According to Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, 2014 saw the sale of 150,000 pounds of marijuana flowers and 4.8 million edible products. That’s nearly one edible sold for every person in the state. The age of the pot brownie has given way to the era of selection (though you can still buy pot brownies), and marijuana edibles now come in more styles and flavors than many of us will ever be able to try. From drinks, elixirs and tinctures to cookies, chocolates and gummies (not to mention mints and other options) there really is something for every taste… To the tune of infused edibles making up an estimated 45 percent of the total sales in Colorado according to The Cannabist.
So what makes marijuana edibles so popular? And what is the proper way to consume an edible?
The Benefits of Marijuana Edibles
Edibles are becoming increasingly popular, but their appeal stretches beyond a wide selection. For starters, Colorado residents, visitors and tourists often find themselves in locations or around people where smoking is not allowed or strongly discouraged. Whether you use marijuana for recreation or medicinal purposes, edibles are a discrete, odor free way to enjoy THC at home or on the go (remember you should never drive while under the influence). Beyond the benefits of discretion, there are many individuals who cannot or would rather not smoke marijuana flowers for health reasons. Some medical patients are dealing with conditions that weaken their immune system or lungs, and inhaling marijuana smoke could cause a life-threatening infection. For these individuals, marijuana edibles provide an alternative that allows them to receive the medicine they need. Additionally, edibles are known for providing a different kind of high from traditional inhalation of THC. In large doses, some consumers report feeling a stronger body high and an almost psychedelic head high. Some users find they prefer the slower-building, longer-lasting high of edibles to the quick-hitting but fast-dissipating high that comes with cannabis inhaled through the lungs.
Things to Know About Marijuana Edibles
Edibles taste good, come in a wide variety, they’re discrete and provide a potentially stronger, longer-lasting high. But before you throw away your grinder and pick up a case of Blue Kudu chocolates there are a few things every edible user should be aware of.
For starters, the stronger, long-lasting high associated with marijuana edibles can catch even veteran marijuana users off guard. The cannabinoids in edibles are absorbed into the bloodstream at a significantly smaller percentage (10-20) than cannabis inhaled through the lungs (50-60), and your body size, metabolism, gender and age – among other factors – can all play a role in how much THC or CBD you need to consume to feel the desired effects. As a result, and because of the slower build, it can be difficult to find the right dosage for marijuana edibles.
In addition, an independent Denver Post study in early 2014 revealed actual THC content was rarely consistent with what the label claimed. Many users don’t expect perfection, but several products labeled 100mg tested at under 20mg, with a few even testing at less than .5mg – or 1/200th the amount claimed to be present. In other cases, the actual psychoactive component came in nearly 50 percent higher than the amount of THC or CBD on the label. It is worth noting new regulations have been put in place that are pushing many companies to produce edibles at a lower potency to increase responsible use – particularly by inexperienced tourists – and reduce possible repercussions. But inconsistencies will likely remain for some time, albeit with reduced frequency as companies improve their processes, and you may occasionally buy a “bad batch” that fails to deliver the results you expected. If this does happen to you and you decide to try the same product again, be careful not to underestimate its potency, as this time you may have received a full-strength dose.
After all of this is said and done, your best bet with edibles – just as with flowers – is to try a few different types, find a brand/strain with effects and dosage that works for you and keep that as a go-to option.
How To Consume Marijuana Edibles Responsibly
In Colorado’s retail marijuana industry, 10mg of THC or CBD is considered a standard dose. And, despite the potential inaccuracies and difficulties with dosing we noted above, you should continue to follow the instructions provided on the packaging of the product you purchased.
When using edibles, it is recommended that you start with 5 or 10mg and give the cannabinoids at least 30 minutes and up to two hours to take effect. The fear of waiting four hours before getting properly high is enough to push many consumers into ill-advised, rapid consumption, but you should always exercise patience when using marijuana edibles. Give each dose time to sink in before eating or drinking more. If you start with too much or you double the dose because you weren’t feeling the effects after the first hour, you may end up feeling much stronger effects than you intended; a reality that has left countless marijuana users – both new and experienced – sick and out of commission. And since the effects of edibles can last for up to 6 to 10 hours, overconsumption of edibles can be particularly uncomfortable.
Remember that marijuana edibles produce a different kind of high than inhaled cannabis. There are a wide variety of factors that can influence the potency and dosage, and if you are new to edibles you should approach them like you are new to weed. Be patient and you’ll comfortably find the right dosage.
Karing Kind is Boulder’s first recreational marijuana dispensary and we offer the lowest tax rate in the state. Our shelves are stocked with delicious and effective edibles. Stop by our location in north Boulder and ask one of our budtenders about our marijuana edibles.
While we carry a variety of marijuana edibles and infused products, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.