Edibles

Any food that is infused with cannabinoids is an edible. Many people only think of cookies or brownies when they think of marijuana edibles, but any recipe that calls for butter or oil can be easily infused with cannabis. Common edibles are brownies, snacks, hummus, olive oil, cookies, chips, candies, gummies, chocolate bars, and even drinks. Dispensaries also sell cannabis-infused butters and oils for consumers to make their own edibles.

Delayed, but longer, effects

Because edible cannabis products are eaten and enter the bloodstream through the stomach and liver, the effects from the cannabinoids do not take hold as quickly as when smoking cannabis. Also, the digestive process makes the effects last longer than when smoked.

Effects without smoking

Many people interested in the therapeutic effects of medical cannabis aren’t interested in smoking cannabis flower; edible ingestion provides a much simpler alternative. Plus, edibles offer a completely discreet method of using cannabis.

These are some of the benefits people enjoy with cannabis edibles:

  • Control over the ingredients
  • Precise dosage
  • Discretion
  • Longer duration of effects
  • The ability to create your own recipes
  • Control over the ingredients
  • Avoiding the potential respiratory harm caused by smoking

Three common ways of creating edibles

There are three common methods for taking dry cannabis flower and making it into something that can be infused into food: decarboxylation, tinctures, or butter/oils.

  1. Decarboxylation, or decarbing, uses heat to convert THCA found in dried flower to THC, the psychoactive compound with many medicinal properties. This happens when cannabis is smoked. It also happens when cannabis flower is allowed to age, but actively decarbing cannabis speeds up the conversion.
  2. Cannabis resin is soluble in alcohol, so it can be used to make tinctures that are alcohol extractions of the cannabis plant.
  3. Heating oil or butter and then mixing in cannabis flower is an easy way to infuse cannabis into a variety of recipes.

Dosage

Edibles do require a little getting used to when it comes to the dosage. This is because the delayed onset and the longer duration of effects. Packaging in the dispensary will describe the milligram dosages by the serving and by the package. But this will take some trial and error. The problem is impatience — because the effects are not instant, people can sometimes ingest more of an edible. When the effects do take hold, they are now going to be far stronger than intended.

A good rule of thumb is this. Start with a single dose of 1 to 5 mg of THC. Then wait for 2-4 hours to evaluate the effects before consuming any more.

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