Edibles Education 101
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Weed Edibles 101 – What You Should Know When Consuming Cannabis

Weed Edibles 101 contains everything you need to know when you are consuming cannabis edibles. If you are a beginner you will find the information included in this guide to be very useful. It will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that some new edibles consumers experience.

For you veterans out there, it’s a great refresher, that might give you some new perspective on the current edibles scene.

What are weed edibles?

Cannabis edibles account for almost half of all cannabis products purchased in the United States last year. So what does that mean for Canada, where weed edibles and 420 foods will soon be hitting the dispensary shelves later this year? 

It means it is high time for Canadians to educate themselves on weed edibles. In this article, we will examine everything you need to know when it comes to consuming cannabis and 420 treats.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the subject and give you the answers to questions like how long does it take for edibles to kick in, what are the best edibles to buy, and where you can find the best 420 treats for yourself. 

We will look at the pros and cons of this cannabis intake method and give you some tips on how to safely enjoy your cannabis treats and how you can keep them out of the hands of minors.

Cannabis-infused foods and drinks can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, and they can also be an effective alternative to smoking tobacco. But there appear to be a few things you should know before you take your first bite. If you’re interested in ingesting cannabis, then this is the guide for you. Read on!

Cannabis edibles tips and tricks

What are cannabis edibles?

A cannabis edible, also known as a medible, or a cannabis-infused food item, or simply an edible, is a food product that contains cannabinoids, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or more recently, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp. 


THC infused edibles are consumed all around the world for both recreational and medical purposes. 

Although the term edibles may refer to either a marijuana-infused food or a marijuana-infused drink, you are more likely to hear a cannabis-infused drink being called a liquid edible or possibly a drinkable.

Many 420 edibles will contain a generous amount of THC, and this may bring on many effects including a sense of euphoria, increased hunger, fatigue or anxiety, or relaxation.

There are also cannabis edibles that contain almost no THC but have a high CBD count. These types of edibles are usually used only as a medicine and as a way to supplement the bodies own endocannabinoid system. 


The endocannabinoid system monitors your body’s health and relays the information back to your brain, so it is a vital component of healthy living.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28240187

Edibles made from non-psychoactive compounds like CBD are commonly referred to as hemp edibles. This is because many of these zero THC edibles are made from hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC. This is a very low amount and not enough to get you high.

What is the history of cannabis edibles?

Edible cannabis concoctions have been used by humans for thousands of years.

The earliest recorded cannabis-infused foods were found in India, where people have made various foods and drinks with bhang for a millennium and use it for both medicinal and spiritual practices.

In Eastern Europe, women made hard candies from cannabis oils which were often given to children as medicine. 

Then in 1954, Alice Toklas Cook Book came out with a recipe for Haschich Fudge which made here famous as the women who invented pot brownies.

Nowadays, you can find cannabis-infused items in every sort of food and drink from lemonades and sodas to pasta and sauces, chocolates and trail mixes, you name it, we have put cannabis in it

Does eating cannabis feel different than smoking cannabis?

Ingesting cannabis and inhaling cannabis can often provide two completely different types of experiences. Edibles tend to be a much stronger high that is usually more body-centred and can produce extreme changes in perception of time and movement. Therefore, edibles are considered much stronger than the inhaled version of cannabis. 

This difference in potency can surprise some beginners and might even be a bit scary for some. It is safest to slowly build up a tolerance for eating cannabis rather than to jump right in with a 1000 mg brownie.

Cannabis Edibles Brownies

 

 

What are the benefits of edibles?

There appears to be those who do not want to smoke cannabis due to the effects of smoking on your lungs. So edibles are a great alternative to smoking cannabis. 

Many new cannabis users are finding that eating weed is a great way to get introduced to the effects of cannabis as long as they dose themselves properly.

Here are some benefits associated with cannabis edibles:

  • You can measure your dosage
  • The effects tend to last longer
  • You get a more thorough body high
  • You do not need any extra equipment to eat them

For many patients, smoking is just not an option. Their conditions prevent them from consuming cannabis in manner. Therefore, eating cannabis is a safe alternative for them

Some cannabis consumers just do not like the taste of burning cannabis or how it feels in their lungs and throat. Again, for these people, edibles are a great way for them to enjoy or medicate with marijuana.

How long does it take for edibles to take effect?

When you inhale cannabis you should feel the effects within a couple of minutes. Edibles, however, can take as long as an hour before you feel any of their effects on your body.

As marijuana has become more popular recently, many researchers have been looking into the “how long do edibles take to kick in?” question.

Medical experts will agree that weed smokers’ blood THC levels will peak after about 9 minutes after the first inhalation or toke. Soon after that point the user’s heart rate and blood pressure will peak, at which time any psychoactive effects will stay consistent for about 30 minutes and then begin to gradually die off.  

The psychoactive effects of smoking cannabis are at their highest around 20 minutes after use, and they will be mostly gone within 3-4 hours afterwards. 

Scientists have also discovered that factors including diet, metabolism, gender, and weight also affect the length of time people feel high after consuming cannabis edibles.

Are cannabis edibles more socially acceptable?

These days weed edibles may seem like a more socially acceptable manner of taking in cannabis. For one, they do not smell as strongly as burning marijuana. Secondly, they do not stink up your clothes. And for some that alone is a good reason to choose to eat weed rather than smoking it. 

Cannabis itself is probably more acceptable than you may think these days. In areas like BC and Alberta, cannabis is looked upon as an everyday occurrence for many and with a quarter of Canada’s population consuming cannabis at least once a year is popularity is only increasing.

420 Education 101
Edibles Infographic

How do cannabis edibles affect our bodies?

Cannabis edibles, just like regular cannabis, has no real effect on the state of our bodies. Sure, it has its medicinal qualities, but as an effect, whether short term or long term, there is not any. You can safely use cannabis at night and go to work the next day feeling the same as you would any other day.

How long do the effects of marijuana edibles last?

The effects of eating cannabis may be felt for as long as 8 and even 12 hours. It depends on the strength of the cannabis, how much you consume, and your tolerance levels. For everyone, it is a bit different. A good rule of thumb is the effects will last about 4 hours. 

Recreational and medical marijuana users need to be aware of the vast differences between cannabis edibles and smoking cannabis. 

For more cannabis edibles content check out our Cannabis Ice Cream article.

Smokers/vapours can get high within minutes whereas users who consume it orally might need to wait an hour to feel anything. When they do they might experience stronger effects that may include mild psychedelic images. The effects of cannabis last a while so prepare for a few hours long high.

pot suckers
Weed Suckers

Where Can I Buy Weed Edibles Online?

To buy cannabis online, users have countless excellent options. Boutique Cannabis has one of the industry’s best selections of cannabis products at fair market prices. They usually ship the same or next day and can arrive at your doorstep in as little as two days. 

All it takes is to set up an account and you can conveniently and safely order your cannabis from the comfort of your own home. 

Are weed edibles stronger than smoking weed?

Researchers have found there is a connection between ingesting cannabis and the overconsumption, or overdosing, of cannabis. However, many factors contribute to this.  

As I mentioned in the previous section, weed edibles can take much longer than smoked cannabis to kick in. For this reason, people sometimes over-consume cannabis edibles to get the quick effects of smoked or vaped marijuana. 

Be careful when eating cannabis too not over-consume. If you’re new to edibles or are trying out a new product, choose a small and measurable amount. Also, it is a good idea to eat weed edibles well in advance of the time you want to have their effects at a peak, just to be safe.

And always remember you can consume more if they do not give you the desired effects. You can always add more but once it is in you it is difficult to get it out.

How Do My Body Process Weed Edibles?

Edibles enter the body through the mouth then the stomach absorbs them, then these compounds are metabolized in the liver. Then the remaining THC and its metabolites circulate through the heart and reach the brain.

Metabolism of marijuana
The body processes cannabis edibles differently than inhaling cannabis.

Your body processes edibles in a much different manner than when you smoke cannabis. When the THC enters your bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract it will follow your portal vein and end up in your liver. Once in the liver, your cytochrome P450 system metabolizes the THC into 11-OH-THC a stronger more psychoactive compound than just regular THC.

Do weed edibles show up on drug tests?

Weed smokers get a little of the 11-OH-THC but weed eaters get the full effect due to the: first, pass” liver metabolism process your body has. 

Almost all of the methods of testing for drugs and urine testing for cannabis look for THC as well as its metabolites including THC-COOH.

You should always think about the reasons why you are eating cannabis. If you are looking for an inconspicuous way to medicate your anxiety at work, then a low dose treat could be an excellent option. 

Or maybe you want an intense healing experience that comes with taking a large amount of THC. If that is the case, talk to your provider about the best way to achieve the desired result.

What happens when you eat cannabis?

The short answer is nothing. Eating fresh cannabis won’t make you feel anything. This is because fresh cannabis contains THCA, the precursor molecule to the THC molecule we all have heard of. 

Decarboxylation plays a key role in determining the type of effects an edible may present.

Your body cannot adequately convert THCA to THC, and this is the reason why eating raw cannabis won’t have the same intoxicating effects as pre-heated cannabis, regardless of whether you consume it with a shake or smoothie, or on an empty stomach.

What is TCHA?

One term you will hear when dealing in edibles is decarboxylation. This is the method where cannabis is converted from THCA to THC. 

Decarboxylation is a process by which THCA, present in the raw form of cannabis, is slightly heated and changed into the intoxicating THC.

What is the difference between THC and THCA?

Cannabis does not naturally contain significant amounts of THC. Instead, it contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA). THCA converts to THC when the marijuana oils receive heat.

When you smoke cannabis the conversion happens throughout the burning, but for edibles, you have to perform the process beforehand if you want to get the ultimate effect of your edible.

Dried cannabis needs to be “activated” in the oven using low temperatures. This is decarboxylation.

Low temperatures prevent the cannabis components from burning off, which will make your edibles weaker or even inactive entirely.

Do not heat or cook cannabis using high heat, but instead to use temperatures around 170 degrees. 

What is Distillate?

The distillate is often used in edibles because it is flavourless and the cannabinoids are 100% decarbed during the distillation process. 

What is Crystalline?

Is also a popular form when making edibles as they contain only one cannabinoid, CBD or THC. They can even sprinkle them on food before it is cooked. If you choose crystalline to make edibles the decarb process will occur when you heat or bake your cookies etc.

How long do weed edibles stay in your system?

THC can remain in your body for up to 5 weeks after you have consumed it. In your saliva, it is detectable for up to 48 hours after consumption.

Various governing bodies struggle with finding the proper methods to test for THC and what to set the legal limits at. Researchers claim the half-life for THC (the time it takes you to excrete half of a dose) is at around 3–4 days, though they point out that there is a quick taper-off near the end of this timeframe.

THC duration and its length of stay in your system is a fairly touchy subject with no for certain answers. For years, however, the rule of thumb is THC will be detectable for 30 days after you use it.

Selection of cannabis edibles
Many options are available for edibles these days.

What are the health benefits of eating cannabis?

Most experts agree that eating cannabis is a far healthier way to consume it than smoking. Many scientists agree the negative effects of smoking outweigh the positive effects of consumption. This is the reason that most medical applications of marijuana are delivered orally or through the nasals.

As for other health benefits of weed there seem to be many, especially when taken orally. Here are some of them:

  • Healthier lungs – People with breathing problems will find smoking cannabis to be difficult. In these situations, it is a great alternative.
  • Less Stress/Stigma — Even where cannabis is legal there remains an archaic feeling where people who use cannabis are looked down upon as just drug users who like to get high. Much of the population is still not educated on the medicinal benefits of cannabis and have been brainwashed by years of prohibition propaganda. You can reduce the stress caused by the uninformed judgment of your peers by consuming cannabis privately or by taking it orally.
  • Longer lasting effects – Those who use cannabis to control muscle spans may want to use edibles from their long-lasting effects. The same goes for anyone who wants to make the most of their cannabis purchases. It will go farther.
  • Medicinal Benefits — THC and CBD or cannabinoids offer an array of positive health benefits. The ailments’ cannabis has been proven to be effective at helping manage are as follows:
    • Cancer
    • Glaucoma
    • Epilepsy
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Chronic pain
    • Arthritis

What is CBD Edibles?

Do not forget there is a compound known as CBD in cannabis as well and it offers some terrific health benefits without the feeling of getting high. 

CBD can be extracted from cannabis hemp plants. These types of plants contain almost zero THC, so they are a great alternative to consuming regular cannabis.

Many people prefer hemp edibles for long-term, low dose daily applications because they can achieve the positive benefits of cannabis without getting the psychoactive effect of a higher dose. 

An approach of this manner requires the use of well-labelled products and even the advice of a good medical cannabis consultant

Scholars have found cannabis oils that are made from hemp also make an adequate source of essential amino and certain other fatty acids. 

Can I overdose on cannabis edibles?

The answer is no, you cannot overdose to the point of death on cannabis. You can, however, dose too high and get uncomfortable feelings. 

An “overdose” on weed edibles will not cause you serious harm, though it might make for several hours of discomfort.

Dosing  edibles

One thing is for sure though, cannabis is safer than alcohol. When you consume 10 times the recommended dose of alcohol you will die. You would have to smoke a thousand joints before you would even come close to dying and even then you still wouldn’t.

That being said, you can ingest too much of many substances, even coffee and water, and get a negative feeling as a result. 

However, roughly two-thirds of marijuana users experience some sort of impaired cognitive and motor functions. Others report feelings of nausea, anxiety, extreme drowsiness, and rarely cardiac stress. 

In still other instances, cannabis has been found to cause delusions, hallucinations, and intense anxiety/paranoia — but these may be attributed to already present psychoactive disorders.

What are the negative effects of eating edibles?

Some negative side effects of high-dose edible cannabis products include:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Skewed sense of time
  • Slowed movement
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth

If you do experience too high of a dose, do not panic. The best and the only thing you can do is to just wait it out. I recommend laying down and you will probably just fall asleep.

Most healthy people that experience cannabis overdose symptoms will only have them for a couple of hours. Rarely has anyone felt the negative effects for more than a day. In general, most people can handle a bad trip easily and as long as you use caution when dosing you should be fine.

There is a recommended chart the Government of Colorado put out is a good guideline for eating cannabis in edible form. Here it is:

  • First-Timers — 1–5 mg
  • Moderate Users — 5–10 mg
  • Experienced Edible Users — 10–15 mg

The same state has a limit to the amount of THC that can be in one portion of an edible and that limit is 10 mg of THC.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one, it just prevents anyone from selling a 1000 mg brownie to someone who can’t handle that strong of an effect. Always remember you can take more THC but you can’t take less once it is in you.

In summary, you cannot fatally overdose on cannabis herb, but it is entirely possible to have an uncomfortable experience when ingesting cannabis edibles. 

How can I avoid a ‘bad trip’?

Here are a few tips that may counteract a ‘bad trip’ experience:

  • Try taking some straight CBD – CBD is known to lessen the effect of THC 
  • Distract yourself with relaxing music or play a game you like
  • Chew on some gum- it can help with anxiety
  • Get some fresh air – take a friend with you just to be safe
  • Goi and get some rest in bed.

Again, in the case of a cannabis edible overdose, there is no real reason to panic. You will just feel a little off for a bit but it simply won’t harm you if you take care to not do anything dangerous.

And if you start with a small dose, maybe 5 mg of THC, and are careful not to re-dose too quickly — you should not have any issues at all.

But if you do take too much cannabis in and get a lousy feeling, do not let that discourage you from trying a smaller dose at a later time. 

How do I properly dose cannabis edibles?

Dosing edible cannabis varies from person to person so it can be a little tricky. To help with properly dosing weed edibles it is important to remember that the potency of an edible is measured differently than with cannabis flowers.

With flowers, the percentage of THC is what is shown on the label. Whereas with edibles, it is the amount in milligrams noted on the box as an indicator of the strength of the edible.

Weed Edibles Dosing Chart

Weed edibles dosing chart

A cannabis edibles package will usually claim both the milligrams of THC and/or CBD per serving, plus the total milligrams in the entire package. As an example, an entire fudge brownie may have 50 milligrams of THC. If the desired dose is 5 milligrams, the bar should be divided into 10 pieces of 5 milligrams each.

Knowing the accurate dosage of an edible product and consuming at a measured pace is extremely important due to the delayed onset time and variable dosage options. 

Beginners should start with an initial dose of 5 mg then wait 2-4 hours to evaluate the effects. Increase the dose by 2.5 or 5 mg every 2-4 hours until you feel the effects. This will be your minimum effective dose. 

There seem to be many factors that affect how your body will interact with the cannabinoids found in marijuana edibles, so the dosing recommendations usually go by ranges rather than definitive terms.

Medical cannabis consumers often require higher doses per serving. However, in these cases, the appropriate dose for the treatment or management of a medical condition should be determined by a doctor who is trained in cannabis therapy.

Even your metabolic rate plays a part in dosing so it is generally a good idea to start small and then take more if you feel okay to do so in about an hour.

By experimenting in this fashion, taking small doses and adding more later if needed, you can dial in your comfort level so you enjoy the experience every time.

Why don’t I feel the effects of a cannabis edible?

There is a phenomenon called “first-pass metabolism” where the bodies liver works so good it clears away all of the THC with its enzymes. This provides no effect to the user. This will only happen once or twice and eating a small meal with your cannabis may help prevent this from happening.

Eating something fatty like avocados, or almond butter, or even cheese, may help your body to better metabolize the THC and get you the effects you desire.

Always remember to be careful not to re-dose too quickly. You are best off waiting several hours before trying a larger dose.

How much do weed edibles cost?

Edibles can be a cost-effective way to consume cannabis. It all again depends on tolerance levels and what options are available in your neck of the woods. 

Regular cannabis flower can cost between $5 to $25 bucks per gram. It is usually cheaper if you buy it in quantities. If you shop online you are more likely to find deals with a pound being about the largest size you can buy. In stores, the maximum is usually 30 grams. 

A gram of flower for many is just one or two joints or maybe a couple of edibles. 

The difference is the weed edibles effect will last much longer and therefore it is a cheaper alternative to smoking cannabis.

So basically how much weed edibles cost depends mostly on where you are buying them and what the product is you are buying.

Where can I find deals on weed edibles?

There are always sales in physical stores and especially online. In Canada, at least, there is a robust system of online dispensaries that are far better than the government system, at least for now. Boutique Cannabis is my highly recommended outlet for cannabis edibles.

Just like most food products it is the cost of the ingredients that make up the retail price of the product. In the case of edibles, the base product is cannabis so if the cannabis used was a high-end strain than the edible might be priced a little more than of the edible was made from the shake or trim from the plant

One of the cheapest products out there is usually an infused candy like a sucker or a caramel and the prices we found online range from about $1 to $3 per item. They can go up to $5 even but again, those were made with the better base product and therefore have higher THC levels  

The most popular edibles are gummies which go from about $10 bucks per pack to anywhere up to $50 per pack depending on the strength and quality.

We went to boutiquecannabis.ca to find some prices and this is what we found:

  1. Blazing Brownie (244 mg THC) = $15 
  2. Mini Gummy Bears (10 mg CBD) = $17
  3. CBD Ginger Cookie (80 mg CBD) = $14
  4. THC Capsules (50 mg THC – pack of 30) = $30 

The short answer is the more cannabinoids that are edible, then the more the product will probably cost. Same goes for the quality of the ingredients. Higher-end chocolate will cost more than one made with inferior cocoa.

Metabolizing pot infographic
How does your body metabolize THC?

How do you make cannabis edibles?

There seem to be a trillion recipes on the internet for making delicious food with cannabis. Many top chefs are experiencing with cannabis as an ingredient to a top-level dining experience. But for most of us, adding cannabis to a meal or goodie is a fairly easy process. Although you should keep in mind without the right testing equipment on hand, it can be hard to determine what the actual dose of your edible is going to be. 

Cannabis-infused butter and oils can be made from scratch at home using a dry flower. 

The usual manner of infusing oils or butter with cannabis is to soak the cannabis in heated oil for a long period. This extracts the oils from the cannabis and it sticks to the fats in butter. The same method would not work with water as water does not contain any molecules that THC can stick to like the oils do.

Infused edibles found in stores and online are usually made from kief, or as is sometimes called hashish, or cannabis distillate, odourless and flavourless oil, or from pure cannabinoid crystals, which are infused into edibles using a fat like butter or oil.

It’s important to note the infusion method can affect the results achieved when making edibles at home

Tips for having a good experience with edibles

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when consuming edibles:

  • Know the THC count of the edible you are eating
  • Start with only a bite if the edible has more than 10 mg of THC in it
  • Wait at least an hour before taking more THC
  • If you make your edibles at home go-slow as you may not have an exact way of telling how much THC is actually in them
  • If you find yourself too high, try to relax somewhere quiet until the effects wear off. 

When it comes to edibles remember you can always eat more to increase the effects, but once you have crossed a certain point the only thing that will help the overwhelming effects go away is letting time go by.

Can I consume weed edibles in public?

Yes and no. It depends on whether cannabis is legal in your particular area. In Canada, edibles will be legal in fall of 2019, but they have to be purchased from a licensed producer. That being said the laws are grey at this time and there is a flourishing online cannabis market which is a better bet than the government outlets.

Find the right edible for you

Long gone are the days when the only options are brownies and cookies. It doesn’t matter what food you think of, the chances are high that there is someone out there infusing it with cannabis and even possibly attempting to get it on dispensary shelves.

If a particular product is not in your area, be patient and let your local dispensary operator know that you would purchase the product if they were to bring it in. They most likely will be able to find a supplier if there is enough of a demand for it.

What do cannabis edibles taste like?

Not all cannabis-infused products are created the same way. Some taste better than others from an ingredient point of view, and some do a much more thorough job of hiding the taste of cannabis than others.

Depending on the type of consumer you are, you may even prefer the taste of the cannabis comes through in the product as much as possible.

Or if you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, you might prefer to avoid those cannabis items that are made with sugar or gluten.

It’s best to look around at different stores to see which products you might like best. Ask people you know which products they prefer. Find ones that fit your desired taste, level of effects, and price range.

Weed Medibles Caramels
Cannabis Caramels

How can I tell a cannabis edible from a regular edible?

You may not be in a position to distinguish between normally baked goods and those that contain THC before consumption occurs. Edibles made with cannabis may have a faint green tinge, and they often put off a faint cannabis smell. A stronger cannabis flavour might be noticed if sufficient quantities of cannabis are used. Many resources for recipes are available online, though they vary greatly in effectiveness and quality.

What kinds of edibles are there?

Tinctures

Commonly known as green dragon, a tincture is an alcohol extraction of the cannabinoids in cannabis.

Oil

Cannabis oil is a product on using cooking oil as the base to extract the cannabinoids from cannabis. It can then be used to cook food with oil just like regular oils.

Butters

Cannabis-infused butter, or cannabutter, is a cannabis-infused ingredient where butter is used as the base to extract the cannabinoids. 

Capsules

A capsule containing THC or CBD can also be considered an edible and will provide very much the same effect as food or drink.s will.

Sprays

Sublingual sprays are not edibles, but they are taken orally, so they kind of is. They are usually made by a pharmaceutical company for medicinal purposes only.

Foods

There appears to be every food imaginable made with cannabis these days. The most popular are jerky, trail mixes, and cookies and brownies.

Candies

The most popular type of edibles are by far the candies that are infused with THC and CBD. The gummies are bestsellers worldwide.

Cannabis Edibles Education 101 – Summary

We hope you enjoyed learning about cannabis edibles. If you start slow and only consume 5-10mg of THC, to begin with, you should be just fine. 

Remember the golden rule regarding cannabis edibles:

You can always take more, but you can’t take less once you’ve eaten it!

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