As medical marijuana becomes the norm in American society, new patients are struggling to understand how to use the myriad products out there. Out of all of the categories available, few are as tricky to understand as marijuana-infused foods - commonly called marijuana edibles or just "edibles" for short. But with the advent of modern, professional products and lab testing, patients have more control over how much THC they eat than ever before.
Medical cannabis patients eat the active ingredients in the plant for a variety of reasons. Many of them do not want to smoke cannabis - largely the most recognizable of methods. Others cannot smoke or vaporize cannabis due to throat or lung conditions that preclude it. Then there are patients that specifically seek out the different effects of eating cannabis compared to smoking. The effects from eating cannabis can last longer and be more intense and focused in the body than smoked or vaporized cannabis.
Patients are eating indica cannabis edibles primarily for longer-lasting nighttime relief from pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Or they're eating sativa cannabis edibles for a long-lasting daytime management of nausea or other conditions.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
The effects of eating cannabis take much longer to be felt than smoking the plant. Smoking's effects take hold in seconds, while it can take up to two hours to feel the full effects of eaten cannabis.
That's because when you are smoking, the active ingredients in cannabis, including THC, quickly transfer from the smoke or vapor to the lungs, then the bloodstream and brain. When you eat cannabis, the THC goes into the stomach where it is digested much more slowly over time.
Eaten cannabis' effects are different because the active ingredients are digested and metabolized by the liver into a stronger, longer-lasting variation of THC.
PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL
Many patients don't know how much of an edible to eat, so it's much easier to over-ingest THC orally in comparison to smoking or vaporizing it. Our advice - start low and go slow.
With smoking or vaping, effects are felt in seconds, so it's easy to tell when you've reached the desired medication level and stop. Doctors say new patients should try as little as 1 milligram (the size of a small pill or mint) of oral THC and see how they feel in 120 minutes. Regular edibles consumers will eat anywhere from 5 mg to 50 mg as a "dose", depending on body size and tolerance.
SERIOUSLY, GO EASY ON YOUR DOSAGE
After eating an edible, some patients wait an hour, feel nothing, and mistakenly assume they need a bigger dose. Don't do this.
Over-ingesting THC can lead to feeling unwell (dysphoria), or nauseous, dizzy, drowsy and disoriented. At higher doses, ingested THC can cause anxiety and intense sensory experiences. Keep calm. Unlike almost any other medicine, eaten cannabis has no lethal overdose level. Patients are advised to lay down in a soothing area, stay hydrated, and wait for effects to wear off in a few hours.
Remember, to help with your edible shopping, Eaze has recommended dosing information on all of its products. Read the labels and stay informed.