While many people immediately think of brownies, gummies, and sweets, marijuana edibles can come in many forms. From soda, pasta, and salads, to cocktails and ice cream, professional chefs and home bakers get very creative with their THC and CBD edibles. Making homemade edibles is actually very simple once you get the hang of making cannabis-infused basics like cannabutter, cannaoil, cannamilk, or cannasugar. You can even use your favorite go-to recipes since all you have to do is swap out some of the regular butter or oil with the infused version, making the possibilities endless. Even if you’re not planning to make edibles at home, eating your pot is a completely different experience than smoking it and most people have lots of questions like what are edibles anyway? We’ve compiled the basics so you’ll have a great first experience.
Edibles vs smoking
How long does it take for edibles to kick in?
If one of your friends recounts a weed edible horror story, it’s probably because they didn’t follow the number one rule of taking edibles–wait, wait, wait. It’s very easy to accidentally overindulge in weed edibles since it takes a while to actually feel anything (regular users do it too). Unlike smoking, which has a near immediate effect for everyone, edibles take roughly 45 to 60 minutes to kick in and that time can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors. Metabolism, sex, weight, tolerance, activity level, and when and what you ate last all play a role, so even if you take the exact same dose on a different day, the effects can kick in differently. Cannabis edibles that don’t need to be digested such as hard candies, mints, or lollipops are absorbed sublingually and the effects can be felt in just 20 to 30 minutes.
Most people mess up when they don’t wait long enough before taking a second bite. Always try to portion out your doses ahead of time so you’ll feel the full effects in a single dose. If you think that you may have taken too low a dose the first time, be sure to wait at least two to three hours before taking a second dose (yes, that long. Trust us). This second dose should be much smaller than the first to assure you aren’t getting higher than intended.
How do edibles make you feel?
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Smoking pot gives you a head high, while THC edibles gives you a body high, but what does that really mean? A body high can be described as full body relaxation or “couch lock”. In general, you may feel extra cozy where you are and not want to move, completely zone out to music or the T.V., feel your chronic back pain ease up, or you might not speak for hours. Just like smoking, the effects vary from person to person.
How long do edibles last?
When vaping or smoking bud, the THC goes straight into the bloodstream and reaches the brain in mere seconds, while weed edibles are digested and the THC is processed and converted slowly by the liver. This is why it takes such a long time to kick in and is also the reason your high seems like it’s lasting forever. So how long do edibles stay in your system? The length of an edibles high is very unpredictable, but on average, the high from a normal serving will last between four to eight hours with some effects lingering up to 12 hours. Some people who got way higher than they intended to have said they could still feel the effects well into the next day. The peak of an edible high often comes somewhere between the two to four hour mark (this is why patience is key). Many medical patients turn to this form of consumption for its long-lasting effects that can provide extended relief.
Since so many people seem to get too high off of edibles (you or a friend has probably already done it before), dosing is always a big topic of discussion. Our bodies absorb much more THC when eating cannabis rather than smoking it, so we end up getting more stoned. It just takes awhile to kick in, but once it does, the high lasts a lot longer too. If you’re new to edibles, start with a 5mg serving and after two hours if you’re feeling like you’re not high enough, take another 5mgs. Accurately measuring the potency of an edible is actually very difficult since many different factors come into play during the cooking process which affect the end result. Inconsistent labeling and dosing by commercial manufacturers can also be confusing for consumers. It may seem like edible gummies are portioned into servings, however many times one gummy bear can actually be two doses, so be sure to read the labels. You don’t want to end up like that New York Times reporter who ate an entire chocolate bar without reading the label and thought she died and no one told her.
Just remember that even though you may feel sick, worried, or anxious, it is not life threatening if you get too high from edibles (even though you may be thinking that). There are no known cases of death linked solely to marijuana use or edibles and if you go to the hospital, there is nothing a doctor can do besides talk you down from your paranoia. If you’re thinking about trying edibles for the first time, do it with people you trust and start out slow. Once you eat too much, you can’t go back, but you can always eat more. If you or a friend ends up getting too high, there’s no need to worry, just sleep it off.
How to make edibles
Are you interested in making edibles at home? Try out edible recipes like our weed brownies or get step-by-step instructions with a cannabis cookbook written by a pro edibles chef. Let us know how your edibles turn out in the comments.