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, capsules, dehydrated fruit, 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 and responsible way to consume an edible?
The Benefits of Marijuana Edibles
The appeal of edibles stretches beyond the ever-expanding selection. For starters, Colorado residents and visitors often find themselves in locations or around people where smoking is not allowed (or is strongly discouraged).
Whether you use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, edibles are a discreet, odor free way to enjoy THC or CBD at home or on the go.
Beyond the benefits of discretion, there are many individuals who cannot or would rather not smoke marijuana flowers for health reasons. Some medical marijuana patients are dealing with conditions that weaken their immune system or lungs, and inhaling cannabis 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. And many users find they prefer the slower-building, longer-lasting high of edibles to the quick-hitting but fast-dissipating high that comes with smoking or vaping cannabis.
Marijuana Edibles Info: Things to Know Before Consuming
Edibles taste good, come in a wide variety, they’re discreet and provide a potentially stronger, longer-lasting high. But before you throw away your grinder and pick up a case of infused 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%). Additionally, 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.
Next: not all edibles are created equal, especially if you’re cooking your own infused dishes at home. While testing of commercial edibles and consistent, accurate dosing has improved dramatically since recreational cannabis was legalized in Colorado, some products may include more or less THC than you expect. Be sure to read the labels carefully so you know if you’re getting 5mg, 10mg, or more in each dose.
Also: give each dose time to take effect. For some consumers, edibles can take over 2 hours to take full effect. And if you rush into another dose (or 2… or 3) because you weren’t feeling anything fast enough, you could end up more than 2-3 times as high as you want to be.
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
Take Your Time
In Colorado’s retail marijuana industry, 10mg of THC or CBD is considered a standard dose. As such, it is recommended that you start with just 5 or 10mg and give the cannabinoids at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 hours) to take effect.
It can be tempting to rush into a second or third dose if you don’t feel the effects fast enough, but you should always exercise patience when using marijuana edibles.
Seriously… Take Your Time
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 – feeling unwell. And since the effects of edibles can last for up to 6 to 10 hours, over-consumption of edibles can quickly turn a day off into a day wasted.
Don’t Expect the Same High As Smoking or Vaping
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.