In Colorado, edibles are now one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis— they offer connoisseurs the option to get a stronger, longer lasting, smoke-free high, however, there are some caveats you should be aware of regarding these tasty treats.
What are Edibles?
“Edibles” are cannabis-infused products that you can eat or drink, containing varying amounts of marijuana cannabinoids in them (usually THC and CBD)—that are typically created by infusing the cannabis with a butter/oil, or alcohol base. Once it is infused, the butter or alcohol can be used to make a variety of edible foods, drinks, and tinctures.
How do Edibles Work?
When you smoke or vape, all the THC and cannabinoids are absorbed through your lungs, which gets delivered directly into the bloodstream— meaning you will likely feel the effects in 10 minutes or less.
Edibles on the other hand, need to be digested through the stomach, intestines, and liver where the THC and cannabinoids are eventually broken down into the blood stream. This process can take up to two hours to feel the full effects, which is why one of the most important rules of edible consumption to follow is to start slow.
As with other types of drugs or alcohol, the effects edibles will have depend on the person. Someone weighing 90 pounds that hasn’t eaten will probably be hit with a more intense high than someone who is larger with a belly full of food.
Metabolism and experience with cannabis can influence tolerance levels, however, we have encountered experienced smokers that were shocked at how hard edibles hit them. Some people can tolerate 500mg with no issue, while someone else will get hit hard on 5mg. This is why the other most important rule to remember is to start low.
Types of Edible and Effect on High
Yes, the type of edibles consumed is another factor to consider. Our bodies break down THC molecules that are suspended in beverages more quickly than with baked goods. This is because digesting the sugar and other ingredients in food/ baked goods takes longer, plus, small amounts of THC get absorbed through the mouth when we consume infused beverages.
It is also believed that the effects of THC processed by the liver (edibles) is 10 times more psychoactive than when THC is absorbed via the lungs—which is why the high from consuming edibles are typically more intense than a simple smoke session.
Plan for A MUCH Longer High
Differences between how long highs last when cannabis is smoked vs. eaten are huge. How long side effects lasted after smoking marijuana has been clocked in at around three hours; edibles, up to 10 hours. Needless to say, the side effects from eating weed last much longer than smoking it—which is important to remember when deciding how much to dose. It is better to start low and slow and feel a small, incremental increase in side effects, than to take a huge dose and be miserably high for 10 hours.
Start Low, Start Slow
This is the motto for introducing edibles to newbies. Professional recommendations suggest starting out with a 2.5-5 mg edible, but not to exceed 10mg right out of the gate. Wait a couple of hours then take note of how you feel before you determine if you can handle more.
Nearly every single negative edible experience began with the individual going too fast with edibles that were too potent for their tolerance levels. It really pays to be patient with edibles, and while you may not get your dosing just right the first time— it it is better than having a negative experience that can lead to you hurting yourself or others in the process.
Another rookie mistake is making them yourself. If this is your first time consuming edibles, this may seem like a great option because it can give consumers a sense of control over what they’re eating. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to correctly infuse edibles with specific dosages of THC. This is why we recommend buying your edibles from reputable dispensaries, and to be cautious of edibles without labels—especially if you’re a newb.
Unless there are other health issues to consider like pregnancy or heart disease, there is no such thing as a THC overdose—meaning there is generally no reason why anyone that has overindulged would need to seek medical attention or take a trip to the emergency room.
While there is no “cure” or quick fix for getting cannabis out of your system, drinking plenty of fluids and getting sleep is the best way to get through it. In fact, people that make a trip to the emergency room are usually only given IV fluids and a bed to rest in.
Some home remedies have been rumored to help—like eating black peppercorn or drinking some chamomile tea, but pure CBD is the only compound that has been scientifically proven to ease the side effects caused from consuming too much THC.
The most important thing to remember if you have overindulged on edibles is to remain calm and remind yourself that you can’t die from THC, and the feeling will pass. Try to enjoy the high as much as you can, drink a lot of water, and try to sleep it off.
If talking to someone helps, reach out to friends or family you know you can talk through the experience with to help keep you from experiencing unnecessary panic and misery.
The Final Hit
Edibles are a fun, appetizing way to enjoy cannabis both recreationally and medicinally. The health benefits that can be gained from consuming edibles are proven to be extremely helpful for our mental and physical well-being —we just ask that you enjoy them responsibly so we can continue to enjoy legal marijuana. If we abuse it, we risk the chance of losing it.
For our video lovers, we present this amazing motion graphic video, “Intro to Edibles” by
Breckenridge Organic Therapy carries a variety of cannabis products that are naturally sourced and high quality. Feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions you may have and we will be happy to help!