Today, many people have found edibles to be an interesting alternative to cannabis because they do not like the harsher experience of smoking, or they are hesitant about the long-term impacts. Vaporization is a decent alternative to those who are worried about smoking, but edibles are better for providing longer lasting relief, especially if you are using them for pain management. That said, edibles have become a great resource for medical patients.
What is Considered an Edible?
An edible really means any item of food, or anything fit for consumption. However, when people speak of “edibles” today they are often referring to edible marijuana which can take the form of any food item laced with marijuana, such as cookies or brownies. You might hear terms like “pineapple delight bites” and think it is a dessert option, but it is actually a popular marijuana edible.
Is eating edibles healthier than smoking weed?
Not necessarily. While it is true that most people believe that eating marijuana is healthier than smoking, it really comes down to your other habits. How much heat is applied to the marijuana in the baking process will impact how it impacts your brain. When you smoke it, there are obvious negative impacts associated with smoke going into your lungs.
Although smoking marijuana has never been directly associated with someone dying, there are still carcinogens found in marijuana smoke that over time can cause health complications just the same way smoking cigarettes can, such as COPD, emphysema, and arrhythmia.
Now, when you think of edibles, you often think of cookies or brownies—baked goods. These, like any other baked goods, are going to be full of sugars which are bad for your health too. However, now that weed has become more popularized thanks to legalization in states like California and Colorado, you can find many edible marijuana products today that are much healthier. There are even drinks like horchata and lemonade laced with marijuana, healthier vegan foods, even regular dinner table items like spaghetti or mayo for your sandwiches. If you eat healthier foods in general, laced with marijuana, it is going to be healthier for you.
Where to Find the Best Edibles
Edible recipes are not just the stereotypical pot browns. You can get cannabis-infused quinoa salads, granola, or make your own butter and cover your homemade kale chips with them. There are plenty of ways to stay healthy and integrate cannabis in new and exciting ways.
The most common marijuana edibles by name include popular ones like Mellow Handcrafted Marshmallows or Raspberry Macaroons.
Now, there are literally hundreds of types of edibles available on the market today and what you find is going to vary from one store to another. Distributors or retailers will make or sell different products. Again, this is like any other food product or alcoholic beverage; when you go to one grocery store you might find different fresh foods or baked goods and if you go to another city they might have another store that sells totally different things.
You can visit clinics and dispensaries to see what they offer, ask around for recommendations on other locations or other types of food. You will find there is no limit to what you can find today. You can find marijuana-laced pizza, guacamole, bacon, hummus, muffins, and much more.
What is the Average THC Content of an Edible, and What is the Recommended Dosage?
When it comes to weed, there is not really an average dose. With edibles, the average dose is around 200 milligrams. If you walk into any location that sells marijuana and edibles you will find that their labels contain information on the THC content, which they are required to do by law. So, you can find the same types of edibles with different dosages.
While 200mg of THC is the average amount in most edibles sold on the market, we do not recommend taking this dose all at once. Usually, 30mg of THC in an edible should be enough to get even seasoned stoners with high tolerances pretty high. For newbies, we recommend a 12-15mg dose of THC in an edible. Usually, the best way to do this is by breaking off smaller pieces and eyeball it, this will get you pretty close. Doing this will also get you the most value for your money as well.
This way, the worst case scenario is that you do not take enough, and when it kicks in, you can take some more. We often recommend for those who are new to edibles that they do them with a friend who has experienced them before. Nothing crazy happens, ultimately it is just a different type of high that is more intense, but without a little help, you can take too high of a dose and really taint your view of them from having a first experience that was too intense.
Be warned that determining the THC content in homemade batches is going to be difficult, and even professional distributors can have difficulty correctly identifying the dose you get. There is such a delay between eating the edible and feeling the effects that some consumers overestimate the dose they took. When you smoke cannabis, you get instant effects so you can gradually dose as necessary.
For legal markets, 10 milligrams is a standard “dose” which gives you mild effects. 100 milligrams in edibles is a potent dose and should be split over time. You will enjoy the high a lot more if you don’t powerhouse a 200 milligram cookie at once but just dose it responsibly and patiently throughout the day.
If you are dealing with unregulated markets that lack any testing, the labels you read might be incorrect. You might have tried a batch from a distributor before and it was fairly weak, so you try to eat twice as much this time to combat that. Only, this new batch might be a lot stronger. So if you are in a place where the industry is not properly regulated, just proceed with caution knowing that the labels may be inaccurate. In states where it is regulated, there could still be discrepancies, just not to the same degree, so be patient.
Our Top Picks for the Best Weed Edibles
On top of the traditional baked goods, there are also many other types of weed-infused foods, and even weed-infused drinks! You can buy iced teas, horchata, lemonade, and many others. So if you are new to the world of edibles a drink might be better to try. These are really tasty, and work much faster than edibles due to the fact that the THC gets absorbed faster in liquid form. Be conscious of this, and also that sometimes, these weed-infused drinks can also feel more potent, where a 15mg swig of some weed-infused lemonade can have the same effect as a 30mg THC weed brownie.
Growers and suppliers are working very hard to make high quality ingredients and avoid misrepresenting the strength of any product. You can safely buy lots of the best edibles today and know that most of the information on the market is similar to what you would find on the nutrition labels for any other food or medicinal product.
Today the raw ingredients used for edibles are checked for bugs and their THC levels verified in a laboratory. We have certainly not tried every edible on the market, but of the many we have, some of our favorites include:
1. Organic Vanilla Almond Milk by Mary Jane Juice Company
This is an organic non-dairy milk product that is a wonderful way to mask any bitterness that you might otherwise taste with edible drinks. There are two servings in each bottle, with 100 milligrams per serving, so it is best used to top off other foods or drinks (like coffee, smoothies, or with granola) rather than as a drink you down in one sitting.
2. Drip Ice Cream
On the sweeter side of things, this is a viable option. It is an ice cream that has 14 mg or 75 mg options so you can get instant pain relief with it, especially compared to the wait you would get from other edibles. There are many flavors too, including coconut lemon zest (which is a non-dairy blend), salted caramel, lavender honey, or cookies and cream. They all use fair trade, local ingredients which are non-GMO. The milk used is natural and the product has a cannabis extract in it.
3. Franklin’s Secret BBQ Sauce by AVG
This is a marijuana infused sauce that can be used the same as any other BBQ sauce. It is an ideal option for people who want to avoid sweet cannabis treats and need something on the saltier side.
4. Super Fruit Bar by Cheef Naturals
For a quick snack, try this is a great option. This is a fruit bar that is really quite healthy for you, full of goji berries, cacao nibs, rolled oats, dates, and of course, cannabis. It is 100% organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan sans any GMO’s or preservatives. There are different doses available: 100 milligrams, 200 milligrams, or 500 milligrams. On the note of bars, Incredibles sells a Salted Pistachio Mint Bar that has won many awards for its pain relieving properties and taste. It has 10 milligrams of THC in each block of the bar so you can break it off as needed. It has a layer of white chocolate which offsets the salty, nutty flavor.
How to Make Your Own Edibles
If you are new to the world of edibles, the best way to make them is to first make marijuana butter.
To do this, you want to finely chop your marijuana. You can purchase a Mendocino Mulcher or other high end spice grinder to achieve the fine chop/grind that is necessary. You do not want there to be large chunks or flakes. Rather, a fine ground pile.
From there, you want to sautee butter on low until it has melted. At this point, you carefully fold the marijuana into the butter until it has blended. This should produce a butter similar to traditional butter you might find at the store which are pre-mixed with herbs or garlic.
Pour the mixture into whatever container you have to hold butter and allow it to cool and re-form. After that, you can use the butter for standard cooking or baking.
If you want to make cookies, you would just substitute the marijuana butter for the butter called for in the recipe. If you wanted to make mashed potatoes, you could just mash the potatoes and add the marijuana butter to the finished mixture.
Ultimately, making your own edibles can be a fun little weekend project, but be ready for trial and error. Baking is chemistry, so a few degrees too warm or cold in the oven, or a few minutes too long can make the difference between a great batch and a baking disaster. It is best to seek out some semi-professional advice. YouTube has some amazing tutorials that are very helpful and easy to follow by true pros in the weed edible industry.
What type of edible should I try for my first time?
A low dosage cookie or low dosage chocolates are the best items for your first time. You can get low doses around 50 milligrams, which is ¼ of the average cost. There are even lollipops, which are usually referred to as marijuana suckers which you can try in order to get a bit more comfortable.
For most first-timers, brownies and cookies are the go to. Both are great choices, but of course, if you do not like them, or have allergies to ingredients in them, there are plenty of other options. Personally, we like gummies. These are great because you can usually buy them in bulk, with 32mg packets of four 8mg gummies being sold for as low as $6 or so in some markets. These are affordable, easy to divide into pieces, and quick to eat.
Warnings With Marijuana Edibles
If you consume marijuana edibles you should not drive or operate heavy machinery. You will remain cognizant of your surroundings, and generally be more in control of your actions and coordination than someone intoxicated from alcohol. However, it is normal that you might get drowsy, tired, or a bit slow in terms of reaction time, just like with traditional marijuana smoke.
Beyond that, the same warnings from above apply here. If you are in a state where the industry is unregulated, you cannot necessarily trust the labels for the content you receive. You might get a batch that is much stronger than you anticipated. So proceed with caution and be patient with edibles. Remember, they take a lot longer to go into effect so just because you don’t feel something right away does not mean it was a low dose and you should just keep eating more. It means you should be patient and if, 3 or 4 hours later there is still nothing, you can try one more dose.
While the time it takes for edibles to kick in varies based on a lot of factors such as:
- The contents in your stomach
- Your tolerance
- The edible you are consuming
- THC content
- And more…
A majority of edibles kick in for most people within 45 minutes to an hour, so give it some time. There is no worse feeling than being too high. Trust that. Paranoia sets in, and you spend most of the experience just wondering when it will end. It’s best to just take your time and start with a small dose. As it kicks in, you can tell where you are in relative to your comfort zone, and go from there, eating more if necessary.
How Long Does it Take for an Edible to Wear Off?
Typically, the effects of marijuana edibles last for anywhere from 2-6 hours, usually closer to 4. Again, this all depends on multiple factors such as tolerance, THC content, metabolism and stomach contents at the time of ingestion.
The best advice we can give you is to make sure you don’t have much to do on a day that you take edibles. It is meant to be a relaxing experience, not a stressful one. Don’t try to take edibles and then go to work or be around people who are unaware of where you are at. Plan for a day where you do not have anything stressful or difficult to do to get the best from your experience.
Marijuana Edibles – Takeaway
Overall, marijuana edibles come in many different shapes and forms. They also have many types of dosages. When you are taking edibles, you should be sure that the dose you are taking is right for you, and that you have a relaxing day ahead.
First-timers, don’t dive in head first. Take your time and find out what your tolerance is slowly, otherwise you can really taint your perception of edibles and have a bad experience.
From one stoner to another, enjoy your high times!