As the decriminalization – and, in the case of Washington and several other states, full legalization – of cannabis exits its infancy, you’re no doubt starting to hear more about the use of cannabis infused edibles. If you’re wondering what cannabis-infused edibles are and whether they will work in your life, here’s a brief primer.
What Are Cannabis Infused Edibles?
Cannabis infused edibles are, as the name suggests, treats and other cannabis-containing foods that you can consume by mouth. They tend to be more potent than smoked cannabis because THC – the main psychoactive and pain-dulling compound in cannabis – is first metabolized by the liver before heading to the brain, where it can cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively.
When smoked, on the other hand, THC heads straight to the brain, resulting in a more immediate high – as compared to cannabis infused edibles, which may take up to 2 hours to fully manifest – but the effects fade sooner. Plus, the high induced by smoking doesn’t affect the body nearly as much and is, therefore, less effective in treating nausea, poor appetite, and pain toward which edibles are typically geared.
That means when used responsibly, with proper attention to dosage, potency, labeling, and safety, cannabis infused edibles are often the best choice for cannabis consumption.
Edible Dosage and Potency
A significant danger in consuming cannabis infused edibles is accidentally ingesting too much. While it is astronomically unlikely that this will prove fatal, the resulting high can be much too powerful, making you dizzy, nauseous and paranoid. What is funny and relaxing in small doses can become highly unpleasant or even hellish in large ones.
It is, therefore, important to understand dosage and experiment carefully to find a potency level that works for you. Perhaps confusingly, almost all cannabis infused edibles represent more than a single dose. Gummy bears, for instance, often represent two, and come in whole packages. Brownie and cake mixes may serve three or four doses or more.
Understanding Edible Labeling
This is where labeling comes in. Due to recent and increasingly specific standardization in the cannabis industry, you can now find full information about the dosage of edibles on every package. This will help you understand how much to take. If someone offers to sell you cannabis infused edibles through back channels, don’t buy them. Instead, head to a dispensary where experts can answer your questions and sell you properly labeled products.
Child Safety with Cannabis Infused Edibles
Cannabis infused ediblesare a double-edged sword in the sense that their yumminess makes cannabis more palatable for adults, but can also attract children. Unfortunately, the latter don’t understand dosing (not that they should be consuming it in any amount) and can ingest large quantities of THC very quickly. Because the effects come on slowly, children may eat far too much before they notice anything, resulting in severe paranoia, breathing problems, anxiety, and even heart trouble. Therefore, you should always treat cannabis infused edibles like they are medicine, storing them out of reach with other medications and warning children against them.
The takeaway? Cannabis infused edibles can be an effective and delicious alternative to smoking cannabis, but you have to be careful. The next time you’re craving a real dessert, head to the bakery and leave cannabis infused edibles in a child-proof location where they belong – and where you can enjoy them safely, again and again.