The world of edibles has truly elevated. The days of ‘dank special brownies’ wrapped in plastic are disappearing, now being replaced by name-brand delicacies from chef-inspired cookies to gold brushed macaroons. With innovative extraction methods, the potent flavor of cannabis is now subdued -almost nonexistent- in most edibles. New technologies and legalities have opened the space for chocolatiers, bakers, and chefs to flock to the industry and create a unique ingestible cannabis experience.
As a consumer, the options for edibles are endless and the task of choosing the perfect edible can be a bit daunting. From drinks, chocolates, gummies, mints, and tinctures, it’s hard to know which one will produce the effects that we are looking for. Whether seeking heavier body effects for relaxation and sleep, a lighter euphoric head high, or possibly somewhere in between, how can we assess which edible is best?
Finding Your Dosage
Contrary to popular belief, the choosing proper dosage for perfect edible is not based on physical size. The important thing to remember here is we are not just consuming the edible, we are eating Delta-9-THC. Our capacity for food is irrelevant and instead, we need to focus on our body’s capacity and reaction to certain levels of THC. As we ingest Delta-9-THC, our body takes it through a natural conversion process to 11-Hydroxy-THC. This alternative chemical can have psychoactive effects up to five times stronger than Delta-9-THC. In terms of likening the effects of smoking cannabis to ingesting cannabis, we are talking about two different chemicals interacting with our brains and bodies.
For this reason, no matter what our physical size or daily smoking regime may be, it is always best to start low with edibles to gauge the body’s tolerance level. The recommended dosage to start with, in most regulated states, is 10mg. However, I always encourage new cannabis users to start with even less to see how it feels. Finding the sweet spot for dosage is a matter of trial and error. Start with a low dosage and increase if desired effects are not reached. To ensure you have a good time with your dosage just remember, you can always eat more; but, you can never eat less!
Unless we are ingesting Delta-9 distillate, most edibles come with other ingredients. It’s important to explore the structure of the edible as this can be a clue into how it can affect us as well. For example, those chocolate-covered espresso beans are probably not the best option for nighttime relaxation. It is widely believed that chocolate can enhance the effects of cannabis as well. Studies have been conducted to explain this, finding that substances within chocolate can mimic cannabinoids and thus stimulate our receptors along with cannabis. Omega 3 Fatty Acid is another great pairing with cannabis, stimulating our endocannabinoid receptors to enhance the effects.
When eating edibles, psychoactive effects happen when THC is absorbed into the bloodstream. Edibles with a dense ingredient list have to work their way through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream in the liver, hence the later onset time of effects. Some THC is unfortunately lost in this journey but certain ingredients that the edible is paired with, like chocolate or Omega 3, can help promote maximum absorption.
Those looking for quicker onset, or perhaps having trouble with digestive absorption, can explore edibles capable of sublingual absorption. Tinctures, drinks, hard candies, or sprays are all great options of ways THC can be absorbed through the blood vessels in the mouth.
To Eat Or Not To Eat
It has been an age-old myth to not eat anything before ingesting an edible. The idea being that the edible will hit stronger if on an empty stomach. This could not be further from the truth. According to studies, our bodies will eat up whatever resources it has available, which means if we are hungry and eat an edible, our bodies will burn and eat that up before the THC can even make it to the liver. For this reason, it is always recommended to have a nice big meal before eating an edible, especially if it is high in Omega 3 like fish, eggs, or nuts. The benefit of dense edibles, like cookies or brownies, that go through the digestive system is that although it takes longer to work through our system, we’ll be feeling those effects for an extended time as our body absorbs as much of the THC as possible.
At the end of the day, all of our bodies are wonderfully unique and have different needs. Finding a good relationship with edibles and choosing the perfect edible ultimately starts with exploring and being conscious of our bodies and how they feel. Hope these tips to make the edible hit can help you on your next edible journey!