Eating cannabis is considered as a safe alternative to smoking and vaping. So, without inhaling the smoke, you can receive medicinal benefits, such as anxiety relief, boosting sleep, pain relief, etc.
When it comes to edible, you have a wide range of options in candies, snacks, chocolates, and beverages. To buy edibles legally, you must get a medical marijuana card. Other benefits of getting a card are high potency products, age relaxation, tax-saving, and legal permission to grow cannabis plants at home.
Before using edibles, you should have a comprehensive understanding of how they work, onset time, etc. Let’s learn.
What Are Edibles?
Edibles are foods and beverages packed with therapeutic benefits. In other words, cannabis compounds are infused in candies, chocolates, and drinks using different techniques. Most edibles contain high levels of THC, a major psychoactive cannabinoid.
With medical studies showing that cannabis can be used as a natural alternative to medications, more states are legalizing its medical use. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the demand for edibles in the past decade. Some of the most popular edibles are—gummies, brownies, pizzas, coffees, ice-creams, and dressings.
Onset Time & Duration
Edibles work differently from other delivery methods, such as smoking. When you consume cannabis-infused foods/drinks, they are metabolized by the body. The cannabinoids are processed through the digestive system.
When it comes to delivering medicinal effects, edibles are slower. After consumption, you need to wait for at least 20-180 minutes to experience the effects. However, the onset time may vary from one edible to another. For instance, chewable edibles take longer to kick in than lollipops. Other factors affecting the edible effects are—metabolism rate, weight, your tolerance to cannabis.
How long edible effects last? Well, edibles last longer (usually 6-8 hours) than other consumption methods. So, they are perfect for patients who need long-lasting relief. However, the dosage and potency of edibles also decide the duration of effects.
Beginner’s Guide to Use Cannabis Edibles For Medical Purposes
Read the Label Carefully
Different edibles contain different levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Since the potency of cannabis you eat influences the medicinal effects you receive, it’s important to read the label carefully. Check the THC content (in mg), additives, etc. If you are a fitness lover, you should look for edibles free from sugar.
The label must contain—retailer information, cannabinoid profile, child-proof packaging sticker, processor’s details, barcode for retail sale, etc.
Additionally, you should check serving guidelines carefully to avoid any negative effects.
Start With a Low Dose
There’s no doubt that the amount of cannabis you consume affects the high you receive. Higher doses deliver stronger effects, which last longer than the duration of lower doses. So, how much you are consuming matters.
However, identifying the right dose for your condition isn’t easy. There are different dosing intervals—5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, etc. We recommend you to start with a low dose and analyze how cannabinoids work in your body and the kind of effects you experience. However, you can increase the dose gradually to get mood-boosting, pain-relieving, or other medicinal effects.
Remember, don’t take the second immediately after the first one. Wait for at least 120 minutes to let the cannabinoids absorb in your system.
It varies from consumer to consumer. For some consumers, 10 mg may provide a good night’s sleep while for others, this amount may not deliver any effects.
What influences tolerance? Well, there are many factors. Since when you have been consuming cannabis and what’s your frequency of consumption. Additionally, age may play a role in one’s tolerance to cannabis. Medical experts believe that low-THC tolerance may lead to risks such as anxiety, paranoia, etc.
So, learning about your tolerance levels is important before you start using edibles for medical purposes. This will help you analyze what you require to improve your health.
Apart from the dosage and cannabinoid profile, there are some other things that influence edible effects. These include your emotional and physical state while consuming and the environment setting. Maybe you will like eating cannabis with your spouse. Maybe you will enjoy edibles in your home alone. So, the objective is to analyze what works well for you.
Since you are a beginner, we recommend you to consume with experienced users. This way, you can reduce the chances of overconsumption and other side-effects.
Consider What You Have Eaten
What you eat before taking edibles matters. Cannabinoids will kick in quickly if you consume edibles in an empty stomach. We recommend you to eat a decent diet before eating edibles. Why so? Because cannabinoids will not get absorbed quickly, so you will not feel overwhelmed.
Also, there’s some medical research supporting that eating a meal before consuming edibles is important. It may also help improve the bioavailability of chemical compounds present in cannabis.
Moreover, many consider eating edibles with alcohol. It’s important to note that alcohol can increase the THC concentration in blood. So, don’t mix the two.
Taking edibles can cause various risks. Medical researchers have found that regular cannabis consumption can impair brain development, cognitive function, etc. Additionally, long-term use can lead to increased risks of schizophrenia.
Overconsumption is another potential risk. This is because THC concentrations vary from product to product. Additionally, determining THC levels in homemade edibles is quite difficult.
Since edibles don’t kick in instantly, chances are more that you end up consuming large amounts and feel discomfort. Nausea, paranoia, and panic attacks are some of the negative effects of an edible overdose.
So, you should always talk to a licensed doctor to get sound advice for dosage right for your condition.
Making Cannabis Edibles at Home
You can make edibles at home, however it’s quite difficult to make the ones with the proper amount of cannabinoids. You can find a wide range of edible recipes online.
If you haven’t made edibles at home, you can start with cannabutter. It’s very simple. Just melt some butter in a pan and add decarboxylated cannabis, and keep it for at least 3 hours. Then, transfer the mixture into a container, and enjoy your cannabutter. Additionally, you can try making brownies, cannabis tea, ice-cream, etc.
How to Buy Medical Marijuana Edibles Legally?
To buy medical marijuana edibles, you must first qualify for a medical cannabis card. For this, you need to talk to a licensed doctor who will carefully check your condition to determine your eligibility. Once approved, the doctor will provide you with an MMJ card valid for 12 months (in most states). You can use the card to make edible purchases at any state-licensed dispensary.
However, you can apply for your medical marijuana card from home using telemedicine technology. Just fill a simple form and see a doctor online. Your MMJ recs will be sent to your email in PDF format. You can take a printout yourself. Additionally, you will receive your MMJ card via mail in 2-3 days.
Edibles are candies, drinks, brownies, and other foods/beverages that contain cannabis. So, instead of inhaling the smoke, you can eat marijuana for medical purposes.
Unlike other methods, edibles take longer to provide its medicinal effects and last longer. So, for beginners, we recommend to check the label, go slow, understand tolerance, check environment settings, and eat a decent meal before consuming.
Get a medical marijuana card to buy edibles legally.