With CBD and THC products becoming more and more popular, particularly in the US and Canada, we are seeing new products on the markets. Cannabis edibles have been available in the states for some time, but what exactly are the effects of these gummies?
Some edibles infused with THC (the psychoactive element) will give users a high, and CBD only edibles are used a lot by those wanting relief from chronic pain and other issues, such as anxiety.
How does eating cannabis edibles effect you?
Edibles generally take around 30 to 60 minutes to take effect, and they can sometimes create a bigger high than smoking. Of course, this depends on how much THC the edible contains, how or where it is broken down in the body, and different people may feel different effects.
There are some other things that may affect how long the edible takes to have an effect, and how long the high will last for. This can be how old you are, how much you weigh, the diet you are on, how fast or slow your metabolism is, and whether you are a regular user of cannabis. Those who have never tried it before are likely to see stronger and quicker effects.
How long until a cannabis edible takes effect?
How long cannabis edibles take effect will depend on the type of edible you are consuming.
Edibles that you chew, such as gummies or brownies have to be digested in the digestive tract, before entering the bloodstream and then onto the liver. The liver will metabolise the active ingredients in the edible, and then release this back into the bloodstream. This blood will travel up the brain, and only then will you start to notice any effects.
It is important to remember not to overdo it when consuming cannabis edibles if you do not feel an effect straight away. Always wait around 24 hours before having more, as there could be a delay in the symptoms or effects from what you have eaten.
For things like gum, lozenges, and cannabis sweets that you suck (and do not consume), the active ingredients are absorbed faster, through the membranes within your mouth. This process, named sublingual absorption, means that the effects may take a shorter time to appear.
Know how much you are taking
Before eating a cannabis edible bought from an online store, or from a dispensary, you should always make sure you are aware of the THC and CBD amount, per sweet. Some boxes may not include the amount per sweet, but the amount for the whole box, so always double check. Most gummy edibles will typically have around 10 milligrams of THC.
As with most grocery store items, always check how much is in each serving, and what they class as a ‘serving’. You may find that the serving size on the pack is much less than you would have assumed.
Always start with a small amount, particularly if it is your first time trying cannabis edibles. Wait until you feel the effects, do not assume it not working and take more, as you may end up taking too much.
For those with no tolerance to THC, it is best to keep the dose under 10mg. Those with a higher tolerance may go up to 20mg or 30mg, however there are some studies to suggest that a dose of this amount each day could increase dependency.
How long will the effects of cannabis edibles last?
A high from consuming cannabis edibles can last from 6 to 8 hours, much longer than a high from smoking a joint. The effects from eating something with THC will be at their strongest after around three hours, when the blood level is at its highest.
Eating and swallowing edibles may make your high last longer, and obviously it will be affected by how much you take, the type of edible you are eating, and your individual previous experiences.
Positives and negatives of cannabis edibles
As with anything, there are both advantages and some disadvantages of using cannabis edibles. Let us start with the positives first.
Unlike smoking or vaping your cannabis, there is no risk from respiratory issues. Smoking cannabis can cause risk of such issues, like bronchitis and inflammation of the lungs. You are also not inhaling smoke, which may be harmful.
Using cannabis edibles is also an inconspicuous way to consume cannabis. For those you do not want to draw attention to the fact they are using cannabis, this can be a good way to conceal it, as popping a sweet in your mouth is unlikely to turn heads! This can also be great for those who need to use edibles daily for medicinal purposes. They can also be taken from anywhere (i.e., you do not have to go outside every time).
For those wanting a longer high, then cannabis edibles can be a great way to feel the effects for longer. You can also try making them at home and having fun with it! There are plenty of recipes online, including in our recipe category- so be sure to check that out.
Are there any side effects? Side effects will most likely be caused by consuming edibles with THC, but even the CBD ones can have some undesired results. If you use a product with a too high dose of THC, or you take too many edibles, you may see some negative side effects.
The side effects from THC edibles can include hallucinations, confusion, psychosis, anxiety, stress, feeling or being sick, sedations or physical and mental impairment. CBD related side effects include feeling tired, fatigue, having diarrhoea, changes in appetite or weight.
There is little research into the effects of cannabis edibles, so we always advise to start slow, get used to the effects and to what your own body can handle. Always buy from a trusted manufacturer or dispensary to ensure you are getting the best quality. And if you do notice any of these side effects and are worried, of course, consult a medical professional.
For more articles on cannabis food and drink related things, please check out our news page for more interesting and helpful reads.