Cannabis edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. Though they’ve risen in popularity recently, edibles aren’t exactly new. There’s a long history of humans incorporating cannabis into their diets, ranging from traditional drinks in India to the humble pot brownie in the US. Now, thanks to advances in infusion methods, you can find a wide selection of cannabis-infused baked goods, gummies, seasoning packets, cooking oil, chocolates, breath strips, mints, sodas, and countless other items.
The benefit of consuming cannabis-infused edibles is the ability to feel the effects of cannabis without having to smoke flower or vaporize concentrates. Consuming is easy and intuitive — we all know how to eat and drink.
What’s not easy or intuitive about edibles is the fact it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for the effects to kick in. Because the cannabis within the edibles has to go through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream, the effects may take hours to set in and the strength of effects gradually builds to a peak. The duration of your high can then last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day depending on how much you consume.
Health benefits of edibles
Edible cannabis products typically provide the same benefits as other forms of cannabis. People ingest them to achieve certain effects, such as relaxation, or to treat medical conditions, such as chronic pain.
The effects of edibles depend on the dose a person takes. Typically, the effects increase as the dose increases. However, consuming too much cannabis through edibles is easy to do, and it can cause adverse effects, such as nausea and vomiting.
Some of the beneficial effects of cannabis edibles include:
Relaxation and anxiety relief
Cannabis contains a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of edibles and other forms of cannabis. An older study suggests that THC can causeTrusted Source feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
Cannabis also contains the compound cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has anti-anxiety effects.
A 2019 studyTrusted Source reports that more than 79% of people with anxiety or sleep problems who took CBD experienced a decrease in anxiety over the course of the study. Scientists need more studies, but this shows significant hope.
A further study on teenagers with social anxiety supports the findings of CBD significantly decreasing anxiety levels.
IS EATING MARIJUANA MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING MARIJUANA?
YES! There is high potential for overdose from marijuana edibles.
- The effects from smoking marijuana only takes minutes. Edibles, however, take between 1-3 hours because food is absorbed into the bloodstream through the liver. Because it takes longer, the user may end up consuming longer amounts of the drug while thinking the drug isn’t working.
- The amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is very difficult to measure and is often unknown in these food products.
- If the user has other medications in his or her system, their body may metabolize different amounts of THC, causing THC levels in the bloodstream to dangerously increase five-fold.
- Overdose symptoms from eating marijuana are often more severe than symptoms of an overdose from smoking marijuana.
WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA EDIBLES?
- Psychotic episodes
- Panic attacks
- Impaired motor ability
ARE MARIJUANA EDIBLES FREQUENTLY USED?
In recent years, vaping and edible use has increased among U.S. students while marijuana smoking has decreased, according to data from the Monitoring the Future study.
How Marijuana Candy Is Made
Whether it’s made professionally or in your own kitchen, the process of cooking up marijuana candy is the same.
All you need is white corn syrup, flavoring of your choice, food coloring, water, sugar, and dry powdered marijuana. All you have to do is heat the corn syrup and the sugar in a pot until the mix hits 300 degrees and is melted together. After that you just add the marijuana and food coloring, stir, and pour into molds to harden. Joila! Marijuana candy. For a more complete explanation of the process, check out this link.
How Marijuana Candy Enters Your System
Marijuana candy enters your system in two ways: through the mouth and through the stomach. When the marijuana candy begins to dissolve in your mouth, cannabidiol is absorbed into the bloodstream via ducts under your tongue. This is known as oral uptake.
As the marijuana candy continues to dissolve, it’s mixed with saliva and swallowed into the stomach. Here the sugary solution is further digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is known as gastrointestinal uptake.
For marijuana candy, the majority of the uptake occurs orally. That said, there is still a small portion that is swallowed into the stomach. That’s why the effects of weed candy often last longer than smoking—because they are slowly released via digestion.
While marijuana candy falls decidedly into the oral uptake category with most of the absorption occurring in the mouth, other edibles like brownies, cookies, and pills rely on gastrointestinal uptake. Additionally, some edibles are designed to be absorbed in both the stomach and the mouth. These types of edibles are called hybrids. Infused drinks and chocolate bars fall into this category.
Impacts Of Weed Candy On Your System
As mentioned earlier, the impacts of marijuana candy on your system can be thought of in terms of speed and duration.
Smoking your marijuana is like a drag race: its effects are felt almost immediately but they’re over just as quickly. Cannabis candy, on the other hand, is like a NASCAR race: the experience, though still great, takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to get going. In addition, the effects of marijuana candy tend to last quite a bit longer (from 2 to 6 hours) because the cannabidiol is slowly digested in the stomach.
CBD has also demonstrated antiseizure effects, which suggests it could be a potential treatment for epilepsy.
A 2017 studyTrusted Source cites evidence for the use of CBD to improve seizure control in those with specific epilepsy syndromes.
Edibles may be one way to ingest cannabis to reduce seizures. However, more research is necessary before people with epilepsy consider treating the condition with cannabis.
Edible marijuana is used to treat symptoms related to various medical conditions, such as cancer and chronic pain. However, high-quality studies are lacking, so the full effects of marijuana products on health are still unclear.