There are plenty of ways to consume cannabis, but edibles are hands down the most enjoyable one.
As cannabis legalization gains momentum all over the world, the demand for different cannabis products is on the rise.
And as you probably know, people from the cannabis community are particularly creative when it comes to their beloved herb.
Today, there’s an impressive number of different cannabis edibles to choose from — in various formulas, sizes, shapes, and flavors.
Just type in “cannabis edibles for sale” in your browser and see for yourself how prominent the cannabis food market is.
But what exactly are cannabis edibles?
Why so many people prefer them over other forms of consumption?
Read on and get your answers!
What Are Cannabis Edibles?
Cannabis edibles are one of the most enjoyable ways to consume the herb. They are infused with cannabinoids — THC or CBD (or both in different ratios) — the naturally-occurring compounds in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis edibles can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana — yielding different ratios between THC and CBD. Marijuana edibles are still more popular than hemp edibles, but the latter are chasing their tail at a rapid pace.
To put it as simply as possible, cannabis edibles are just sweet treats that have been infused with cannabis extracts. You can eat them to experience the benefits of cannabinoids in a similar way to smoking or vaping.
Edible weed products come in many different forms, including cookies, gummies, protein bars, snacks, honey sticks, candies, and more.
Each piece comes with a fixed dose of THC (or CBD). Edibles are sold in different concentrations, from 5 mg up to 50 mg per sweet. This makes them easier to dose once you know your optimal dosage range.
Although cannabis edibles deliver the same compounds to your body as smoked and vaped cannabis, the mechanism behind their delivery is slightly different.
Let’s take a closer look at how cannabinoids from edibles make it to the bloodstream.
How Do Cannabis Edibles Work?
Cannabis edibles are taken orally, meaning they need to pass through the digestive tract before THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream.
Once there, they travel to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, producing their effects.
This form of cannabis consumption has a significant advantage over others. It’s a smoke-free method, so you actually don’t consume any tar with your weed. In addition, cannabis edibles are released gradually, meaning they also last longer — this applies both to the high and therapeutic effects of cannabis.
However, cannabis edibles also have some downsides. Since they need to pass through the liver first, they have a delayed onset. This makes them a little bit tricky to dose. The effects may need between 30–120 minutes to kick in; some impatient consumers tend to take another dose when they can’t feel anything after, say, 40 minutes — ending up getting a bad trip because of the accumulated effects of THC.
Another potential downside is the lower bioavailability than smoked or vaped cannabis. Bioavailability is expressed in the percentage of cannabinoids that reach the bloodstream. The bioavailability of oral THC is measured at between 5–20%, which is quite low compared to vaporized cannabis that has 56% bioavailability.
What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Edibles?
The endocannabinoid system is arguably the most important neurochemical network in our bodies. It controls nearly every vital function, including memory, mood, immune response, body temperature, fear and stress, pain perception, blood sugar regulation, cognitive function, neuroprotection, and more.
THC has many well-documented benefits, all of which result from its interaction with cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) that are mostly found in the brain and the central nervous system.
By tapping to CB1 receptors in the brain, THC exerts certain actions that make it particularly useful in relieving the following symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Lack of appetite
- Attention deficits
- High blood sugar levels
What Do People Use Cannabis Edibles For?
Cannabis edibles combine the enjoyability of vape products with the convenience of tinctures. Although more popular among recreational consumers, these treats have plenty of medical applications.
People commonly use cannabis edibles to relieve:
- Chronic pain
- Eating disorders
- Mood disorders
- Difficulty sleeping
- Chronic inflammation
Different types of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles can take many shapes, sizes, and flavors. There are 5 main groups that we can use to talk about weed-infused food.
In this section, we shed light on each of those categories.
Cookies are one of the most common forms of edibles. In essence, they’re just regular cookies infused with cannabutter or some other cooking oil. You can buy cannabis cookies in many different forms and flavors; each piece carries a fixed dose of THC — usually between 5–10 mg, which is enough to get you started.
Gummies are conquering the cannabis market at a devil’s pace, with a myriad of flavors, shapes, and doses to choose from. Similar to cookies, each gummy has a fixed amount of THC in increments small enough to allow for easy and accurate dosing.
The most common potency of a THC gummy is 10 mg.
What are CBD gummies made from?
It depends on the manufacturer, but regular THC gummies contain nothing but the cannabis extract, sugar (or sweeteners), and gelatin.
Want to increase your protein intake and get yourself a nice euphoric me-time after a workout? Then cannabis protein bars will be your best bet. People eat them for higher protein levels in their diet and, at the same time, to benefit from muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties of THC.
Aside from the cannabis extracts, these edibles are made with whey protein concentrate, natural or artificial flavorings, and other ingredients you may find in products like this — nuts, oats, fruits, etc.
Cannabis snacks are the broadest group because almost every edible that’s not a cookie, gummy, or a protein bar can be categorized as a snack.
Similar to the above edibles, snacks, too, have a fixed dose of THC per serving.
Here are some of the common cannabis snacks:
- Dried fruit
- Chewing gum
- Energy bars
- Hard candy
- Chocolate bars
- Soft caramels
- Honey sticks
- Jet setters (gummies infused with vitamins)
CBD edibles are typically made from hemp plants. Hemp has higher levels of CBD than marijuana and only trace levels of THC, usually below 0.3%. Therefore, CBD edibles won’t get you high but they also carry some serious health benefits, such as relief from pain, anxiety, stress, inflammation, and sleep deprivation.
How to Dose Cannabis Edibles for the Best Results
At this point, you’re probably wondering about the best dosages for a person who wants to try edibles as their new way to medicate.
Well, the sad truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all THC dosage.
There are simply too many factors that can influence your high and therapeutic effects to simplify this process to such an extent.
Everybody has a different tolerance to THC. Those just getting started with edibles should begin with the lowest dose possible (e.g. 5–10 mg THC) and wait 24 hours to assess the effects and how they feel.
Other factors such as the individual’s weight, age, metabolism, diet, physical activity levels, and frequency of cannabis use, also determine the way you react to THC.
Can You Overdose on Cannabis Edibles?
Yes, and it’s actually easy. The effects of edibles need some time to take hold because of the aforementioned first-pass liver effect. People with a faster metabolism rate will feel these effects faster than those whose metabolism is slower.
Some consumers are particularly impatient, often forgetting about the delayed onset. When a person eats another piece before the effects from the first batch kick in, the concentration of THC in their bloodstream may elevate to the point where they backfire at the user.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Eating too Much THC?
Consuming too much cannabis edibles may cause you to experience rapid heart rate, anxiety, paranoid thoughts, and loss of coordination, so always make sure to wait long enough before taking another bite of your greens.
What’s the Legal Status of Cannabis Edibles?
Well, that depends on where you live.
Hemp-derived edibles that have less than 0.3% THC are legal in most countries across the world. That’s because hemp is non-psychoactive and can’t get the user high. CBD hemp edibles can be legally bought in specialty stores, dispensaries, head shops, and wellness centers.
When it comes to marijuana edibles, you need to make yourself familiar with your country’s laws surrounding marijuana. Currently, marijuana is legal in Canada, Uruguay, and in several US states. European countries are also loosening their strings around the herb, decriminalizing it personal possession and medical use.
Although Canada legalized marijuana last year, edibles haven’t made it to local dispensaries yet as provinces are still trying to figure out the best legal framework for this type of cannabis product. The majority of the stuff is sold online nowadays — you’ll find plenty of delicious weed edibles at My Green Solution.
Other Ways to Use Cannabis
If cannabis edibles aren’t your favorite weed format or you just need more immediate relief from your symptoms, there are still several other methods to choose from.
Here’s how people commonly consume weed:
- In a joint/bowl/bong: smoking is the most iconic way to consume cannabis. It also offers the fastest effects of all methods because cannabinoids travel from the lungs directly to the bloodstream. However, smoking also produces harmful carcinogens which could potentially deteriorate your experience, not to mention that some people prefer not to smoke anything.
- In a vaporizer: vaporization means heating the dry flowers at lower temperatures to release vapor that is full of cannabinoids and terpenes. This consumption method has higher bioavailability levels than edibles (56%) and the effects can be noticed almost immediately. Unlike smoking, vaping doesn’t combust your material, hence the lack of the harmful tar.
- Dabs: dabs are cannabis concentrates that you flash-vaporize in a special device called “dab rig”. Dab rigs are just fancy bongs with dedicated features for marijuana extracts. Dabs may contain anywhere between 50–90% THC, so it’s important to mind the dosage, especially for first-time users.
- Tinctures: tinctures are liquid cannabis solutions which you can apply under the tongue. They absorb into your body through mucous membranes, allowing the user to omit the first pass effect in the liver. The effects of sublingual cannabis usually take hold within 15 minutes, lasting up to 4 hours. Tinctures are made by soaking cured cannabis buds in high-proof alcohol. The longer the buds are soaked, the more potent the tincture. This form of cannabis also has a long shelf-life, lasting up to 36 months.
- Topicals: if you’re looking for localized relief without getting too high, then cannabis topicals are a good option. They work exceptionally well for localized problems, such as inflammation in joints, muscle cramps, soreness, and fatigue.
Key Takeaways on Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles are a great way to enjoy your favorite strains without having to smoke them. With so many different flavors and types of edibles available on the market, exploring the amazing food & weed pairings may become your next hobby.
If you’re looking for long-lasting relief from your symptoms or don’t have time for measuring out your doses, go ahead and get yourself some delicious treats online. That is, of course, if you don’t mind waiting for a bit more than usual for the effects to appear.
Always make sure to buy your weed edibles from a trusted source that can provide 3rd-party reports from an independent laboratory to prove the quality and safety of their products. This way, you know exactly what you’re buying.
We hope that our guide has helped you get a better understanding of cannabis edibles and that you’ll enjoy their consumption — or even cook your own batch of tantalizing weed goodies one time.
How often do you use weed edibles? What’s your favorite cannabis recipe?