The concept of cannabis edibles scares some people. Once it’s down the hatch, there is no undoing the high, and the potency is promised in the milligrams so it’s not like you can build on your experience and start super small, like taking tokes. Before we commit, the first thing we need to understand is the strain, since that will have an impact on our experience: sativa or indica?
Sativa is typically associated with higher energy, because it’s considered more of a “head high.” This is great for conversation, thinking, cleaning, analyzing, creativity, and focus, but not great for winding down. That’s where indica comes in. This is more of a floaty, full-body experience, deeply relaxing, and reduces the amount of mental noise, making it perfect for bedtime. Of course, there are hybrids that will give you a bit of both worlds, leaning a little more on the chill side.
Too much of any strain is going to feel like too much, and the effects are amplified when we consume our cannabis rather than inhale it. That’s because when we inhale it, the extract is absorbed into tiny blood vessels in our lungs, entering the bloodstream and heading directly to the brain—we feel it almost immediately.
When we ingest it, it first hits our stomach, then it travels to the liver before it enters our bloodstream and brain. That’s why it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects, and last for much longer. The liver converts THC into a stronger form, adding to the intensity of the high. Now that we have the facts, which types of edibles should we choose?
Using nano-emulsification, meaning microparticles of cannabis oil are emulsed so that the THC dissolves in water (typically it is dissolved in fat), these special drinks are absorbed easily by the mouth and body. This makes cannabis drinks super effective and quick—think 10-20 minutes. Two milligrams will give you a soft, relaxed buzz, but 5 or even 10 milligrams might knock you out, so check your label and what you plan to do after consuming!
Gummies, mints, and candy
Because candy tends to mostly dissolve in your mouth with a sublingual effect, the THC will be delivered into your system much quicker than baked edibles. These are a great option for quelling anxiety or pain, or a panic episode, and can be enjoyed in small doses, not to mention they tend to have a long shelf life.
Chocolate and baked goods
Butter used to be the number one way we’d extract THC—fats absorb the properties readily, making them easy to concoct at home. Remember those deathly potent brownies your friend made in college? Yeah, thankfully we’ve evolved. The high fat content in chocolate or baked goods means that most of the THC will reach the liver and be processed, meaning these can have lower levels of cannabis compounds and still be effective.
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