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Edibles: Treats for Adults

cannabis edible gummy bears

Cannabis edibles in the form of sour gummy bears.

In recent years, cannabis-infused foods and drinks — known as edibles — have become increasingly popular. This trend is greatly encouraged by the growing legalized marijuana industry and the availability of affordable novelty cannabis products in medical and recreational dispensaries. As well as the time-honored cookies and brownies, product lines have expanded to cannabis-infused sodas, juices, ice cream, gummies, butters, oils, mints, artisan chocolates, and the list goes on! Edibles are noted for producing a strong body high, which makes them perfect for a relaxing evening.

The Science

Consider that THC ingested orally is metabolized differently and more extensively than traditional methods of smoking. While inhaled marijuana is distributed through pulmonary circulation, oral ingestion leads to absorption and metabolism in the G.I. tract and liver. This method increases synthesis of the 11-OH-THC metabolite, which produces a stronger psychotropic effect than inhalation. Onset occurs around 30-60 minutes following consumption, with peak blood levels of THC 3 hours later.

Effects typically last about 6 hours, up to 12 hours. Medical indications include nausea, pain, insomnia, and lack of appetite.

The Market

Among the adult population, in many cases, edibles have replaced or are being alternated with other common recreational drugs, such as hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, and pharmaceutical narcotics. This is in part because of their known potency.

Ingested cannabis, however, has been more traditionally related with medicinal effects. Edibles are often used by people who do not want to smoke or cannot smoke due to a medical condition. In this context, edibles may reach a various or expanded market. This is especially true of CBD-heavy treats, which may contain little or none of the psychoactive properties of THC.

Prices of treats normally range from $5.00 – $20.00.

Recommended Dosage

Perhaps the largest controversy surrounding edible marijuana is the inconsistency and lack of regulation. Currently, manufacturers are not supervised by the Food and Drug Administration.

Packages usually carry an indication of THC quantity. It seems that 10mg is generally the agreed-upon single dosage. Regardless, many products for sale frequently claim to contain 50-200mg and do not indicate portion size.

In February 2016, Colorado enacted new laws that limit THC content, restricting the indicated portion size of each treat to a maximum of 10mg, with no more than 100mg total, per package. Other states that have legalized cannabis usage are expected to follow suit.

Butters and Oils

Another popular trend in the edible market is highly concentrated, infused cannabutter or cannaoil. These are versatile products to use in home cooking that can replace ordinary butters and oils in any recipe. They allow you to personalize your dosage more carefully, and avoid the high content of added sugars and corn syrups present in many packaged treats.

Making your own infused butter or oil really isn’t difficult, and it is a fantastic way to use leftover trim, particularly sugar leaves. Many video tutorials are available online.

Guidelines

While heavy smokers might think that they have a higher tolerance to edibles, this is not necessarily true.

Edible products are delivered differently in the body,  Potency is affected by numerous factors, including gender, body chemistry, age, weight, and metabolism. Everyone’s experience is unique.

  • Eat a meal prior to dosing. The high from edibles will develop more gently, and you’ll be less likely to get sick. Avoid mixing with alcohol.
  • Start with a small dose of 5-15mg and wait at least an hour before deciding if you want to take more.
  • Strains used also differ, so check the package to see if treats are sativa or indica dominant, hybrid, or specifically CBD.

Get All the Information

If you’re purchasing from a marijuana-access point, it’s a good idea to discuss different options with the budtender. Customers always seem to talk about their favorites, what portions work for them, and which products hit particularly hard. Adverse effects of overdosing can include dysphoria, paranoia, disorientation and even hallucinations.

The best strategy for dealing with unpleasant effects is to drink a little water, lay down, relax, and let it pass.

Classic Firecrackers: Easy Home Recipe

Try experimenting with making your own infused treats. Firecrackers are classic, simple, and. delicious(!), and they are made with the normal dried herb you usually smoke.

Spread smooth peanut butter (or other nut butter, or Nutella) onto buttery high-fat crackers, such as Ritz. Sprinkle each cracker with ground marijuana, and place another cracker on top.

Wrap the little sandwiches in tinfoil, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 325°F (160°C).

One gram of dried marijuana can contain as much as 100mg THC, so beware of how much you are using. This treat is lovely on a rainy day, especially if you have a cough or cold that you don’t want to aggravate by smoking.

Enjoy treats responsibly, and find the products and dosages that work for you! Share with us— how do you enjoy your favorite treats?

References:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcph.778/abstract

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.02.022

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197203302861303

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