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Many people are hesitant to try cannabis because they aren’t comfortable with the idea of smoking or vaping. But this is just one of the ways to consume it.
Edibles are a much more “user-friendly” alternative – and it’s one that hundreds of thousands of people enjoy on a regular basis.
But before you bite into that brownie, there are some things you need to know.
While the human body operates on the same basic principles, everyone is different. Every person in the world has a unique body chemistry. This means cannabis, like other drugs, causes different reactions in different people. Some people have the ability to consume large amounts and feel fine, while others need just a small amount to feel the effects.
“The effects of cannabis are also affected by other chemicals like alcohol and other drugs, City Sessions explains. “If a person were to consume alcohol before consuming cannabis, the addition of cannabis will amplify the effects of alcohol. It is important to keep this in mind if you are considering combining cannabis with any other substances.”
While the vast majority of people respond well to THC, there are always those people who have trouble digesting it. For these individuals, it may be better to consume it in another format – like inhaling through a concentrate or vape.
When inhaled through the lungs, the bloodstream immediately absorbs all active compounds from the cannabis. This includes the THC. It basically provides a direct line to the brain, which leads to a relatively quick high. Cannabis consumed via an edible, like a gummy, brownie, or cookie, is processed differently in the body.
“First off, you consume the edible and the body slowly absorbs it through the intestines,” Las Vegas ReLeaf writes. “From there, it travels through the liver. There, it gets absorbed by the bloodstream and travels into the rest of the body. The liver converts the THC into another compound known as 11-hydroxy-THC.”
The tricky part with ingesting an edible is that the THC can take a while longer to have its full effect. But when it does, it can have a stronger impact than it does when inhaled.
An edible can take as long as 45 to 120 minutes to produce a noticeable effect. Thus it may require some patience.
As you learn about your body chemistry and metabolism, you’ll start to zero in on the right dosing and how different amounts affect you. (Think of it like drinking. The first time you drink, you don’t know how much it takes to make you feel tipsy. But after a while, you can pinpoint what one beer, three beers, or five beers will do to you.)
If you’ve never had an edible before, try starting with a 5mg dose to see how it interacts with your body. You can always take more, but you can’t take less once it’s already been ingested.
One of the great things about cannabis is that there’s virtually no danger of overdosing. While you might feel sick if you consume too much, the effects will eventually wear off. (Having said that, start with a small dose and work your way up.)
Onset and Duration
As we’ve discussed in this article, body chemistry, metabolism, and dosing all work together. So while it’s impossible to say when an edible product will start to work and how long the effects will last, most highs last somewhere between four to six hours (with the effects fading over time).
It’s always a good idea to pair your edibles with food. This neutralizes any potential negative effects and helps you enjoy a balanced and pleasurable high.
Don’t just walk into a store, buy the first edible you see, and consume it on the spot. As a first-timer, it’s important that you properly prepare for the experience ahead of time.
As we just mentioned, it’s a good idea to have some food. Fatty food is a good idea as it helps the edible activate. It’s also wise to drink plenty of water. If you’re dehydrated, it could cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Finally, if you’re worried about consuming too much THC, have a CBD tincture on hand. By applying some under the tongue, you can reduce the psychoactive effects within 15 or 20 minutes.
So… Are Edibles Right for You?
Edibles are certainly unique and exhilarating. However, it’s up to you to determine if they’re right for you. Try a small amount and note how you feel. If you decide edibles aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to consume cannabis. Edibles can last longer than if you smoke or vape it, so make sure you know what you are getting in to.