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Marijuana edibles are cannabis-infused food products that offer delayed (yet extended) effects.
Offering a tasty alternative to smoking or vaporizing cannabis, marijuana edibles are food and beverage products that have been infused with cannabis. Consumers who enjoy marijuana edibles typically prefer the extended and more intense effects that they offer compared to other types of marijuana products.
Many different types of marijuana edibles are available to purchase in legal marijuana states throughout the United States, where more than half of the states have legalized recreational or medical marijuana edibles. It’s also common now for cannabis connoisseurs to make their own marijuana-infused cuisine at home.
While marijuana edibles are popular among regular, long-term marijuana users, they’re also a favored choice among beginners who are being introduced to cannabis for the very first time and are looking for an easy way to take their marijuana.
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What Are Marijuana Edibles?
Marijuana edibles are foods and beverages that contain marijuana and its active compounds. Using a number of techniques, marijuana flower can be infused into almost any type of food or drink.
In general, marijuana edibles are produced to contain relatively high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that causes intoxication.
Here’s a list of just some of the different types of marijuana edible products:
- Brownies and other baked goods
- Chewy edibles, gummies and hard candies
- Nuts and trail mixes
- Ice cream
- Dessert balls
- Sauces, dressings, and condiments
- Coffees and teas
- Energy drinks
How Do the Effects of Marijuana Edibles Differ From Those of Other Cannabis Products?
Compared to other marijuana consumption methods, the effects after ingesting cannabis edibles are delayed. While the effects of smoking or vaping marijuana are often felt within seconds or minutes of inhaling, the effects of edibles are usually not noticeable until 30 to 90 minutes after they are consumed.
If you smoke or vape marijuana, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are quickly absorbed by the alveoli in your lungs and reach your bloodstream almost immediately. Marijuana edibles, however, have to be digested before the cannabinoids can reach the bloodstream.
Once the effects of marijuana edibles do set in, they are usually much stronger and longer lasting than other consumption methods. The following are a few factors that can determine how long the effects may last:
- Your metabolism
- Your body weight
- Your edible’s concentration of THC
- How much of the cannabis edible you consume
Safety Tips and Advice for Taking Edibles
Marijuana edibles do offer some initial challenges for beginners who are not yet familiar with how their body will respond to the delayed and amplified effects of cannabis. Because of the delayed effects, it’s not uncommon for beginners to take a second serving and then discover that they’ve overdone it.
Here are some tips on how to have a positive experience with marijuana edibles:
Find a comfortable location
It’s always a good idea to consume your marijuana edible in a comfortable setting. Taking edibles at home or among a tight group of people you’re close to is best. If it’s your first time, consider having your partner or a friend there to help you keep track of how much you’ve consumed and to assist if you experience any discomfort.
Read the package’s serving guidelines
Marijuana edible products you purchase should have their THC concentration in milligrams (mg) clearly labeled. Keep in mind that edible products like marijuana-infused chocolate bars are designed for multiple servings. For example, if an edible packaging says it contains 100 mg of THC and it is divided into 10 single-serving pieces, each piece contains 10 mg of THC. Always know how many milligrams of THC you are taking.
Start with a low serving and go slow
While 10 mg THC is thought of as a typical serving, those new to marijuana edibles should begin by consuming a low amount of THC, between 2 and 5 mg. Wait at least two hours to gauge the effects before you consume another serving. This will help you find the perfect serving for you.
If you end up overindulging and feel uncomfortable, keep in mind that the sensation is only temporary. Here are some tips on how to manage if you have consumed too much THC:
- Lie or sit down and close your eyes
- Try to breathe normally and stay calm
- Tell a nearby loved one that you’ve overdone it and ask them to keep an eye on you
How Long Does It Take to Kick in?
The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, but for most people, the effects of THC edibles kick in anywhere 30 to 90 minutes. One of the factors that influence how long marijuana edibles take to kick in is THC concentration. Higher concentrated products will take effect faster. Another factor is where and how the body absorbs the edible.
THC lozenges, lollipops, and gum are absorbed sublingually, a process that shows effects faster than absorption through digestion, which is the process for THC cookies, brownies, and chewy edibles.
Other factors that may influence onset time include an individual’s weight, height, gender, diet, and genetic tolerance to THC edibles. Whether or not you’ve eaten recently will also influence how quickly marijuana edible effects kick in.
How Long Do the Effects of a Cannabis Edible Last?
The psychoactive effects of cannabis edibles can last anywhere from two hours to nearly 12 hours depending on the amount of THC ingested and the type of edible ingested. Edibles that take longer to digest will typically release THC over a longer period of time, leading to extended psychoactive effects.
The best edibles for you are the ones with effects that last as long as you want them to. Start with a smaller serving size in a single kind of edible (such as a lozenge or baked good), and gradually increase the THC amount with each ingestion. That way, you can home in on the perfect length of time for your THC experience.
- Must be located in the state of California.
- Must be 21 years of age or older, with a valid California ID.
- Must have a valid recommendation from a medical doctor to use medical marijuana. “18-20 years old”