Cannabis 101: Edibles

An industry report from New Frontier Data, a company that tracks the legal marijuana industry, reported that smoking marijuana remains the most popular way to consume cannabis, but shows consumers are increasingly opting to eat their weed.

The sensations people get from smoking or eating cannabis are ultimately pretty similar, but people often report that the intensity of edibles feels much greater. To clarify, when people report that they’ve had an “unpleasant” or “too-intense” experience with edibles, it’s usually because they weren’t an informed enough user. That, or they foolishly pushed their own physical limits regardless of knowing better. Trying edibles without having an idea of how to properly use them, or using them without respect for their potency is a VERY bad idea. 

A good rule of thumb is to treat cannabis (in general) the same way you’d treat alcohol. Recognize that while cannabis edibles can create long-lasting, safe affects, they are also one of the most likely consumption methods to result in overdose symptoms and a hazardous experience, leaving the user with nothing but a cautionary tale.

Before getting into the specific types of edibles that LOCAL’d offers as gifts with purchase, let’s define what I’m talking about more generally. For the sake of this blog post, I’m defining an edible as any form of cannabis that is absorbed through gastrointestinal uptake, oral uptake, or a combination of the two. This means that the different types of edibles actually include drinks, lozenges, candy, tinctures, and solid foods.

These methods of absorption are different from what happens when you smoke or vape. When you inhale marijuana, the cannabinoids are absorbed into your body through your lungs. Those compounds go straight into the bloodstream, which means smokers are likely to feel the effects within five to ten minutes.  In contrast to inhaling, edibles need to be digested and metabolised by the body the same way it would process non-infused food and drinks. When using edibles, the THC cannabinoids are absorbed through the stomach, pass through the intestine and make their way to the liver, which breaks down the THC that then enters the bloodstream. This means it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours to feel the full impact of your edible.

Q: What is the high that comes with an edible feel like?

The feeling associated with each separate use depends on many factors. On the most basic level, the strain of marijuana that was used to make each edible is important to consider.

Technically, there are four categories of edibles: sativa-only, indica-only, hybrid (a mix of sativa and indica), and pure CBD.

If an edible is made entirely from a Sativa strain, the results will be more of an elated, heady, and awake high. If an edible is made with an Indica strain, you are more likely to experience a high that is less psychoactive and felt more in the body; a feeling that is great if you are in need of sleep or relief from physical pain. An edible that derives from a hybrid will provide a balance between the two. A CBD edible contains no THC so it is non-psychoactive, thus it will not leave you feeling intoxicated. Click here for an Introduction to CBD and learn the basics on why it’s beneficial.

Q: What is the best way to create a positive edible experience?

How and what you’ve eaten, the time of day, and your level of energy levels prior to taking an edible are all VERY important factors to consider before partaking. Another key factor in creating a positive edible experience is the user’s own willingness to be realistic about their dosing needs. Lastly, the most important things to consider are an individual’s current tolerance level, body type and dosing levels. Consider this: You would not want to go into a bar and consume three servings of alcohol in a row on an empty stomach, and you do not want ingest too many servings of THC for your body at one time either.

Dr. Margaret Gedde, a physician who provides medical marijuana services through Vibrant Health Clinic in Colorado Springs reports, “10mg is considered a single serving for an adult. Somebody who’s never had an edible before should start with less.” Dradvises “5mg is a reasonable first-time starting dose...Once that 5mg kicks in, it will not be overwhelming.”

It’s worth noting that states differ on their dosing recommendations. In Colorado the state has recommended a 10mg dose as a recreational dose. California and Washington are the same, at 10mg, but Oregon has set a 5mg THC per serving maximum.

If you are completely new to edibles, start with 5-10 mg of THC (or less!!), and gradually work up from there. It’s a much smarter idea to familiarize your body with edibles at a low-dose in order to ease-into the desired effects.  Err on the side of caution, and do not take another dose for at least two hours, until you can accurately assess how you are feeling.

As with taking other types of drugs or drinking alcohol, the impact of edibles will also depend a great deal on the particular person’s size. Someone who weighs 90 pounds and hasn’t eaten that day will likely feel the effects more intensely than someone who weighs more and has recently eaten a big meal. The person’s metabolism and prior experience with cannabis can also play a role, though even experienced smokers like myself are sometimes surprised by how hard edibles hit them.

The best way to manage your edible experience is to think about the numbers: Know how many milligrams of THC is in each LOCAL’d product that you are gifted, and know whether you need to cut it into pieces or if you can eat the whole thing. **Note how much you start with, how much time you’ve been waiting, and, if you decide to up the dose, know how much you’re adding. Tracking this process during every use will help you reach a more consistent high (and make properly dosing easier, too). In a nutshell, just remember: Always Start Low and Go Slow.** 

For 6 Rules to Follow before taking edibles, click here

Q: Do different kinds of edible options produce different effects?

The short answer is yes. Edibles in different forms take effect differently; the delivery method also affects how long it takes the THC to kick in, how intense the high is going to feel, and how long it will last.

If you want an edible that you will feel faster, it’s best to try one that doesn’t need to be chewed. Any edible that is able to dissolve or simply absorb in the mouth is my personal preferred choice because it works the fastest and doesn’t last all day like THC infused food can.

Good news! If you live in and around The District Columbia, LOCAL’d has you covered with several awesome sublingual edible options.

I know first hand because I’ve tried all of them. Yes, all of them.

Click here for my full review.

Or head over to the @Getlocal’d Instagram account to watch the Highlighted Story from that one time I (later regrettably) got way too high.

DISCLAIMER: This is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional or scientist. I’m also not a lawyer and can’t defend you if you get busted trying to make this recipe in a state where possession or cultivation of cannabis are still a criminal act. I don’t agree with cannabis prohibition laws, but also don’t want anyone to get in trouble. Jail would suck big time.  
Instead, I strongly encourage that you work to change the law on a state and federal level by supporting and being active in grassroots organizations that are trying to legalize cannabis in your area (they’re everywhere). This blog and the products Local’d offers are only intended for Local’d customers who live where medical and recreational use of cannabis is legal, who are 21 and older, of sound mind, and who understand that operating heavy machinery (cars, trucks, planes, ect) under the influence of any intoxicant, including marijuana is dangerous and stupid. Instead, support public transit or a use a ride sharing service like Lyft, and enjoy your buzz even more by knowing you’re being responsible.

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