Marijuana Edibles 101
Marijuana edibles are popular among everyone from beginner cannabis users to experts in the industry for their fun flavors, textures, and long-lasting effects. In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- What are Edibles?
- What Makes Edibles Different Than Other Ways to Consume Cannabis?
- Why Choose Edibles?
- What Edible Products are Available?
- How Many Milligrams Should I Take?
What are Edibles?
Edibles are cannabis-infused foods or liquids that come in a variety of forms, including brownies, candies, tea, mints, hot sauce, tinctures, and beverages. Cannabis can have a more intense effect when consumed orally compared to the inhaled route due to different metabolic processes. This is what may create longer lasting effects with an edible versus cannabis consumed via inhalation. THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC when metabolized by the liver, which can give a more dynamic, longer lasting experience.
Many people curious about edibles also wonder if they taste like cannabis, and the answer varies depending on the edible. For example, if your edible is a coffee candy, the strong flavor of the coffee can likely hide the flavor of the cannabis better than something like a sugar cookie edible. Plus, edibles that have a higher potency tend to taste more like cannabis. For beginners to edibles, we recommend starting with a lower potency first and slowly titrate up.
What Makes Edibles Different Than Other Ways to Consume Cannabis?
Edibles give you, the cannabis user, the choice of how you want to enjoy your cannabis. Whether it’s chocolate brownies or cherry gummies, edibles give you the opportunity to indulge in unique eating experiences.
Edibles may also offer a unique experience when it comes to feeling the effects of cannabinoids and terpenes. When you consume a cannabis edible, it enters the digestive system and is filtered through the liver before entering your bloodstream and eventually your brain. This means that it could take up to an hour before you start to feel the effects of the edible, but it also means that the effect can last longer than other forms of consumption, like smoking or vaping. This delay in effectiveness sometimes tricks people new to edibles into thinking the edible didn’t work. If it’s your first time trying edibles, we recommend starting with no more than 5 mg and not consuming anymore for the rest of that day or evening.
There are also some edibles like gum and lollipops that can be faster acting because they are absorbed sublingually, or under the tongue. This form of absorption typically works much faster than edibles you swallow.
Curious how cannabinoids work? Check out our Guide to Cannabinoids and Their Effects today.
Why Choose Edibles?
People choose to eat or drink edibles for a variety of reasons, but we’ve found these are the most popular:
- Edibles for Sleep. Because of their long-lasting effects, many people choose types of edibles that help them relax prior to going to bed.
- Longer Effect. Edibles that are chewed and swallowed typically take longer to metabolize and stay in the bloodstream longer, versus quick onset and shorter lasting effects of sublingual delivery. This makes the effects last longer than other forms of cannabis consumption.
- Ease of Microdosing. Microdosing is the act of taking tiny doses of cannabis products. Because of their long-lasting effect in the bloodstream, many people prefer to microdose with edibles.
- No Smoking or Vaporization. Edibles do not require the inhalation of smoke or vapor.
There are plenty more reasons to enjoy marijuana edibles, and it’s important to think about why you want to try them and then start slow.
What Edible Products are Available?
Edible cannabis products are not available in all states with medical or recreational cannabis programs. Additionally, product types, dosage forms, and potency levels may vary based on the regulations in your state. While there are any number of edible foods, drinks, and tinctures available, they typically come in one of five ways:
- Gummies: These sweet chews are infused with a THC distillate. They typically come in a variety of dosages ranging from 2mg to 10mg, but there are some that can go much higher. While they are a food-based edible, they’re so popular they deserve to be mentioned on their own.
- Hard Candies: Whether it’s a candy lozenge or a lollipop, these products can affect you a little differently than traditional ingested edibles. This is because with hard candies, the THC is absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) or buccally (through the cheek). Learn more sublinguals with Sublinguals 101.
- Cannabis Beverages: While somewhat new to the market, cannabis beverages are becoming more and more popular every day. They come in a variety of forms, including teas, sodas, seltzers, beers and wines, but don’t be confused—they don’t contain alcohol. Learn more about cannabis beverages in our guide to cannabis beverages.
- Tinctures: Tinctures are typically alcohol-based cannabis extracts but you can find some tinctures made with certain types of oils. Like many hard candy edibles, tinctures are typically designed to be taken sublingually.
- Food: From brownies to cookies, potato chips, and pasta sauces, there are plenty of other food edibles available. These are available for purchase, but cannabis users can also purchase cannabinoid powder, butter, or other cannabis products to make their own edibles at home.
Not sure what you’d like to try? Take a look at our Verilife product menus for your state to get an idea of the edibles available to try in your area.
How Many Milligrams Should I Take?
There are a variety of factors when gauging the effect of a cannabis edible. For example, if you’re eating an edible on an empty stomach, it might have a stronger effect. Additionally, some research studies suggest women may have a lower tolerance than men. You may even have a genetic predisposition to THC sensitivity!
You can see where we’re going with this. It truly depends on you and how your body responds to an edible. Your sex, weight, metabolism, diet, and cannabis tolerance may be vastly different from others. Remember, once it’s in your bloodstream, you can’t stop the effect of an edible. So start slow—you can always consume more edibles if you find the dose you started with isn’t giving you the effect you desire.
Want to know about other ways to consume cannabis? Check out our Vaping 101 guide.
How do I Learn More About Edibles?
We have marijuana dispensaries around the country with expert care representatives that can help you decide which edibles may be right for you. Find a Verilife dispensary in your state and visit us.
Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.