Edibles have long been considered a bit of a wild card. Dosage is a constant struggle between getting too high or feeling nothing at all. Even with regulated cannabis, where ostensibly you’re getting the same dose every time, it’s a challenge to find a consistent effect. This is why edibles have been many cannabis enthusiasts’ kryptonite. It’s easy to assume that if they can handle a few joints, they can handle edibles just as easily. But this is not necessarily the case.
Ever wonder why edibles hit harder and last longer than smokables? Or why they affect some people in completely different ways than others? In this article, we will explore the features of edibles vs. smoking that will make it easy for you to know which one is right for you.
As many readers may have learned the hard way, just because they come from the same plant doesn’t mean edibles and smokables have the same effect. Hitting a vape or smoking a joint goes straight to the dome. The high kicks in within seconds and peaks in minutes because it enters the body through the bloodstream. Edibles, on the other hand, are processed in the stomach and liver. That means they stay in your system for much longer – long enough to either create a deeper, extended, almost psychedelic experience or get you wrecked, depending on how you titrate your dose.
Because edibles first have to go through the digestion process, they can take much longer to kick in. It’s not uncommon for two hours to pass before the peak, and the high can last around three hours after that. For the uninitiated, it may appear that the edibles aren’t working, or that too low of a dose has been ingested. This often leads people to increase their dose before they’ve even launched, and that could ultimately lead to cannabis toxicity (overdose). But if titrated properly, and in the right set and setting, edibles can be an incredibly fun experience, and without the risks associated with smoking.
Some people have conditions, like asthma or other respiratory issues, that make them especially susceptible to discomfort from smoking. Even if you have no health issues, inhaling any combusted material is not great for the lungs. Edibles (and vaping) are therefore the healthier way to consume cannabis. But how do you do it in a way that’s predictable?
In the last few years, a more advanced edible has arrived on the scene, powered by nanotechnology. Unlike traditional edibles, nano edibles claim consumers will start to feel high within 15 minutes. So they’re less likely to make the mistake of taking another dose or too much before the edible kicks in.
“So what that means is that these particles [THC and CBD] get into the blood very, very quickly, and they actually get into your cells very quickly,” Clarke said. “And in the gut, they just pass directly through your digestive system, because they’re already so small, your digestive system doesn’t pay any attention, and then delivers it directly into the bloodstream.”
“The technology, it’s essentially breaking it down the same way your stomach breaks down food particles into smaller particles,” Clarke added. “It’s just doing what your body normally does, but it’s doing it before it actually gets into your body.”
There’s only one rule you really need to follow to have an enjoyable edibles experience: Start low. While many products carry 50 – 100 mg, avoid these if you’re new to edibles or haven’t enjoyed one in a while. Instead, take a microdose of about 2.5 mg of THC (this may amount to about half of the least potent edible at your local retailer). Wait at least two hours before deciding if you should ingest more, and even then, only add another 2.5 mg.
Each product will affect you differently, depending on factors like what other ingredients accompany the THC. Chocolate edibles, for example, may hit harder than gummies because of the caffeine and psychoactive effects of the chocolate itself. And nano edibles will kick in a lot faster than traditional edibles because…
Weed-infused gummies, chocolates, and baked goods tend to be so unpredictable because THC absorption into your bloodstream can be delayed depending on how much of the edible you had, and how much you ate before downing the edible.
In typical edibles, consumers don’t taste the cannabinoids as intensely because they aren’t absorbed by the membranes in your mouth. (Traditional edibles may still taste funky because of the chlorophyll and terpenes, the compounds that give plants a scent, but you’re less likely to taste the acute bitterness that nano emulsion edibles have.) “You are tasting the full bitter notes of the cannabinoids” when those fast-acting gummies have a bit of a bitter aftertaste.
Signs you got too high: anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, hallucination, sudden high blood pressure. Don’t worry – listen to music, watch a movie, or take a nap. Have snacks on hand that act as an antidote. But if you’re really tripping out, Don’t be afraid to call 911.
If you know what you’re doing, a long edibles trip can be quite the bonding experience with friends and lovers. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, and that’s not the experience you set out to have, edibles could leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed.