Cannabis-infused edibles offer a great option for enjoying the medicinal and/or psychoactive effects of cannabis in a completely different way than smoking or vaping provides. Our body processes edibles differently than inhaled cannabis smoke, so the effects are quite different and have a completely different set of qualities.
As a result, even the most seasoned cannabis user may have an unexpected experience when trying edibles for the first time. Those not experienced with cannabis should be particularly careful to not overindulge!
Luckily, there are plenty of safe ways to sample cannabis-infused edibles that reduce the risk of overdoing it and allow you to get accustomed to the perfect dosage you need. Find out how to try edibles the right way by reading on.
What Are Cannabis-Infused Edibles?
Cannabis-infused edibles take the active ingredients found in the cannabis plant and extract them into an edible substance. Active compounds found in cannabis are not water soluble, as evidenced by the sticky nature of fresh cannabis flowers and are not digestible in raw form. To solve this issue, cannabis compounds are dissolved into a compatible solvent, usually alcohol or a fat, like oil or butter. This solvent can then be used as a base ingredient for an edible.
What Are the Types of Cannabis Edible?
There are three main types of cannabis edible:
- Sublinguals, like sprays, lozenges and certain tinctures. These are absorbed through blood capillaries in the gums after being dissolved by your saliva, and a small amount gets absorbed in the stomach.
- Gastrointestinal edibles pass completely through your digestive system, and the active ingredients are processed by your liver before being absorbed by the small intestine.
- Tinctures are highly concentrated cannabis extracts dissolved in a pure solvent, usually alcohol. They are more quickly absorbed by the intestines when added to drinks and can also be dropped in the mouth as a sublingual.
Sublingual products most closely resemble the effects of smoked/vaped cannabis. They absorb rather quickly, usually affecting you in less than 10 minutes, and their overall effects dissipate within 2-3 hours.
Gastrointestinal edibles, on the other hand, are absorbed rather uniquely. You may feel a slight “buzz” about 5-10 minutes after consumption as a tiny amount of the substance is absorbed in the stomach. Then, about 30 minutes to 1 hour after consuming the edible, the substance hits your small intestine and begins to be absorbed. Your liver produces enzymes that aid in breaking down the remaining substance, allowing the psychoactive ingredients to be absorbed in waves.
The result? Edibles take longer to notice the effects, but can last for 5-8 hours. Because of these delayed effects, care should be taken when consuming an edible you have not tried before.
The Best Way to Try Edibles and Reduce Your Risk of Overconsumption
- 1. Eat something light and drink 16 oz of water at least an hour before your first bite. Keep plenty of water on-hand.
- 2. Be in an environment that is comfortable, where you have access to pleasant distractions and are not likely to leave for 3-4 hours. If you do have to leave, have a sober designated driver.
- 3. Do not consume additional psychoactive drugs, including smoking more cannabis, drinking alcohol, consuming anti-anxiety medications, or taking painkillers through the majority of your experience. Drugs like these can have possible interactions, most of which are not dangerous but can be unpleasant.
- 4. TAKE 1-2 SMALL BITES OF THE EDIBLE. Many people make the mistake of eating far too much, especially if they are trying a new preparation for the first time. Even if you are experienced, a good rule of thumb is to eat half of what your instincts tell you.
- 5. WAIT AT LEAST 30 MINUTES. Another common mistake is to “feel nothing” and eat far too much of the edibles, resulting in a feeling of being “too high.”
- 6. After an hour, you can try additional bites of the edible or a small amount of smoked/vaped cannabis. Avoid drinking alcohol since this can lead to dizziness and sometimes nausea.
- 7. Drink plenty of fluids, and enjoy some non-infused snacks to help balance out your stomach!
If at any point you feel uncomfortable, realize that reactions to edibles almost always seem more urgent than they are. Find a place to relax and do something pleasant, like listen to music, play a game or watch a favorite show. Drink plenty of water, and eat crackers or something light.
The process outlined above should be repeated any time you try an unfamiliar edible preparation. Some preparations can be more concentrated, and edibles prepared from different cannabis strains can have completely different effects.
Remember: you can always eat more edibles, but you can’t eat any less once they’re in your stomach!
Get Recommendations and Advice From Knowledgeable Budtenders at a Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas
You can get more advice when you visit Euphoria Cannabis’ medical and recreational cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas, including specific insights on certain products and their potencies. Come see the top-quality strains and wide range of products we offer at 7780 South Jones Blvd, or call 702-960-7200 for free medical cannabis delivery in Las Vegas.