With Marijuana becoming medically and recreationally legal in many states and countries, a lot more people have started to show interest in using it. However, not everyone wants to smoke marijuana due to health and safety concerns. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options available for those who can’t or don’t want to smoke marijuana.
The most popular way to get the benefits of THC and CBD without smoking cannabis is through the consumption of edibles. Many people have found that eating edibles like marijuana-infused brownies gives them a more pleasant experience than smoking. Still, it can be hard to figure out exactly where to start when it comes to edibles. That’s where this guide comes in.
What’s an Edible?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with edibles, they are food, drinks, and oils that have been infused with cannabis. Solid edibles, like gummies and baked goods, are perennially popular, but almost everything edible can be infused with cannabis. Some innovative minds have even started crafting cannabis-infused bacon and pizza. You can also find THC-infused sauces, different types of candy, oil, butter, and capsules.
Most edibles are generally made with marijuana that has high concentrations of THC. THC, the acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the element in cannabis that gets you high. The weed brownies and cookies you see in mainstream media are what are generally consumed recreationally. However, not all edibles will get you high. Some people make and consume edibles that are low in THC and instead are high in CBD, also known as cannabidiol. CBD is used for medicinal reasons, often to relieve anxiety or pain.
People who make edibles usually do so by making cannabutter or cannaoil, which I’ll discuss more later. Cannabutters and cannaoils can be used as you would use regular butter or oil in recipes to turn any meal into an elevated experience. Others are turning edible-making into an art and expanding the market with new products, like the delectable Hi-Fi Hops drinks that Lagunitas and Absolute Xtracts collaborated on. Despite all this innovation, though, edibles in the form of baked goods and candy still reign supreme in the legal marijuana market.
An Alternative to Smoking
One of the main reasons edibles are so popular is the fact that they give marijuana users a way to consume cannabis without having to smoke it. While smoking weed is the classic mode of cannabis consumption and can be a therapeutic way to indulge in cannabis, it does still come with the dangers associated with inhaling any type of smoke into your lungs. That’s why people have moved away from smoking and towards eating edibles and vaping marijuana instead.
How Edibles Work
While consuming edibles offers a lot of benefits over smoking marijuana, it does have the disadvantage of needing to be absorbed through the digestive system. What this means is that the effects of eating marijuana-infused edibles often take longer to kick in. Most people can feel the effects within 45 minutes, but it can take hours for others.
While the wait can feel inconvenient, once they do start working, you’ll notice that the euphoric high you get lasts longer than when you smoke. Edible highs can last anywhere from three to six hours. That’s because once you consume them, they edibles are absorbed and then metabolized by your liver, creating a compound that gives you a more potent high than just smoking marijuana.
Since it can take so long for edibles to kick in, one of the main issues is figuring out your dosage. Miscalculating how much you need can lead to either a disappointingly low-grade high or an uncomfortable experience where you feel like you’re hearing colors. So how do you figure out what dosage is right for you?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. It varies for everyone. Unlike marijuana, which measures its potency based on the percentage of THC in the strain, the potency of edibles is measured by how many milligrams (mg) of THC are in the edible. Edibles affect everyone differently. An amount that might get your friend floating into space, might not do anything for you. That’s why it’s recommended that you take things slow, especially if you’re just starting out. Your tolerance levels are going to come into play here. If you’re a regular cannabis user, your tolerance levels are likely much higher than someone who has never used any form of cannabis before. The more often you use cannabis, the higher the edible dosage you’ll have to consume. Regardless of your tolerance levels, though, you should do your best to take it slow to make sure you have the most comfortable experience.
If you can, when you’re purchasing edibles, try to find one that has easy an easy-to-read dosage and can be divided up. For example, some companies like PLUS Gummies offer a tin of 20 gummies that are 5mg each, for a total of 100mg worth of edibles in one package. This makes it easier to find your dosage. I recommend that inexperienced edible users start with somewhere between 1-5mg and then wait 45 minutes to an hour to see how you feel. With this method, you can gradually consume a little more every 45 minutes until you find out what works for you.
As the well-known edible company Korova says on all their packaging, “You can always eat more, but you can never eat less.” It’s a very true saying when it comes to edibles, and I try to remember it whenever I’m planning on enjoying some. The last thing you want to do is try to have a good time with your friends or a relaxing evening alone that instead turns into a heart-racing nightmare. Trust me--I once ate a 150mg edible and then watched a horror movie. It wasn’t a fun time. So remember, take things slow.
For an inexperienced cannabis user, edibles can often be a bad way to start. Many people don’t realize they need to watch how much they consume. Many end up eating too much and going into a panic. If you've never tried edibles before, your first time could be scary. That’s why I always recommend understanding what you’re doing and making sure that you have an experienced marijuana user or friend to guide you through your first experience. Knowing that you’re in a safe environment can make a huge difference if you take too much.
How to Get Edibles
The easiest way to get edibles is to buy them if you’re lucky enough to live in a state that has legalized medical or recreational marijuana. There’s a lot of great stuff to choose from, like cookies, gummies, chocolate, popcorn, chips, drinks, and more. The legal marijuana market is seeing an influx of great brands to choose from, such as Korova, PLUS Gummies, Love’s Oven, Cheeba Chews, KIVA, and so many more. If these companies aren’t available near you, I’m sure that you can find something comparable. Just remember to try and find companies that clearly show the amount of THC in the edibles and break down the dosage amount. It’ll make things so much easier for your first time.
Making Your Own Edibles
The great thing about making your own edibles at home is that you can create a wider variety of marijuana-infused foods. This is in large part because you have to start the process by making cannabutter or cannaoil, which can be used in anything you use butter or oil for. If you thought the legal market had a lot of edible products, you open up a whole new world by making your own cannabutter and oil at home.
Here’s a great resource for those of you who want to try making weed edibles at home. If you’re more of the DIY type and are already familiar with marijuana, or just want to try making it yourself, it’s a fairly simple process. While buying edibles is the easiest way to get them and provides instant gratification, it’s not that hard to make your own, and many people do.
For those of you who vape your marijuana, you can save your vaped weed in an airtight container. Once you have enough, it can be used to make cannabutter. This is a great method for people on a budget, as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy your marijuana twice: once by vaping it, and then again after using your vaped weed to make cannabutter and then edibles. If you don’t want to wait, you can buy weed in bulk and bake it on a low temperature in your oven to prepare it for the cannabutter/oil process.
With the effects that smoking has on your lungs and the ever-growing, innovative cannabis-infused edible market, adding edibles to your everyday routine has never been more appealing. It’s worth checking out what’s available on the legal market around you, but making your own at home is also a great option if you’ve got the motivation and time. Whichever you choose to do, make sure to have fun and take things slow until you’re able to find what dosage works best for you.