7 Things You Need To Know About Cannabis Edibles

Edibles have arrived and there’s a whole new world of cannabis to explore!

Cannabis edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to have an effect

Gummies, chocolate bars, mints, beverage drops and more from leading cannabis companies including Aphria, Aurora, Auxly (Dosecann), High Park and Hexo will soon be on the shelves at Delta 9. Hexo, the company producing the beverage drops, has also partnered with Molson Coors Canada under the name Truss Beverages, and they will be producing 18 different types of cannabis-infused drinkables.

You might just feel like an adult in a candy store with all the new products, but you’ll have to remember to start low and go slow. There are good reasons the new edibles are limited 10 mg of THC per package. Ingesting cannabis is not the same as smoking it, and even if you’re an experienced cannabis consumer, you'll still have to learn what your tolerance level is with edibles.

Here's what you need to know.

A Different Kind of Chemistry

When you smoke or vape cannabis, the psychoactive compound delta-9-THC is quickly absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. It is then transported to your brain, where it acts on your cannabinoid receptors. Conversely, when cannabis edibles are ingested, delta-9-THC is absorbed through the walls of the stomach and intestines and is metabolized by the liver before it travels to your brain.

When delta-9-THC is initially processed through the liver, a greater amount of the psychoactive compound 11-OH-THC is produced. Research indicates that this compound is 3-7 times more potent than delta-9-THC, and it also acts on your cannabinoid receptors. This is why you may experience a different, more powerful and longer lasting high with cannabis edibles.

Slower Acting Longer Lasting

It takes only a few seconds or minutes to feel the effects when inhaling cannabis and from 2-3 hours to feel the full effects, which may last up to four hours. In contrast, cannabis edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to have an effect, and the full effects may not be felt for 3-4 hours. Additionally, the high you get from edibles can last up to 12 hours, with residual effects lingering up to 24 hours. It’s important to keep in mind that people react differently to cannabis depending on their body weight, metabolism and other factors.

Edible products from Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis will include cannabis-infused chocolates.

A More Powerful High

Consumers generally report that consuming cannabis edibles produces a more powerful, long-lasting and relaxing body high, rather than the typical quick-onset cerebral high that results from smoking or vaping. Effects may differ depending on each individual’s body chemistry and are also influenced by the strain used to create the edibles. Sativa strains tend to have a stimulating cerebral effect, while Indica strains will usually produce a more relaxed sedated feeling. Hybrids may produce a combination of effects.

Regardless of the strain, the effects may be more intense due to the higher amount of 11-OH-THC that is produced when ingesting cannabis. And although consuming edibles typically results in more of a simmering, long-lasting high, it’s very important to remember that consuming too much, too fast, can result in an uncomfortable experience.

Dosage Comparisons – Smoking vs Ingesting

Cannabis edibles may have a totally different effect on you than smoking a joint might, but it can still be helpful to know how much cannabis and associated THC you are currently consuming. Consider that a one-gram joint made with a 10% THC strain contains about 100 mg of THC. Approximately 60 percent (60 mg) of that THC is lost during combustion, which leaves you with about 40 mg of THC.

If you are smoking a joint that contains half a gram of cannabis, the total THC available for intake would be 20 mg. If you divide 20 mg by the number of hits it takes to consume your joint, you will arrive at the approximate amount of THC you are consuming on each hit. If it takes you five tokes to finish your joint, you’re consuming about 4 mg on each puff.

Regardless of your current consumption and assumed tolerance level, if you have never tried edibles, you should still start with the lowest dose possible and wait at least two hours to see if it has any effect.

Start Low Go Slow

It’s always important to start low and go slow when consuming cannabis, but it’s imperative to do so with edibles. Coming up with the right dose is a bit of a trial and error process.

The most important thing to remember is to wait at least 2-4 hours when first trying edibles, to see what the effects are, before taking a second dose. Taking multiple doses without waiting might be compared to drinking numerous tequila shots too quickly. Not a good feeling.

Clear your schedule when trying edibles for the first time, don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke a joint, and make sure not to leave your edibles within easy reach after you’ve taken the first one, especially if you’re prone to snacking. Eat something beforehand, make sure you’ve got yourself set up in a comfortable, relaxing space and enjoy the ride.

Labels Are There For a Reason

Always make sure to read the label before consuming your edibles. The total amount of THC in a packaged edible can be up to 10 mg, as per Health Canada regulations. It’s always better to start with products containing a lower amount of THC, and if possible, an equal or higher amount of CBD. Additionally, try to leave your edibles in their original container if possible. The label will make it impossible to forget the dosage while also warning prying eyes to stay away.

Safety and Storage

It goes without saying that you need to lock, label and store your cannabis edibles in a secure air-tight container, high up and out of the reach of children and pets. Even if you’re storing your edibles in the fridge or freezer, make sure to have them locked and labelled. Have your storage solution in place before you get home from the store, and never leave your cannabis edibles out unlabelled or unattended.

Stop by any Delta 9 store on or around December 18, 2019 and experience the new world of cannabis products. Whether it’s your first time or 10th time trying edibles, there will be something for everyone!

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