those individuals may find edibles the perfect blend of non-detectable consumption that can occur anywhere they would like.

 

Possible Side Effects

Edibles are mainly considered safe for consumption. However, adverse effects and side effects have the potential to occur. Some of the most likely undesirable outcomes include [link]:

 

Over-Intoxication

An edible's digestive and metabolization process creates an effect on the level of a triple dose of smoked cannabis. As such, consumers may accidentally overconsume, triggering a range of adverse effects, including increased anxiety and paranoia, nausea, and psychosis in rare cases.

 

Drug and Substance Mixing

Mixing cannabis with medication can trigger a variety of unexpected effects. Consider the medications and supplements you are consuming before introducing cannabis into the equation, or vice versa. When in doubt, consult a trusted medical professional to assess your profile.

 

Accidental Ingestion

Improperly stored or labeled edibles can lead to accidental consumption of cannabis. This outcome is unwanted to adults, who may not be in the mindset to experience the effects of THC at this time. More so, the concern centers on minors, who should not be consuming cannabis unless recommended by a medical professional. Such instances have resulted in numerous adults and children heading to the hospital or calling poison control in an attempt to fix the situation.

 

Tips for Buying and Consuming Edibles

It can be difficult to tell the difference between infused and non-infused foods and beverages. The challenge becomes even more complicated when dealing with unlicensed products that often steal branded companies' logos and designs, leading to confusion among consumers.

 

Even licensed products can lead to some confusion if the consumer doesn't check the package correctly or leaves their product out in the open. Some states are doing their part to ensure that infused products are labeled clearly so people don't get their items mixed up. However, without federal oversight from the US Food and Drug Administration, many believe that edibles will continue to be confused from time to time. 

 

If you're having trouble determining which of your foods and drinks are infused with cannabis, consider the following tips [link]:

 

Examine Labels Carefully

Look for symbols, words, and/or images that indicate the product is a legal, licensed option. Look for a QR code on the package, or website linking to the product’s lab test results, which will allow you to examine the product's contents further. Also, watch out for lookalike packaging. If you see your favorite candy, cereal, or other popular product suddenly selling THC, it’s probably not legit. 

 

Seek Trusted Sources

Shop at licensed retailers, either in-store or online, to minimize the chances of encountering mislabeled or deceptive products. Confirm that the retailer is licensed and that its products contain lab-tested verification of their contents. While mislabeling continues to be an issue and some states slack on product enforcement, an increasing number are taking a serious approach to lab-tested products.

 

Once you’ve picked up your edibles, keep the following in mind [link]:

 

Know What You’re About to Consume 

Understand the product dosage and its intended duration of effects.

 

Be Patient

Give yourself adequate time to let the effects kick in, and have the hours afterward to enjoy them without interfering with daily tasks.

 

No Mixing

Avoid mixing cannabis with any other drugs, medications, alcohol, or other substances that may create adverse reactions. 

 

Assess Your Health

Consider the physical and mental health effects. Contact a trusted medical professional to explore the topic before consuming. 

 

Avoid Over-Intoxication

Avoid overconsumption by starting low and going slow. Consume between 1 and 5 mg (depending on your experience level and tolerance). Then, wait 30 to 60 minutes to decide if another dose is needed. Repeat these steps until you’ve reached your desired effects. If the process takes numerous rounds, consider increasing the dosage level the next time you consume. 

 

Are edibles for you? Then try Snoozy’s line of edibles to help you sleep better and get through the day. We're a lab-tested, trusted source of hemp-derived, delta 9 THC, CBD, and other helpful cannabinoids and compounds. Try for yourself today! 

 

 

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