- Edible marijuana is a nice alternative to smoking as it is a more discreet way of cannabis consumption.
- It can take longer to feel the effect of edibles, but it may last much longer than from smoking.
- If you’re new to edibles, start low and go slow. Don’t take more even if you can’t feel the effect for an hour or two.
More and more people are talking about marijuana edibles these days, but are you familiar with the various types of edibles out there?
A growing number of states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, hence the rise in popularity of edibles. If you’re curious about trying different CBD and THC edibles, this guide is for you! In this article, we’ll help you to understand what you’ll be consuming and encourage you to discover what’s best for you as an individual.
What are edibles?
Edibles are cannabis-infused food products or drinks. These can be a great alternative to smoking marijuana, as they are a simple, subtle consumption method with plenty of versatility.
Cannabis edibles come in various forms, like baked goods, savory snacks, homemade infused food, etc. They are rich in the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, THC; both compounds offer a wide range of medical benefits and effects. CBD and THC may have the same molecular structure, but they cause different effects on the body.
THC vs. CBD: What’s the difference?
In short, the most significant difference is that THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating effect so often associated with marijuana. On the other hand, CBD is sometimes psychoactive and offers a wide range of benefits but doesn’t have the same mind-altering and intoxicating effects as THC.
In detail, you can check our other guide in this link to find out more about the difference between THC and CBD.
Depending on which state you live in, your only option may be CBD edibles since THC is only legal in some states. CBD is legal in some states where THC is not. Don’t forget to check the marijuana laws in your state before purchasing any product.
How are edibles made?
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, which means that for your body to process them, they need to bind to fats. [Source]
The most common way to make edibles is by heating marijuana flower in oil or butter to extract CBD and THC. The heating process causes these cannabinoids to diffuse from the plant and dissolve into the oil. The oil/butter extracted from this process can be added to various recipes to make edibles.
Wondering how to make your own cannabis-infused butter or cannabis cooking oil for edibles? Check out our cannabutter recipe and our canna-oil recipe.
What are the different types of edibles?
Edibles are more than just brownies. You can find THC and CBD-infused products of virtually any kind. Here are just a few examples of edible options:
- incredibles™ No-bake Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- incredibles™ Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars Recipe
- Choco-Canna Swirl Banana Bread Recipe
- Hemp & Almond Granola Clusters Recipe
- Canna-Berry Freezer Jam Recipe
- Gluten-Free Cannabis Chocolate & Cherry Tart Recipe
- Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Canna-Avocado Toast Recipe
You can find all of these in our online dispensary menu.
As you see, almost any food or drink can become cannabis-infused edibles.
Benefits of edibles
Edibles have a number of benefits over smoking and vaping cannabis:
- Discreet – Edibles don’t smell and are easy to consume.
- Easy to dose – This applies to commercial edibles that have their dosage and weight clearly stated on the label of the product. [Source]
- No smoke If you prefer not to smoke for health reasons or to odors, edibles help you avoid that.
- Longer effect – Research shows that the effects of edibles can last longer than smoking.
- Last but not least, edibles are simply delicious.
The complicated side of edibles
Edibles have plenty of benefits, but there are a few things you’ll want to note before trying them.
- When consuming edibles, effects often take longer to kick in vs. smoking. [Source]
- If commercial edibles are easy to dose, homemade edibles are quite the opposite and are often difficult to regulate.
- Cannabis edibles are easy to confuse with regular food, so always keep your edibles sealed in a separate container where no other people, children, or pets can access them by accident.
How to use edibles
First of all, decide whether you’re making your cannabis edibles or buying them. First-timers might consider buying them from a dispensary where dosages are marked. But if you want to make them, these recipes make it easy.
If this is your first-time trying edibles, try starting with CBD-infused (or THC) gummies that are easy to divide into smaller pieces. This way, you can try a little at a time and have full control of the dosage.
If using THC-infused edibles, make sure you’re in a safe, familiar place—preferably, your own home. (Always remember you cannot legally drive after consuming THC.)
After you eat or drink your edible, be patient. Edibles take time to kick in, and consuming them after a meal could potentially cause delayed effects. However, taking edibles on an empty stomach may cause stomach discomfort. If you’re going to eat to prevent this discomfort, you might try adding some healthy fats. In fact, one study showed that eating a high-fat meal before your edible can increase absorption in the body.
So, you’re ready to take your edibles—but do you know what dose is right for you? Read on as we break down the basics of dosing.
Start slow. When consuming cannabis edibles, it’s much better to take too little and not feel anything than to ingest too much and face unwanted effects.
Even regular cannabis users should begin slowly with edibles. Depending on the potency of the product, edibles can have powerful effects. Also, it typically takes longer to feel the effects, making it easier to overconsume.
A good dose for first-timers to begin with? Simply take the smallest amount possible. You can track your feelings from there and add the amount later if necessary.
When purchasing edibles from a dispensary, always clarify the dosage. Most packages should include the number of milligrams per dose, but some packages may list the total dosage. If you are confused about the dosage, ask a dispensary employee for clarification before consuming.
How to store edibles
When storing cannabis snacks, keep in mind the type of product you have. Is it gummy? A drink? A cookie?
Here are some general tips for storing your edibles:
- Always remember to store edibles in a child-proof container, out of the reach of minors
- Store marijuana products in a well-sealed container, preferably somewhere dark.
- Store edibles in nontransparent containers, so no light gets in. If using glass jars, place them in a bag first to avoid light exposure.
- High humidity will cause mold to any product, so keep your edibles in humidity levels between the 59 to 63 percent range.
- The optimal temperature for cannabis products is around 70°F of 21°C but this can vary depending on the type of product you’re using.
For a deeper dive, check out our detailed guide on how to store marijuana products.
Now that you know how to use and store your edibles, you might be wondering, “why not just smoke marijuana?” Let’s look at the difference between orally consuming marijuana and smoking it.
Edibles vs. smoking: what’s the difference?
When you smoke flower, THC goes into your lungs, then makes its way directly to the bloodstream and quickly to the brain. It only takes a few minutes to feel its effects.
When you consume edibles, cannabis makes its way to your stomach first, then to the liver, the bloodstream, and finally to your brain. After consumption, it takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel its effects. [Source]
The effects of marijuana edibles can last longer vs. smoking, and they can be consumed more subtly.
Where can I buy edibles?
RISE Dispensaries carry a curated selection of cannabis edibles for all experience levels and tastes. Find a dispensary nearby and browse our online dispensary menu for edible marijuana products.
Frequently Asked Questions
With so much to learn about edibles, you’re likely left with some questions. Here are some answers that might help.
Can I make edibles myself?
Yes, you can make edibles yourself at home. There’s no shortage of recipes out there to try. Many people start by making cannabutter and then use it in your baking. Before baking, make sure to have all the ingredients you need and the right strain of marijuana to match your needs. Also, do any necessary math ahead of time to get your dosage right!
How long do the effects of edibles last?
Depending on your dosage, effects from edibles can potentially last much longer than effects from smoking. Duration can vary depending on your metabolism, the amount and type of edible you took, and many other factors.
Can I drive after eating edibles?
No. Driving after consuming edibles is illegal and considered driving under the influence.
How long until the edibles kick in?
It depends on the dose, potency, and how the edible is consumed. Chewing and swallowing an edible can take longer to absorb than products orally absorbed. It also depends on your tolerance to cannabis, your weight, and your metabolism. It may take more than 2 hours for you to feel the initial effects from edibles.
Where can I consume edibles?
Where you can consume edibles legally depends on where you live. State marijuana laws vary, and some states don’t allow the possession of marijuana in any amount. Generally, if marijuana edibles are legal in your state, they’ll need to be in the original unopened package from the dispensary for them to be in your car.
Since you cannot drive after using edibles anyway, it’s best to consume them in your own home.
Always remember to know your rights and keep up to date with your state’s laws on marijuana.
How long is the shelf-life of edibles?
It depends. Assuming the food itself stays good and doesn’t get stale, the potency of edibles lasts about three to six months if stored properly. Any longer than that and the CBD or THC in the edibles might lose their effects.
However, different types of edibles vary in shelf life. For example, THC- or CBD-infused gummies last longer than a cookie.
If your edibles are homemade baked goods, they’ll last about as long as homemade baked goods without THC or CBD. Take cookies, for example. A homemade chocolate chip cookie without marijuana will have the same shelf as a homemade chocolate chip cookie with marijuana.
When it comes to edibles purchased at a dispensary, expiration dates should be printed directly on the label and products.
Do you have more questions about edibles? Don’t hesitate to talk to one of our knowledgeable patient care specialists at your local RISE dispensary, they’ll be happy to guide you.
Of course, not everyone is a smoker. Luckily, cannabis edibles are one of many oral consumption methods that offer an alternative. Other options include tinctures (cannabis extract), capsules, drinks and oils. You can find more information in our detailed guide on marijuana consumption methods.
You can also browse the selection of marijuana edibles on our online dispensary menu or visit your nearest RISE Dispensary for consultation with our friendly experts.
- Zgair A, Wong JC, Lee JB, et al. Dietary fats and pharmaceutical lipid excipients increase systemic exposure to orally administered cannabis and cannabis-based medicines. Am J Transl Res. 2016;8(8):3448-3459. Published 2016 Aug 15.
- Alexia Blake, Istok Nahtigal, The evolving landscape of cannabis edibles, Current Opinion in Food Science, Volume 28, 2019, Pages 25-31, ISSN 2214-7993, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cofs.2019.03.009. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214799319300141)
- Birnbaum AK, Karanam A, Marino SE, et al. Food effect on pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol oral capsules in adult patients with refractory epilepsy [published correction appears in Epilepsia. 2019 Sep;60(9):2009]. Epilepsia. 2019;60(8):1586-1592. doi:10.1111/epi.16093
- Barrus DG, Capogrossi KL, Cates SC, et al. Tasty THC: Promises and Challenges of Cannabis Edibles. Methods Rep RTI Press. 2016;2016:10.3768/rtipress.2016.op.0035.1611. doi:10.3768/rtipress.2016.op.0035.1611
- Kathy Knutson, Chapter 10 – Operation: packaging and labeling of edibles, Editor(s): Kathy Knutson, Food Safety Lessons for Cannabis-Infused Edibles, Academic Press, 2020, Pages 147-157, ISBN 9780128195123, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819512-3.00010-9. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128195123000109)