Effects of Edibles

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.

HOW MUCH THC IS IN EDIBLES?

The other reason so many people buy edibles at dispensaries is that the THC levels are carefully measured for consistency. This makes it easier to manage the way edibles hit differently. If you know precisely how many cannabinoids you’re ingesting, you’ll be more prepared to predict how long it will take to kick in, how long they’ll last, and how intense the experience will be.

Everyone has their own ideas about the appropriate serving size of THC, but there’s a lot to be said for knowing exactly how much you’re getting in a cannabis edible:

  • To be completely honest, it’s a little bit disappointing to eat a cannabis edible, wait several hours, and not feel anything. It’s certainly not the worst thing in the world, but it’s much better when you can count on having a reliable, predictable version of what you pay for.
  • On the other side of things, it can put a serious damper on your night if you accidentally eat too many cannabis edibles. Feeling overly intoxicated makes people uncomfortable, and that takes a lot away from the enjoyment of cannabis. Knowing the exact level of THC will help you cultivate a more moderate experience.

Health benefits of edibles

Effects 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 can causeTrusted Source feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

Cannabis also contains the compound cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has anti-anxiety effects.

A 2019 studyTrusted Source 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 study on teenagers with social anxiety supports the findings of CBD significantly decreasing anxiety levels.

Pain management

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.

ResearchTrusted Source 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:

  • arthritis
  • cancer pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • neuropathic pain

Muscle spasm control

Doctors may also recommend medicinal cannabis for muscle spasm treatment.

ResearchTrusted Source from 2013 indicates that people experience significant improvement in muscle spasticity and other types of pain when they take cannabis.

An oral preparationTrusted Source derived 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.

Antiseizure effects

CBD has also demonstrated antiseizure effects, which suggests it could be a potential treatment for epilepsy.

A 2017 studyTrusted Source cites evidence for the use of CBD to improve seizure control in those with specific epilepsy syndromes.

How long do they last?

Effects of Edibles

While edibles take a long time to kick in compared with smoking or vaping, they also tend to last much longer. The average dose from an edible can last 6 or more hours, with the strongest effects occurring about 3 hoursTrusted Source after ingestion.

Again, this will vary depending on a few factors, such as dosage, metabolism, and tolerance levels. Taking a very large dose or a dose with very potent THC levels may cause a stronger, longer high, as the body takes time to process the THC out of the system.

Individual tolerance levels will also play a large part here. People who are not used to cannabis products may feel the effects more strongly and for much longer than a person who regularly uses cannabis products, if they take the same dose. Tolerance levels will also fluctuate depending on how much cannabis a person has smoked or ingested within a period.

Again, metabolism may also play a role, and a person with a very fast metabolism may not feel the effects for as long as someone with a slower metabolism.

In general, it is likely that the high from an edible will last for a few hours. The authors of a review article note that the effects from edibles last about 6–8 hours. However, it is not uncommon for the high to last up to 8–12 hours if the person is sensitive but only about 4 hours if the person has a higher tolerance.

Increased Risks Associated with Edibles

Smoking marijuana comes with its own risks, but even those who smoke the drug may not be prepared for the heightened effects of edibles. Here are some unique ways edibles affect the user.

Unknown Strength

The potency of edibles is difficult to measure. Regulations for the labeling and manufacturing of edibles are moderate at best. It is hard to determine the true amount of THC in an edible and dosage estimates are therefore imprecise. Thus, you may not know how much THC you are actually consuming.

Longer-lasting Effects

While the effects of smoking marijuana typically last up to three hours, the effects of edibles can last much longer, depending on the amount consumed. Edibles may impact users for several hours and this is heightened if marijuana is consumed with other drugs or alcohol.

Overdose Potential

One of the main differences between smoking marijuana and consuming edibles is the time it takes for the effects of edibles to appear. While you will often feel the effects of smoking marijuana within minutes, it can take from 30 minutes to two hours for the onset of edible effects. Consequently, it is easy to consume a large number of edibles without feeling the full effects, making overdosing a real concern.  

Side Effects of Marijuana Edibles

There are many health consequences associated with editing edibles. In fact, health issues can be even worse with edibles than with smoking marijuana. The following symptoms are possible side effects of marijuana edibles:

  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired motor ability
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory depression
  • Heart problems

Research shows that heart issues are more prevalent in eating edibles than with smoking marijuana. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 8% of emergency room visitors who had consumed edibles had heart symptoms such as irregular heartbeats compared to just 3% of marijuana smokers who visited the ER. Consuming edibles was also more likely to lead to short-term psychiatric conditions such as anxiety when compared with smoking the drug.

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