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Consumptions 101 Series: What Are Cannabis Edibles?

July 12, 2022
Consumptions 101 Series: What Are Cannabis Edibles?

When it comes to the most popular ways to consume cannabis, edibles are right up there with smoking. But unlike smoking, there are definitely some precautions that newcomers to cannabis need to take when it comes to edibles. We’re going to help clear up some common questions about edibles like what cannabis infused edibles are and how long they last. Let’s dive in!

Consumption 101: What are Cannabis Edibles?

Before we begin, let’s make sure we have all of our foundational bases covered. So what, exactly, are cannabis edibles?

Essentially, cannabis edibles are any type of food infused with a cannabis extract. Experts call taking cannabis this way “ingestion.” When you consume a cannabis edible that contains THC, it affects the THC’s potency and duration. That’s because the THC molecule is changed by our liver in a phenomenon known as “first-pass metabolism.” Let’s unpack this a little more!

The Effects of Cannabis Edibles

One of the big differences between eating and smoking cannabis is potency. Generally, smoking cannabis is going to affect you in a different way than eating the same amount. That’s because your body processes cannabis differently depending on your intake method.

If you smoke cannabis, your lungs absorb the THC and pass it directly into the bloodstream. But when you eat a cannabis infused edible, that’s not the case. Instead, your liver transforms THC into a new compound called “11-hydroxy-THC.” According to some research, this new compound passes through your blood-brain barrier more easily. As a result, the same amount of THC can feel more potent when you consume it orally rather than smoking it.

If you’re new to cannabis edibles, this can be a surprising experience. That’s why it’s best to go “low and slow” if you’re newer to oral cannabis. That means: start with a low dose and give your body plenty of time to digest and the full effects to kick in before consuming more. 

How Long Do Cannabis Infused Edibles Take to Kick In?

So how long does it take for the full effects of edibles to kick in?

As we mentioned, when you smoke cannabis the THC passes into your bloodstream directly from your lungs. That means you feel its effects almost instantly. But digestion works a little differently. Since you take edibles orally, they must pass through much of your digestive system before you begin to feel their effects. This can take as little as 45 minutes or up to two hours.

That leads us to one important rule regarding edibles: don’t double dose. Sometimes, it can be easy to get impatient. You may take one dose, not feel anything, and assume you need more. But more often than not, you just need to wait a little longer to feel the effects. 

You can see where this is going. If you double dose it can lead to feeling “too high” and being generally uncomfortable. That’s why you should only take a single dose of cannabis infused edibles at a time, especially if you’re just starting out with edibles. 

How Long Do Cannabis Edibles Last?

There’s one last common question about cannabis infused edibles that we need to cover: how long do edibles last?

As you may have guessed from our last two questions, cannabis infused edibles can last much longer than inhaled cannabis. That’s because 11-hydroxy-THC sticks around in your bloodstream much longer than regular THC does. As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t have any other responsibilities for the day before you take an infused edible.

Cannabis Infused Edibles at 3Fifteen Primo

Hopefully this entry in our Consumption 101 series has helped shed some light on cannabis infused edibles. 

If you have any other questions about edibles, just ask your budtender next time you’re visiting any one of our Missouri dispensary locations (or drop us a line anytime). We’re always here to help. Of course, you can always peruse our menus online from the comfort of home, too. We hope to see you soon!

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