What newbies should know about cannabis edibles
Legalization of pre-packaged edibles is coming to Canada and if you are a first time consumer, here’s some good-to-know information for a satisfying and safe experience
What are edibles Let’s begin with deconstructing what’s going in your system. Simply put, cannabis-infused food and drinks are known as edibles or drinkables. An edible is composed of cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The amount of THC present in the food or drink product determines how potent it is and so consuming it will result in varying levels of euphoria and relaxation among other desired effects. Taken for both medical and recreational purposes, pot brownies, are not the only way to consume edibles- there’s a whole range of products out there now and plus, you can make your own. From infused butters and oils and tinctures and capsules to infused meals and beverages, you as a newbie will be spoilt for choice. So here’s what happens when you chomp down - the THC present in the food product is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive system. The THC then breaks down to transform into a more potent version called 11-hydroxy-THC. Good to know fact? Cannabidiol (CBD) laced edibles are predominantly used for medical purposes whereas THC-dominant ones are used for both recreation and medical purposes. Edibles have a wide variety of CBD: THC ratios and those with a higher concentration of CBD tend to be less stimulating than edibles with no CBD. Speaking of potency, one needs to be mindful of what and how much of an edible is being consumed which brings us to the all important topic of dosage. Know your product and take it slow It can take some time- anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours- for the effects of an edible to kick in unlike inhaling cannabis which could take effect instantly, depending on the product. The key word here is patience- there have been many unfortunate instances where a consumer (who may have a low THC tolerance), does not “feel the buzz” immediately and then goes on to re-dose repeatedly and too quickly, without proper knowledge of the product and time intervals. This could result in unpleasant experiences like restlessness, anxiety and paranoia. Once edibles become legal, they are expected to be labelled accurately, wherein their THC and CBD contents will be mentioned explicitly. Good to know fact? A standard dose is typically, 10 mg and products have dose intervals of 5, 10, 20, 40, 80 and 100 mg. Experienced consumers also recommend microdosing- starting at 3-7 mg to sti
mulate creativity and focus. The effects of a good, quality edible can last up to six hours and if you’ve consumed a fair amount, the effects might even last a day. The edible experience generally peaks at about four hours, so give it time and don’t be in a rush to consume more. But I’ve been smoking cannabis... Doesn’t matter. Edibles are a whole different ball game. Smoking cannabis takes effect immediately and the high doesn’t last as long as when consuming an edible. When smoked, the THC in the cannabis goes through the bloodstream to the brain where it almost instantly gets you the effect you need. With eating or drinking products infused with cannabis or marijuana, the effect manifests itself in an hour or more. Here, the THC is also carried to the brain making one stop to the liver. The intensity and duration of an edible induced high depends on the dosage and potency of the edible itself. Quick pointers: • Start with small doses, observe what your body can take and tolerate and dose accordingly • Your body’s metabolic rate will factor into the high you achieve. You need to be mindful of not dosing on an empty stomach or on an overly full one either. • A cannabis infused hangover is not a myth. You might experience sluggishness and headaches the day after, especially if you are a first time edible consumer. • Don’t panic if you think you are experiencing an overdose- Paranoia and anxiety, sleepiness, red eyes and dry mouth are some of the symptoms you might be experience. Get a breath of fresh air or get some rest and give the cannabis in your system time to settle. • Partaking in a safe environment, in a group is highly recommended, especially for emergency scenarios. Enjoying edibles need not be a stressful experience- read your labels, know your dosage and be patient. It’s a fun, elevated ride after that! Want to know more about all things hemp and cannabis? The HempFest Cannabis Expo is coming to Hamilton on June 1st and 2nd. Canada's premier cannabis brands will be present at the event along with experts hemp and cannabis industries to answer all your questions. Get your tickets in advance to SAVE!