Everything you need to know about the
medical benefits of cannabis edibles, and
how to find the best dose.
Edibles, also called medibles, are medical cannabis products that are made into some kind of food or drink to be consumed.
An edible could be anything from a stick of gum, or cookie, to cannabis-infused coffee, or an alcohol-based tincture.
The primary concern with edibles is, how much should we eat?
This article will take you through what you need to be aware of to decide for yourself what type of edible and dosage is right for you.
You will learn about the benefits of using medibles for deeper relief from pain, anxiety, and other health issues, and the difference between THC and CBD.
By reading this, you will have clear guidance for getting the most out of your edible cannabis experience.
Ingestion vs. Smoking Medical Marijuana
There are many advantages to ingesting cannabis edibles versus smoking or inhaling cannabis flowers.
With edibles, there’s no invasive smoke or smells lingering in the air, and no harsh inhalation effects on the lungs.
The effects of cannabis through inhalation, vaping or smoking, onset instantaneously or within minutes, and can last anywhere from 1 – 4 hours.
When you ingest an edible, however, it will generally take 30 – 90 minutes to begin to feel effects, though sometimes longer.
The effects onset slowly, and amplify subtly within the first hour after onset, and then will max out at a certain point and go into decline.
The entire experience of one edible dose can last anywhere from 4 - 12 hours.
Edibles create a longer, more intense experience than smoking, which has a more immediate onset and shorter duration. Because of the longer lasting effects of edibles, you don't need to take cannabis as frequently as you would only inhaling to get relief.
Medical marijuana doctors often recommend edibles for those suffering from irritable bowels, and for problems with the liver and digestive tract.
Edible cannabis products pass through the stomach, liver, and digestive system, and can have direct therapeutic benefits in these areas.
Edibles absorb into the bloodstream and serve as an entire body relaxant, which is extremely helpful for anyone with full-body pain, nausea, or musculoskeletal pains.
As long as you have the right dosage, edibles can be very helpful for medical issues by providing the benefits of cannabis at deeper levels for a longer duration of time.
However, although beneficial, ingesting edibles or medibles may not be an ideal method of administering cannabis for people with sensitive stomach issues or for all GI tract problems.
Always consult a doctor to address any health condition that may be causing severe gastrointestinal distress.
THC & CBD in Marijuana Edibles
We've all had that moment. You're at a party or a concert, or maybe just hanging at your neighbor's house, and someone asks if you want an edible treat.
Do you say yes, or no? Do you take a small nibble, or break off a big piece and go for it? Do you ask questions about the strength, or dosage, of the treat?
Many users who have had a 'bad trip' with cannabis edibles most likely did not ask these questions.
It is very easy to overdo it with edibles, especially since they are usually sweet and tasty treats. If you eat too much, you could get a heavy dose of THC.
Overdose effects include anxiety and paranoia, as well as heavy sedation that can create hallucinations and a “weed-hangover”. No one has ever died from too much cannabis, but it could leave you worried about trying it again.
To avoid having a bad experience, it is important to consume edibles that are accurately labeled with potency and cannabinoid content.
Or, if you are offered something that is not labeled, at least start slow and give it time to set in before reaching for another bite.
You can find medible products that are accurately labeled with both THC and CBD content at most dispensaries, in states where either medical or recreational marijuana is legal.
For those who are looking for therapeutic relief from cannabis, but don't want to get high, or can't get high because of job drug testing or other reasons, there are many CBD edibles now on the market which are completely THC free.
CBD by itself is not psychoactive and THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Both provide medical and therapeutic benefits.
Studies also show that CBD and aromatic compounds that give marijuana its unique aromas and flavors, called terpenes, can drastically change the effects of THC.
It’s called the entourage effect and you can learn more about it in our other articles linked below.
Every cannabis strain has its unique chemical profile and ratio of CBD to THC. Some edibles are “strain-specific”, meaning their effects will replicate those provided by a particular strain.
Knowing a strain’s particular effects can be helpful for targeting specific medical and health issues. This knowledge combined with knowing the potency ultimately helps you to determine the appropriate dosage.
How do you find the right strain and cannabis product for you? First, ask yourself what your needs are and your purpose for using cannabis edibles.
Finding the Right Edible Dosage
There are many factors that contribute to the onset of edibles, including body weight, metabolism, and time since last meal.
The best way to predict the effects of a product and determine the most effective dosage is to know its THC: CBD ratio and to pay attention to how much you consume.
The higher the THC, the more sedative and psychedelic. The higher the CBD content is, the more stimulating, therapeutic, and less psychoactive its effects might be.
For users who wish to benefit from the medical marijuana without the intoxicating effects associated with THC, CBD edibles, or THC-free edibles, are the best options.
On the other hand, if you are experiencing chronic pain or serious illness and require extra-strength relief, you may want the stronger effects brought on by THC.
Here’s an easy way to begin testing the waters with cannabis edibles. Start with low THC and high CBD ratios, then increase the amount of THC as needed in small increments until you experience the desired effects you’re looking for from cannabis.
Most professionals recommend starting with 1 – 10 mg of THC for beginners, 10 – 20mg for occasional users, and 20+ mg for experienced users.
You'll have to experiment to get to know what is best to fulfill your needs and comfort level.
Making Your Own Edibles
While many people may be making edible cannabis products at home, few of them will be able to tell you the effects will be, or what the ratios are.
The only way to know ratios accurately is to know the properties of the starting materials and do proper calculations.
While you can be successful at making your own edibles, it will be difficult to accurately determine cannabinoid content and potency without actually trying them.
A better option is to buy edible cannabis oils that are already tested from your local or online dispensary.
On Maine Cannabis Exchange you can find several edible products, including full-spectrum cannabis oil, THC and CBD tinctures, and ready to eat gummy bears.
All MCE products come from high quality, locally grown marijuana in the state of Maine.
Everything is tested and calculated for you, so all you have to do is add the proper amount to your recipes.
Find out More About Cannabis
Cannabis edibles are very effective for pain relief, stress relief and many other health benefits.
To enjoy medibles and get the most out the medical benefits available, start slow with your intake and add more incrementally until you’ve reached the desired effect.
Work with products that are trusted and tested, and have fun experimenting with various ratios.
We’d love to hear about your experience with cannabis edibles. Stay in touch with us by connecting on social media, bookmark this page, and comment below to join in on the conversation.
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