Cannabis edibles come in a variety of foods and beverages consumed for both medical and recreational purposes. Cannabis edibles offer an alternative way to enjoy the sensations induced by this amazing plant without having to inhale any vapor or smoke. We’ll explore the different kinds of edibles along with their pros and cons.
How cannabis edibles are made
It’s not as simple as sprinkling weed over food and cooking it. There’s a process first. And it has different approaches.
Using special equipment, producers can first make flavorless, scentless cannabis oils called distillates, which are then infused with cooking oil and butter to make any kind of food out there.
Another approach is to take actual cannabis buds and decarboxylate (or decarb) them first. In other words, they’re heated or baked at low temperatures to activate the psychoactive cannabinoids like THC. Then the buds are ground and infused with cooking oil and butter to make the desired foods.
When it comes to beverages, the process is entirely different. To make tea, parts of the cannabis plant are steeped. For beer, you can either brew the cannabis leaves or, as with sodas, you can mix non-alcoholic beer with isolated THC and CBD.
The compounds in cannabis edibles
You’ll often find that edibles will display their THC to CBD ratio. More THC means you’ll experience substantial psychoactive effects, and more CBD will induce a more pain-relieving, relaxing sensation.
The type of cannabis strain also plays a key role, with Sativas acting more as a stimulant and Indicas causing a more sedated effect.
We measure the amount of THC content present in edibles by milligrams. A single edible can range from a microdose of 1-2.5mg to 5-10mg.
Most cannabis edibles will be broken down into 10mg doses, and that amount can certainly produce a strong effect on new users. Anything above is likely to be especially intense, making that amount enjoyable only for cannabis users with a high tolerance for THC.
With regards to the dose of CBD in cannabis edibles, the minimum amount for newcomers ranges between 5-10mg, but often the standard serving is around 20-30mg.
That said, depending on what a user’s reason is for taking CBD cannabis edibles, from anxiety to epilepsy, the amount of CBD content can range considerably higher.
The different kinds of cannabis edibles
If you’re not new to cannabis edibles, the variety of options out there might seem overwhelming. We can’t stress enough the fact that it comes down to discovering your personal preferences and level of tolerance. That will take some trial and error, and you should always start small.
These soft chewy cannabis edibles are a dream come true for many users. While cannabis lovers always knew how to make gummies on their own, there’s something special about walking into a dispensary and buying them like you would any other candy, but the kind that makes your body and mind sparkle.
People also love cannabis gummies because they’re as tasty as they are carefully dosed. You know how much THC and/or CBD you’re getting with each one.
Cannabis gummies come in a variety of flavors, so the only way to discover your favorites is by trying them out.
That said, as mentioned previously, pay attention to the dose, CBD to THC ratio, and the strain used. Start off with the smallest dose possible.
Taken in the form of tablets or softgels, people may prefer cannabis capsules to cannabis gummies because they don’t have additional scents or flavors. They just want the psychoactive and physical sensations. You’ll find that capsules tend to veer on the expensive side of cannabis edibles.
Cannabis Baked Goods
Brownies and cookies and cupcakes, oh my!
Any dessert can become a cannabis experience. The base is usually the same: cannabis-infused cooking oil and butter.
For the sweet-toothed lovers of baked goods seeking the effects of cannabis without having to smoke or vape, they’ve got the best of both worlds together packed into the ultimate treat!
Baking cannabis-infused goods at home should be handled with extreme care to get the dose right. Buying from a dispensary allows you to rest assured that you’re getting the precise dose for your level of tolerance, metabolism, and weight.
A THC-infused tea, non-alcoholic beer, or soda. You won’t find coffee or alcohol with THC, but mixing CBD with both drinks is done all the time. Beer, tea, and soda contain a combination of both cannabinoids.
While beverages are on the rise in popularity, storing and dosing them can be tricky, especially when compared to, for example, cannabis gummies. You can break up a 100mg cannabis gummy into 10 pieces, making it easier to control your THC intake, and then store the rest.
The same can’t be said of drinks. It can be a bit more challenging to break beverages down into individual doses. That’s why it’s key to know what your level of tolerance is.
Other cannabis edibles
Tincture - An alcohol-based extract, drip the cannabis-infused liquid onto your tongue with a dropper. Although expensive, tinctures are very popular, especially among those seeking the healthiest way to enjoy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes, or both.
Oil/Butter - Created by infusing a type of oil (olive, coconut, peanut, etc.) or butter with cannabis to make infused oil/butter. There are even delightful butter-makers like the LEVO machine. Definitely worth a try if cooking with cannabis is your jam.
Chocolates - Those little blocks of cocoa coat your palate with one of the world’s most beloved flavors, but now infused with cannabis oil and butter.
Hard Candy - Same as chocolate. Cannabis oil and/or butter are added to the kinds of sweets you’ll find at any candy store.
The price of cannabis edibles
The cost of cannabis edibles is fairly wide, depending on the size of the dose. Most dispensaries sell cannabis edibles like baked goods and gummies in a quantity of 100mg for around $10- $25. With cannabis tinctures, 100 drops can cost around $20.
The pros of cannabis edibles
As we mentioned before, one of the main reasons people feel drawn to cannabis edibles is for health reasons: they simply don’t want any vapor or smoke going into their lungs.
But they still want to get high, and/or enjoy cannabis’s therapeutic bodily sensations. The sensations induced by edibles tend to be more intense, as user testimonials will confirm.
A lot of users can do without the whole ordeal of carrying around vaping pens, pipes, joints, and so forth. There’s nothing more convenient than transporting a small bag of cannabis goodies that you can dispose of once you’re done.
Then there’s the quantity. When it comes to foods purchased at reputable dispensaries, the dose is precise, allowing users to more easily find out what proportions of THC and CBD work best for their body types.
The cons of cannabis edibles
Despite all the many benefits of cannabis edibles, you will find that the average cannabis user and connoisseur will still opt for flower and concentrates, at least some of the time.
For starters, while cannabis edibles can have delicious flavors, they’re unlikely to offer the cannabis plant’s authentic fragrance and taste found in its terpenes.
That’s not to say that terpenes can’t be added to edibles, but they won’t be the original collection originally found in the cannabis plant used.
This means, to an extent, that it’s harder to get the amazing “entourage effect” with cannabis edibles, that complex interplay of cannabinoids and terpenes unique to each plant.
While there is still so much to learn, it is generally believed that by conserving the plant’s original chemical signature in a cannabis product, users experience the full entourage effect.
Another issue with cannabis edibles is that the high might be too intense and last too long for some people. Then again, this shouldn’t be a problem, especially nowadays. As we’ve seen, it’s easy to ensure a more precise dose of THC within most cannabis edibles. But all it takes is one bad experience to keep someone from giving cannabis edibles another try.
The final reason some cannabis edibles might not appeal to some people, even the extremely health-conscious users, is that they’d rather not have the extra calories found in some of the beverages and gummies, especially in baked cannabis edibles.
Some people are just looking to get high, not gain weight. Of course, the solution, then, is to choose tinctures or capsules.
In the end, there are more reasons to love cannabis edibles than not. To discover one’s personal preference, it’s a matter of careful exploration, and luckily today, that’s easy to do at legitimate dispensaries.