Your diet can become a fascinating world of endless possibilities with the simple addition of cannabis. Marijuana-infused edibles are fast becoming a popular, healthier choice to smoking pot, and the adventurous chef has opportunities galore to explore. From smoothies and juices to starters, salads, main meals, desserts, snacks, and everything between, what should you expect when you add cannabis?
Perhaps you have already nibbled on a few weed cookies, or maybe you are just wondering why the high is so different from smoking, why it is so much more intense, borderline psychedelic, and supremely long-lasting. Put your speculations aside now, as there is no need to wonder anymore: To help you decide which is best for you, we discuss the five major differences between smoking pot and eating it:
Your Body Absorbs THC Differently
Cannabis-infused edibles are typically much stronger than when you smoke or vaporize it. Why is this? When you ingest marijuana in an edible form, THC goes through the liver, which then metabolizes it and converts it into 11-hydroxy-THC, a metabolite that crosses the blood-brain barrier with extreme ease. This is why the high is so much more intense when you eat it.
Inhaling THC, however, goes through a different metabolic process. Instead of traveling to the liver via the stomach and going through normal metabolism, THC travels straight to the brain. Because of this, you feel the effects of marijuana much faster when you smoke or vape it, and it is also the reason why the high does not last as long and diminishes quickly instead.
Effects are Stronger and Last Longer
There is really only one rule to abide by when consuming edibles: Be patient and start small. Because of the way that your body metabolizes edibles, it will take longer for you to feel its effects. Waiting times vary from 30 minutes to two hours before effects kick in, and they can easily last up to several hours. Additionally, effects can differ between edible products themselves.
Generally, cannabinoid levels are much higher in edibles than they are in dried flower form. Physical and mental effects are much more potent when you eat it compared with smoking it. The head high can be almost psychedelic, but the effects of smaller doses are milder and more comfortable. This is why every edible expert insists on starting small, being patient, and not overdosing. Too much can be unpleasant.
Although edibles are more potent, compared to smoked marijuana, they deliver lower concentrations of cannabinoids into the bloodstream. Inhaling cannabis introduces 50 percent, even 60 percent of THC and other cannabinoids to blood plasma, but in edibles, it is only 10 percent to 20 percent. When smoking pot, effects typically peak in 10 minutes and dissipate rapidly over the next hour.
Dosing is More Difficult with Edibles
Calculating THC content in a homemade batch of cookies is no easy challenge. Even large-scale producers with all the technology available to them have difficulty determining accurate doses in their products. Because effects take time to become evident after ingestion, users frequently get impatient and overestimate the dose. When this happens, the experience can be the opposite of good.
When inhaling marijuana, on the other hand, effects are instantaneous. This empowers you to dose gradually, as required, without confusing delays. In most legal markets, a “standard” dose of THC is 10 milligrams in edibles. The effects are notable but mild. An edible with 100 milligrams of THC is much, much, more potent and not for consumption all at one time. You should split these into several doses.
If you do overconsume and ingest a colossal quantity of THC, do not panic. Although the side effects may be unwanted, too much THC cannot kill or harm you. Edible connoisseurs always have a THC-free, CBD-rich strain or concentrate to counteract the effects of a THC overdose, but in the future, remember that dosing patiently and responsibly promises a much more enjoyable next several hours.
Discrepancies in Potency Labels
In an unregulated market, one that forgoes meticulous testing, it can happen that the actual potency of an edible contradicts the label on it. Even if your favorite distributor has a different batch of the same strain or product you tried last time, do not make the mistake of thinking something like, “This was too weak the last time I tried it, so I’ll eat double as much this time.” You may regret it.
Never double your dose because of disparities in potency advertising. You will learn the hard way that the latest batch may just be much more potent than you expect. Marijuana laws in legalized states are becoming ever stricter about testing edibles and limiting products with exceedingly high THC levels. Even so, eat edibles cautiously and slowly until regulations ensure consistent, accurate labeling.
Edibles are Healthier than Smoking Dried Flowers
The dangers and harshness of smoking are one of the main reasons for the popularity of edibles. Those who find smoking too harsh or worry about the long-term health implications associated with smoking prefer to eat marijuana instead. Vaporizing is also a health-conscious option recommended by many, but edibles are still the healthiest. They also provide longer-lasting relief for medical patients.
Recipes for marijuana edibles exist in their thousands. A simple Google search will return many ideas to start you on your journey. Stereotypes, such as the traditional pot brownie or gummy, are available at most dispensaries and online weed shops. These days, however, you can transform most home dishes into marijuana-infused delights, and you can even invite guests over for an unforgettable experience.