Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Edibles

cannabis cookies

Television cooking shows, cookbooks, and commercially sold products, cannabis edibles seem to be everywhere. Maybe you are using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes and are curious about edibles. Or, you’ve never used and thought this was the way to go for a first-timer.

Either way, there are a few facts you need to know about this form of marijuana and how it’s different from other ways to use the substance. To help you out, here’s a basic beginner’s guide to cannabis edibles.

What are Cannabis Edibles?

cannabis edibles

Cannabis edibles are food products, either commercially made or created at home, that are infused with the cannabis flower or concentrates. Ingesting edibles infused with cannabis has benefits for both medicinal and recreational uses.

Smoking is one of the most common ways to use marijuana. In general, inhaling the smoke from any substance including tobacco or pot can be hazardous to your health, especially your lungs. Edibles remove this risk factor.

When smoking or using a vaporizer for pot, the effects can be felt quickly, sometimes as little as in a few minutes. The results of eating marijuana-infused food products take much longer. It can take from 45 minutes up to three hours to feel anything. The length of time before a person feels the effects are due to several factors. These can include their metabolism, any medications they may have taken, and their level of use. Beginners often feel it faster than someone that uses marijuana often. Once the effect hits, it can last approximately four to six hours. The long-lasting results are a benefit for medicinal purposes and a plus for recreational users.

There are some edibles that you can make at home, but the best edibles you can find in marijuana dispensaries exist in every state where cannabis is legal.

The “high” from an Edible

making cannabis cookies

The amount of THC versus CBD in an edible makes a difference in how high a person will feel. The greater the THC content, the more of a mind and body altering state. The opposite happens with more CBD. Food products with a high concentration of CBD and low to no THC are best for medicinal users. There’s no high.

For newbies to edible cannabis, the best first-time food is a clearly labeled store-bought product. The general rule is to start with a low dosage of THC, from 1 mg to 5 mg. Eat one dose and wait at least a couple of hours, preferably as long as 24 hours. The longer the waiting period between doses, the better you can tell how your body reacts. Increased effects of edibles can be triggered by eating more foods, drinking alcohol, or taking medications. These are some of the reasons why it’s best to see how the low dose makes you feel over several hours or so before eating any more.

The issue with cannabis edibles is the dosage is highly variable. This is especially true for home-cooked foods. It’s much easier to overdose from an edible than it is from smoking marijuana or other forms of use. Because it takes time for the effects of a consumable to be perceived, a person might mistake a lack of feeling, meaning he didn’t eat enough of the substance to get high and consume more. This dramatically increases the chances of an overdose.

The side-effects of too much cannabis can include hallucinations, paranoia, panic and anxiety attacks, psychotic episodes, and impaired motor skills. For first-time users, it’s best to start with a low dose and with other people around, just in case.

Regulations and Edible Cannabis

cannabis cupcake

Like other forms of use, laws, and rules concerning edible cannabis vary from the state level down to the local, and across state lines. In general, edible cannabis should only be consumed on private property and in a kid-free zone in states and locations that allow the use of marijuana.

Like smoking and vaping marijuana, public use of edibles is basically illegal. This includes in vehicles, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. Edible forms of cannabis may be easier to hide, but it’s not worth the risk of getting caught. Before trying cannabis edibles for the first time, know the laws regarding use in your location.

Home-made Edibles

cannabis chocolate bar

Making your own cannabis edibles is not that difficult with the knowledge of a few basic cooking techniques. The issue that needs to be considered when you’re cooking at home is the concentration of marijuana in your food is difficult to determine, no matter how careful you measure. You can become more proficient at it over time and with lots of practice. When learning to cook with cannabis, start with a very low dosage such as 1 mg. You may not taste the pot, but it’s there.

Excellent food choices to start with that you can easily make at home include marijuana-infused cooking oil and butter. Use them in place of your regular products. They may quickly become your go-to favorites. Once you have a solid understanding of the basic of cannabis edibles, you can branch out and try recipes from cookbooks, websites, or your favorite marijuana cooking show.