cannabis edibles

What are cannabis edibles and how do you consume them?

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. Now, thanks to advances in infusion methods, you can find a wide selection of cannabis-infused products including:

  • Baked Goods (brownies, cookies, truffles, cupcakes)
  • Candy (gummies, hard candies)
  • Chocolates
  • Breath strips
  • Oils (CBD and THC)
  • Capsules (THC and CBD)
  • Liquids (flavoured sparkling waters, juices, teas, and carbonated drinks)

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.

What’s not easy or intuitive about edibles is the fact it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for the effects to kick in. Because the cannabis within the edibles has to go through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream, the effects may take hours to set in and the strength of effects gradually builds to a peak. The duration of your high can then last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day

How to try edibles for the first time

Trying edibles for the first time can be intimidating, but it’s all about taking it low and slow. Here are the key takeaways for an optimum edibles experience:

  • Try edibles with both THC and CBD
  • Start with 2 mg of THC or less
  • Shop for products that are easy to dose 
  • Wait at least two hours before consuming more, preferably 24 hours

Step one: pick your cannabinoid

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in both cannabis and the human body. 

For a psychoactive high, pick THC. As the most plentiful cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and the one known for producing that classic weed high, THC tends to get a lot of attention. Depending on the person, this famous cannabinoid may produce feelings of euphoria, creativity, relaxation, or pain relief. Others may experience confusion, short-term memory loss, shifts in time perception, rapid heart-rate, lowered coordination, and anxiety. Starting with the lowest possible dose and combining it with other cannabinoids (which we’ll get to in a minute) is the safest way to experiment and avoid some of these potentially unpleasant side effects. 

For a barely-there, calm feeling, pick CBD.  While CBD may be non-intoxicating, it’s also been shown to be better at addressing anxiety. If you’d rather risk not feeling anything at all than feeling too much, start with CBD-only edibles. 

For a balanced high, pick a combination of THC and CBD. When THC and CBD work together, users tend to feel a more mellow, nuanced high than a THC-only high. When CBD is present, they also have a much lower chance of experiencing THC-induced paranoia. Cannabis newcomers are best off trying a combination of cannabinoids if the goal is to experience a noticeable, yet soothing high. 

Step two: proper dosing

To gauge how edibles will affect you and find your perfect dose. The strength of THC or CBD in all ingestible cannabis products — whether it be a drink or a gummy — is measured in milligrams. You will see milligrams featured prominently on the labels of every ingestible product purchased from a licensed dispensary. Milligrams are key to figuring out the minimum dose you need to achieve the effects you want and the maximum amount of cannabinoids you can tolerate before experiencing side effects. 

Start with 2 mg of THC. THC affects everyone differently, so 2 mg could be considered a microdose, low dose, or perfect dose depending on the person. Consume more than 2 mg for your first time and you could risk feeling more intoxicated than you want for longer than you anticipated. With 2 milligrams, your worst-case scenario is not feeling anything at all. 

If you’re looking to try CBD-only edibles, 10 mg of CBD is a great place to start. Just make sure to buy CBD edibles from a licensed dispensary to ensure the potency is accurate. 

The same advice goes for those looking to try both: start with 2 mg of THC and 2 mg or more of CBD. You could arrive at this combination by buying two separate products that contain THC or CBD and take them at the same time. Or you can choose from a variety of hybrid products that contain both. 

Step three: pick your product

For a classic edible experience, try weed chocolates or gummies. These products are easy and fun to consume and the effects kick in anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours after consumption..

For a relatively fast-acting edible experience, try a cannabis beverage. You’ll have options for 2.5 mg up to 10mg per can or bottle. Effects tend to kick in faster with weed drinks — typically within 30 minutes of consumption and certainly within the hour. 

Whichever route you choose, shop for products that are easy to dose. Precision is key when you’re just starting out. Begin with products specifically designed for low-dose cannabis consumers.  

Step four: exercise patience

Since edibles are absorbed through the digestive system, you’ll have to wait much longer to feel your high than you would with a joint or bong rip. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects of your edible kick in and once they do, you can expect them to last for several hours more. 

After taking your first dose, wait at least two hours before consuming another dose. Or better yet, wait a full 24 hours before experimenting with a larger dose. This way, you can better gauge how 2 mg affects you versus 4 mg, 5 mg, and so on. If 2 mg of THC doesn’t register in your consciousness after two hours, for example, wait a full day and increase the dose by 1 to 2 mg, or 3 to 4 mg of THC total. Repeat the process until you find a range that works best for you.

For more information on cannabis edibles, and which ones are right for you, contact Tonik Cannabis today!