Cannabis edibles are food products infused with cannabis. As legalization spreads, edibles are becoming increasingly popular for both recreational and medicinal use. Edibles provide a way to consume cannabis discreetly and without inhaling smoke. The high from edibles also differs from smoking, with effects that take longer to come on but often feel more full-body and long-lasting.
This complete guide covers everything you need to know about cannabis edibles, including facts, recipes, ideas, and proper dosing. Keep reading to become an edibles expert!
What are Cannabis Edibles?
Cannabis edibles are food products infused with cannabis. This includes oils, butters, baked goods, candies, drinks, and more. The cannabis can be added to recipes in different forms:
Cannabis flower – The dried buds of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD must be heated or extracted from the plant matter before they can be absorbed by the body.
Cannabis concentrates – Extracts of the cannabis plant that isolate and concentrate the cannabinoids. Types of concentrates used in edibles include hash oil, shatter, wax, and distillate. Concentrates allow for precise dosing.
Cannabis-infused oils or butters – Cannabis flower or concentrates are infused into a fat-based substance like cooking oil or butter. The fat helps extract and absorb the cannabinoids. Oils and butters make it easy to add cannabis to all types of recipes.
No matter the infusion method, heat is required to activate the cannabinoids and make them available for absorption when ingested.
The effects of cannabis edibles include euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time, sensory enhancement, increased appetite, pain relief, and more. Edibles are commonly used recreationally and medically. The high differs from smoking and vaporizing in timing and duration.
How Do Cannabis Edibles Work?
When you eat cannabis edibles, the journey of THC and other cannabinoids through your body differs greatly from inhalation methods. Understanding how edibles work helps you choose your dosage wisely.
Here are the key steps of what happens when you consume edibles:
- Ingestion – You eat or drink the edible. The cannabinoids it contains are still in their inactive acidic form.
- Digestion – As the edible moves through your digestive system, the cannabinoids are metabolized by your liver. This converts them from their acidic form into their active neutral form.
- Absorption – The activated cannabinoids are absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream.
- Transport – The cannabinoids travel through your blood to your brain and body tissues. They bind with cannabinoid receptors to produce effects.
- Onset – The first noticeable effects start within 30 minutes to 2 hours, much slower than smoking or vaping.
- Peak – Maximum effects are felt 2 to 4 hours after ingestion. Effects plateau rather than reach an intense peak.
- Duration – Total effects last 4 to 12 hours. You may still test positive for THC 1-3 days after.
- Metabolism – The liver breaks down remaining cannabinoids over days to weeks. THC in particular is metabolized slowly.
This multi-hour process differs greatly from inhaling cannabis. The delayed onset can cause some users to consume more before effects kick in. Starting with a low dose is important to avoid negative experiences.
Benefits and Uses of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles offer unique benefits that other methods lack:
- Longer lasting effects – Edible highs come on slower but provide hours of relief compared to the faster onset and shorter duration from smoking. This prolonged effect works well for conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Consistent dosing – Measured doses of edibles deliver consistent potency and make it easier to control the strength and duration of effects. This allows for customized applications and prevents accidentally getting too high.
- Full-body high – Cannabinoids absorbed through digestion interact more with CBD receptors throughout the body, leading to more physical effects. The high feels more relaxing and sedative compared to inhaling THC alone.
- Discreet and convenient – Edibles avoid the smell and smoke exposure of other methods. Their discreet form and longer effects also allow for consumption in more settings and activities.
- Better for lungs – Edible cannabis products eliminate lung irritation from smoking. This makes them a better choice for those concerned about the respiratory effects or existing lung conditions.
Both recreational and medical cannabis users can benefit from edibles. Common uses include:
- Relaxation, stress relief
- Recreational use
- Enhancing activities like social events, concerts, camping
- Pain management
- Aiding sleep
- Reducing anxiety or depression
- Increasing appetite
- Alleviating chemotherapy side effects
- Controlling seizure frequency
Edibles won’t work for every situation. Their delayed onset and long duration make dosing important, especially for new users. But with proper use, edibles offer unique advantages over smoking and vaping.
Types of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis can be added to all types of edible and drink products. Some of the most common types of cannabis edibles include:
- Baked goods – Brownies, cookies, cakes, breads. Baked goods mask the cannabis flavor well. Fatty ingredients help absorb cannabinoids.
- Candies – Gummies, chocolates, lozenges, hard candies. These shelf-stable items are discreet and portable. Hard candies provide longer relief.
- Beverages – Cannabis oils, extracts, or dissolvable powders can be added to drinks. Carbonation speeds absorption.
- Tinctures – Liquids with cannabis-infused oils, alcohol, or glycerin. Tinctures placed under the tongue offer rapid effects.
- Capsules – Cannabis oils inside a swallowable capsule. Provides consistent dosing in an easy format.
- Oral sprays – Liquid concentrates sprayed directly in the mouth provide faster relief.
- Savory foods – Butters, oils, sauces, dressings to add to all types of recipes and dishes.
Anything that contains fats or dissolves in fats will effectively absorb cannabinoids. Products like gummies with added oil work better than plain hard candies.
You can also find prepared edibles in hybrid forms like chocolate bars, mints, or THC-infused coffee beans. Look for products using quality ingredients. Avoid edibles with many artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
How to Make Cannabis Edibles at Home
While you can buy pre-made edibles, making your own at home gives you full control over ingredients and dosing. All you need is cannabis flower or concentrate and the infusion method of your choice.
Here are some tips for making cannabis edibles at home:
- Start with quality cannabis – Use strains high in THC and/or CBD for your desired effects. Inspect for mold and adequate dryness.
- Choose your base infusion – Oils, butters, alcohols work best. Coconut oil masks cannabis flavor well.
- Decarboxylate – Heat dried flower to around 240°F for 30-60 minutes to activate cannabinoids before infusing. Concentrates don’t need this step.
- Infuse – Gently simmer cannabis in your oil, butter, or alcohol base for 2+ hours, stirring occasionally. Strain with cheesecloth.
- Calculate potency – Consider the THC/CBD content of your cannabis and the volume of your base to determine potency per volume.
- Measure doses – Use measuring spoons to precisely portion out servings with known amounts of cannabinoids. Start low.
- Store properly – Keep infused oils and butters refrigerated for up to 2 months. Freeze for longer duration.
- Enjoy safely – Choose recipes and foods you can easily portion into servings. Monitor the timing and strength of effects.
With quality cannabis, like that from Suncrafted Cannabis and the right technique, care in preparing servings, you can safely make your own customized edibles at home.
Cannabis Edibles Dosage Guide
Cannabis edibles dosage must be approached carefully, especially for beginners. Consuming too much THC can cause nausea, anxiety, panic, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Finding your correct dose takes some trial and error.
Follow these edible dosage guidelines for the best experience:
- Start very low – Try 2-5mg of THC on your first edible experience. Dose this low until you know your tolerance.
- Increase slowly – Add 2-5mg each new experience until desired effects are reached. Everyone’s ideal dose differs. 10mg THC is considered one standard serving.
- Wait 2+ hours – Edibles take time to digest and absorb. Allow the full window before increasing your dose during one experience.
- Eat first – Take edibles on a full stomach to delay absorption. Ingesting on an empty stomach speeds up effects.
- Consider formulations – Oils and tinctures work faster than gummies or baked goods. Adjust dose based on the format.
- Learn your strains – Some strains like Girl Scout Cookies can be much more potent. Dose carefully with unfamiliar strains.
- Keep CBD on hand – Ingesting some CBD can help counteract too strong of a THC high. It tends to smooth and relax effects.
- Stay hydrated – Drink water before, during, and after consuming cannabis to avoid dehydration and associated side effects.
Edibles dosage takes practice to optimize. Always start low until you know how specific products affect you and how your body reacts. Increase doses carefully over time to find your ideal amount.
Cannabis Edible Dosage Chart
This chart gives a quick reference guide to dosage amounts based on tolerance level. The amount of THC per serving can vary based on the form and potency, so view these as general guidelines when starting:
|User Tolerance||Dose Range|
|Low / New user||2 – 5 mg THC|
|Medium / Occasional use||5 – 15 mg THC|
|High / Frequent use||15 – 30+ mg THC|
Start on the lowest end of the range for your experience level and give the full effects time to develop before increasing. It’s better to take too little than go overboard with edibles.
Tips for Consuming Cannabis Edibles
Follow these tips when taking cannabis edibles for the best experience:
- Read labels closely – Check servings sizes and THC/CBD levels. Look for transparency and testing.
- Measure portions – Use a scale or measuring spoons to precisely dose homemade edibles. Cut commercial edibles to known amounts.
- Avoid mixing methods – Stick to just edibles or combine with sublingual tinctures. Avoid smoking or vaping as well to better gauge edible effects.
- Wait for full effects – Be patient after dosing. Rush eating more before the peak can lead to overconsumption.
- Have CBD on hand – A few drops of CBD oil or vape can mellow out an intense edible high.
- Eat and hydrate – Consume edibles shortly after a meal and drink plenty of water to avoid low blood pressure or dehydration.
- Protect packaging – Keep edibles in childproof containers out of reach of kids and pets. Many look like candy or snacks.
- Avoid driving – Do not operate vehicles for at least 4-6 hours after consuming edibles – or longer if you still feel impaired.
- Monitor over time – Keep track of ideal doses for different edible products to refine your routine.
Proper labeling, dosing, timing, and storage helps ensure an enjoyable and safe edible experience. Be patient, start low and slow, and get to know how different products affect you.
FAQs About Cannabis Edibles
If you’re new to the world of cannabis edibles, you likely have lots of questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
How long do edible effects last?
Around 4-12 hours depending on dose, your metabolism, and the type of edible. Plan accordingly for the delayed onset and long duration.
Is the high different than smoking?
Yes, most users report a stronger full-body high from edibles that comes on more gradually and lasts much longer compared to inhaling cannabis.
Can you overdose or die from THC?
There are no reported cases of lethal THC overdose. Too much THC can cause severe anxiety, vomiting, and other unpleasant side effects, but it will wear off over time. Please ask us if you have any questions on proper dosing.
It’s normal to have questions about timing, dosing, effects, risks, and legality. Consume edibles cautiously, start with low doses, and avoid mixing methods to minimize adverse effects until you know how specific products affect you.
Why do edibles affect people differently?
Factors like metabolism, body fat, tolerance, circulation, and more can alter how individuals metabolize and experience ingested THC. Start low until you understand how specific edibles affect you.
What should I do if I take too much?
Stay calm, sip water, get into a comfortable position, and try to distract yourself with relaxing music or TV until effects decrease. CBD oil may help. You will be fine do not worry. Again, stay calm.
Is it legal to make edibles at home?
Regulations differ in legal states. Typically adults can make edibles at home for personal use but not for sale outside medical or recreational markets. Please ask us if you have any further questions on this subject.
Can I travel by plane with edibles?
You cannot bring cannabis products on planes crossing state borders, even when traveling between legal states. TSA may alert local law enforcement. Leave edibles at home.
Enjoy Your Cannabis Edible Experience
Cooking and creating with cannabis can be a fun, rewarding experience. Infusions allow you to safely incorporate the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis into all types of recipes and foods.
Edibles offer unique advantages in experience and wellness applications. Follow proper dosing guidelines and give the effects plenty of time to develop to avoid over-consumption. Track your ideal dose with different products to refine your edibles routine.
Suncrafted Cannabis is always available to answer any further questions you may have on cannabis edibles. From cooking tips to dosage guidance, let us know how we can help you get the most out of exploring edibles!