To ingest or not to ingest; that is the question. Whether you do or not, marijuana edibles are here to stay.
When it comes to experimenting with weed, there are some pretty big differences between inhaling and eating. Your choice ultimately depends on the type of high you’re looking for, and the amount of time you have to kill.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, marijuana edible sales in Colorado increased by 53% in the first quarter of 2016. Flower on the other hand only had an 11% rise. This tells us that trends within the marijuana industry are growing rapidly.
What’s the Difference Between Marijuana Edibles and Smoking?
The main difference between smoking your weed or eating it, is the time period over which your high will stretch, and where you feel it most! When you smoke or vape your bud, the high hits you almost immediately, but lasts for a shorter time. When you consume marijuana edibles, it can take up to a couple of hours to feel the effect and it lasts for hours on end.
THC and CBD cannabinoids are the chemical compounds concealed inside cannabis. Different cannabinoids have various effects, and each strain has a different strength. When you use weed, cannabinoids travel into the bloodstream and bind to multiple receptor sites. These receptors located throughout your body affect many central functions, including memory, pleasure, concentration and mobility.
How it works
When smoking, cannabinoids enter your body through the lungs and quickly enter your brain. Edibles on the other hand introduce cannabinoids slowly through the gastrointestinal tract. After eating, THC is metabolized by your liver and absorbed. It makes its way to your bloodstream and eventually to your brain. The high that you get from oral ingestion tends to be a more relaxing ‘body’ high, unlike the ‘head’ high of inhalation. The result is also more intense and lasts a lot longer.
As cannabis is fat soluble, it’s easy to infuse into butter or oil and keep at hand for medicated cooking. The world is your oyster when it comes to edible recipes.
The Benefits of Marijuana Edibles
- More convenient; an inconspicuous way to consume product.
- A safe alternative to smoking, avoid lung damage as no heat or combustion is required.
- Safely transportable and odor-free for subtle consumption.
- Long-lasting effects don’t require repetitive dosing.
- No throat irritation, dry eyes or dry skin.
- Excellent remedy for pain relief, muscle spasms, and nausea.
- Insomnia sufferers may prefer the long-lasting mellow effects, allowing them a good night sleep.
Risks of Oral Consumption
No matter your preference, there’s always a risk when taking any substance. Depending on personal tolerance, environmental factors and frame of mind, each consumer is effected differently. Marijuana edibles are absolutely not for the inexperienced smoker, or anybody sensitive to the effects of psycho-actives. If you’re looking for a quick high, you’re better off sticking with inhalation.
The main issue with edibles is that they’re hard to measure in terms of potency. The effects take a long time to hit you (up to a few hours). This means that you need to wait a while before knowing the true strength of your edible. Many people make the mistake of consuming more while waiting to feel the effect, which runs the risk of leaving you feeling too high later on.
Symptoms you may experience if you ingest too much cannabis:
- Paranoia or anxiety
- Lack of energy / mobility
- Feeling of heaviness
- Nausea / vomiting
- Extremely dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness / disorientation
If this happens to you, fear not! There are zero reports of long-term side effects or cannabis overdose. All other drugs come with the very real danger of fatal overdose when taken in high quantities. All symptoms from weed end in hours.
Tips for when you’re TOO high
If you do find yourself flying too high, remember these points until you come back down to earth:
- Do not panic. The effects will wear off and you will be back to normal within a few hours.
- Surround yourself with people you trust and are comfortable around.
- Drink water. Keep hydrated to combat cotton mouth and keep you calm and cool.
- Do not drink alcohol – this increases THC blood levels and will make you feel worse.
- Distract yourself. Watch an uplifting movie or favorite TV show to keep your mind off your high.
- Lay down, relax and breathe deeply. The easiest way to get through a colossal high is to sleep it off. Go somewhere quiet where you feel comfortable and safe.