Cannabis edibles are different from other products you can find at your local marijuana dispensary. That’s because they contain infused cannabinoids including the ever-popular CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). While each marijuana product you can get a dispensary is different, there is one thing you can always count on from a cannabis edible: lasting potency.
What’s the BIG Deal About Cannabis Edibles?
Many cannabis users start out smoking flower that can include sativa, indica or hybrid strains. Each type delivers a different concentration of cannabinoids like CBD and THC however, what most pot users find is that over time smoking flower strains doesn’t get the job done. And then, they may seek to find a more potent cannabis product. Many people reach for easy-to-use concentrates in the form of vaporizers or oh-so-tasty (and versatile) cannabis edibles.
Smoking Marijuana Flower vs Eating Cannabis Edibles
The greatest difference between smoking marijuana flower and consuming a cannabis edible is the lasting, resonating potency that users commonly experience. But there are more differences …
Here are just 5 of the most notable differences:
- THC Absorption. When you smoke marijuana flower, the ingestion rate is fast. You’ll feel the mental and physical changes within minutes of lighting up, which can be a good thing! However, in some situations a deeper, more resonating high is welcomed. The THC absorption into the body when you consume a cannabis edible is metabolized by the liver, converting THC into an active metabolite known as 11-hydroxy-THC. Unlike smoking marijuana flower, eating a cannabis edible brings CBD and THC across the blood barrier which results in an encompassing “body high.” And because edibles tend to hit your body slower and from the inside out, the high also lasts longer. This is ideal for an evening high and for many people who suffer with chronic pain cannabis edibles are one of the best ways to relax the body.
- Duration. When you smoke marijuana flower, the effects may hit rapidly but they also tend to “burn off” rapidly as well. Cannabis edibles are different in that it can take 30 minutes to feel the effects and sometimes you won’t feel anything for up to 2 hours! The effects of cannabis edibles are well-known to last for several hours and generally are able to work well with smaller amounts. Please note: When eating weed, start with a small dose and work your way up. There’s nothing worse than biting off more than you can chew when it comes to cannabis edibles. In general, cannabis edibles are known to include between 10 – 20 percent THC that enters into the bloodstream, while smoking marijuana flower is usually closer to the range of 50 – 60 percent.
- Dosage. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid compound known to deliver the mental high of consuming marijuana. Today, if you are making DIY edibles at home you may wonder, “How much THC is in there?” The reality is that it can be very difficult to accurately test for THC and other cannabinoids. It is even common for dispensary cannabis products to be completely void of accurate lab testing data. For this reason, it is advisable that you only shop at a reputable dispensary or alternatively pick up an at-home THC test kit. 10 milligrams of THC is considered a “standard” dose and usually that is enough to give you the high that you expect from any type dispensary product. You can also find cannabis edibles in ultra-high doses of up to 100mg THC. This type of mega-dose THC cannabis edible should be divided into smaller doses if it’s your first time consuming marijuana.
- Potency. The problem of accurate testing is well-known in the cannabis industry. Because of this it can be difficult to get a consistently potent cannabis edible product. Never fear! The legal marijuana industry is taking great steps towards more accurate testing. In the meantime, you need to know that you cannot always trust the dispensary testing labels. But you can talk to the budtender at your favorite dispensary to find out if there have been any changes in the edible recipes. This way, you can anticipate differences in potency from batch to batch.
- No Carcinogens. Carcinogens are compounds that can be found in all types of cannabis products including marijuana flower, concentrates and edibles. They are known to cause a range of health problems and may trigger a process of abnormal cellular growth that can even lead to more serious problems over time. Carcinogens in cannabis are most commonly found in pesticides, extraction solvents and the flower itself if the seed or growing process is contaminated. This is the #1 reason you should always purchase your cannabis edibles from a dispensary you trust. And if you are ever in doubt: pick up an at-home test kit or visit a qualified cannabis-testing laboratory. They can tell you if the dispensary where you’re shopping provides you with cannabis edibles free of lingering pesticides, mold and other common cannabis contaminants.
NOTE: Cannabis edibles are not the only marijuana product that has been shown to contain toxins. Dabs have recently been reported in clinical trials to contain residues harmful to your health.
If you are ready to try top-quality cannabis edibles head down to your favorite local marijuana dispensary or call a delivery service. Or, you can cook up some of your own DIY edibles in your kitchen. Just don’t make these 7 common mistakes while cooking cannabis edibles. And you’re set!
Brittany Artwohl is a health and wellness specialist based out of sunny Arizona. There, she has worked for over 15 years as an aqua fitness trainer, lifeguard and coach. Today, Brittany contributes to publications including Mountain Weekly News and Vital Updates as she lives a natural outdoor lifestyle.