Edibles are food products that contain cannabis. The many forms of edibles include baked goods, candies, chocolates, and beverages. People can purchase ready made edibles, or make their own, such as oils, butters, brownies, and ice creams.
Edibles are a popular for both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
Many people consider edibles to be a safe and discreet way to take cannabis. However, there are also risks that people should know.
Find out with this article about the effects and side effects of cannabis edibles, including how these differ from smoking cannabis.
Health benefits of edibles
Edible cannabis products typically provide the same benefits as other forms of cannabis. People ingest them to achieve certain effects, such as relaxation, or to treat medical conditions, such as chronic pain.
The effects of edibles depend on the dose a person takes. Typically, the effects increase as the dose increases. However, consuming too much cannabis through edibles is easy to do, and it can cause adverse effects, such as nausea and vomiting.
Some of the beneficial effects of cannabis edibles include:
Relaxation and anxiety relief
Cannabis contains a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of edibles and other forms of cannabis. An older study suggests that THC feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
Cannabis also contains the compound cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has anti-anxiety effects.
A reports that more than 79% of people with anxiety or sleep problems who took CBD experienced a decrease in anxiety over the course of the study. Scientists need more studies, but this shows significant hope.
A further on teenagers with social anxiety supports the findings of CBD significantly decreasing anxiety levels.
CBD may also work as a pain reliever, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a popular treatment among those who experience chronic pain.
suggests that medical cannabis patients with chronic pain report improved pain management when they consume cannabis products.
Conditions that people treat with edibles and other forms of medicinal cannabis include:
- cancer pain
- neuropathic pain
Muscle spasm control
Doctors may also recommend medicinal cannabis for muscle spasm treatment.
From 2013 indicates that people experience significant improvement in muscle spasticity and other types of pain when they take cannabis.
An oral preparationderived from cannabis is available to treat muscle spasticity and pain. Other forms of edibles may have similar effects, although research in this area is lacking.
CBD has also demonstrated antiseizure effects, which suggests it could be a potential treatment for epilepsy.
A cites evidence for the use of CBD to improve seizure control in those with specific epilepsy syndromes.
Edibles may be one way to ingest cannabis to reduce seizures. However, more research is necessary before people with epilepsy consider treating the condition with cannabis.
Edible cannabis products may also treatTrusted Source
- Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health
Go to source other health issues, such as appetite loss and weight loss, for those who have cancer.
How long do edibles last?
An edible high generally lasts much longer than smoking or vaping, from six to eight hours.
Among edibles that contain THC, peak blood levels occur around three hours after administration. That’s when the effects are likely to be the most intense.
As with onset time, the length of an edible high depends on a variety of factors, including the dose and potency. The high from products that are chewed and swallowed may last longer than the high from products that are absorbed orally.
Individual factors, such as metabolism, weight, and tolerance, also affect duration.
Yet, it may not be possible to predict how long the effects of edibles will last. In a researchers analyzed over one hundred thousand tweets about edibles. An “unpredictable” high duration was one of the most common adverse effects listed.
Common forms of edibles
Edibles come in many different forms, and new products come onto the market almost daily. Common types of edibles include:
- Baked goods: brownies, cookies, biscuits, and waffles.
- Candy and sweets: gummies, chewing gum, lozenges, lollipops and hard candy, chocolate, truffles, fruit bars, and marshmallows.
- Beverages: coffee, tea and iced tea, soda, energy drinks and shots, beer, wine, and alcohol.
- Other products: jerky, butter, sugar, and syrups.
How much should you take?
Most edible cannabis products identify how much THC or CBD is in a single serving. For instance, a single gummy typically contains 10 milligrams (mg) of THC.
In some cases, though, the manufacturer lists the THC or CBD content of the entire package or food item. To use the gummy example, a package might contain 100 mg of THC. If the package contains 10 gummies, that’s 10 mg per gummy.
This can be quite confusing with food items such as brownies and cookies. In some cases, it might mean that a single dose corresponds to a fraction of the item.
Be sure to read the label
It’s important to read the label carefully before you consume the product. Look for the THC or CBD content per serving, and identify whether the serving size refers to the entire product or only a portion.
That said, even when you know exactly what you’re consuming, edible dosing isn’t always predictable. There are a lot of variables involved.
About cannabis edibles
The federal government amended the Cannabis Act on October 17, 2019 to allow the legal sale of cannabis edibles.
Cannabis edibles are food or drink items made with cannabis or cannabis oils. You can use cannabis edibles as an alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis.
If you choose to consume edibles, start low and go slow. Cannabis edibles can be more potent than other forms and may affect you for longer periods of time. Take your time to understand how your body reacts.
Edibles come in many different liquid forms and food types such as:
- baked goods
- soft drinks
- cannabis infused butter
It takes longer to feel the effects of cannabis when you consume edibles compared to other forms of cannabis. The feeling of getting high is often delayed. If you take too much too soon you can experience cannabis poisoning.
Consuming edible cannabis has some of the same health risks as consuming other forms of cannabis.
- anxiety, fear or panic
- dizziness or fainting
- lower ability to concentrate or remember things
- higher heart rate (higher risk of heart attack for those with heart conditions)
- paranoia and delusional thoughts
- lower ability to react quickly
- risk of addiction
- risk of harm to:
- decision making ability
- higher risk of developing mental issues such as psychosis or schizophrenia
The health harms and addiction risk of using cannabis is especially high for youth. Learn about the health risks for youth who consume cannabis.