What are edibles? Marijuana edibles at that?

For starters, it’s cannabis-infused foods that deliver the trademark cannabis experience through ingestion.

There are candies, baked goods, savory dishes, full meals – simply, the possibilities are endless.

But unfortunately, so are the experiences, ranging from the highly pleasant, to the extremely comatose.

Which bears the questions – why do marijuana edibles provide such an unpredictable range of experiences? and how?

In this guide you’ll not only find out the science behind its drastically ranging experiences, but, also, the most essential tips in how to best eat and make edibles, ensuring that you can make the most of your experience.

Here’s what we’ll cover in sequence:

Table of Contents:

 

 

What are Edibles Exactly? Marijuana Edibles in a Nutshell

Figure 1: By consuming marijuana edibles, you’re experiencing cannabis’ compounds through ingestion. This method can take up to 2 hours to reach your endocannabinoid system

There’s almost nothing that you can’t add marijuana to if you want to create an edible that packs a punch. We’re limited only by our imaginations, and to a lesser extent, chemistry.

THC, CBD and the hundreds of other cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids that make cannabis valuable, are lipids, a type of organic fatty acid.

This means they’re soluble in fats and alcohol, but not water, which is why most baking and cooking recipes include decarboxylation as the first step in making marijuana edible friendly.

Once infused in melted form, with butter or oil, its refined chemicals become active, which is typically used for a recipe’s normal fat content. As for marijuana candies, you’ll generally find an alcohol extraction is recommended.

You can find more about the decarbing process in our recipes section.

Related Article: Marijuana Edibles vs. Smoking Marijuana – Which One is For me?

 

How are Cannabis Edibles Dosed?

Today, some commercial marijuana edibles are made to exact dosing standards, while others not so much. For ones that are, the specificity of dosage provides beginners and connoisseurs alike with ability to take control over their experiences.

In most commercial edibles a standard dose is either 5mg or 10mg. Taking such doses is considered reasonable for most people, however, the experience can differ greatly, as factors like body weight, metabolism and sensitivity play a major role .

Beginners are generally recommended to start with 5 mg and work up. You want to familiarize yourself with the effects and how your body processes a dose before taking more. This way you avoid an unpleasant first experience.

More about dosing in the start low and go slow section.

Related Article: Sweet Benefits of Edibles

 


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How to Dose With Marijuana Edibles

Figure: Given that the cannabis edibles experience can have an element of surprise, being different for each individual, here are a few techniques to ensure you are in some control.

There are various best practices you should follow when indulging in the cannabis edibles experience. Here are some of the most important.

 

Eat Cannabis Edibles with Food in Your Stomach

The prevailing wisdom says that consuming edibles on an empty stomach increases its potency and speeds absorption, but that tall tale appears to have been improperly pilfered from our understanding about alcohol consumption.

When it comes to cannabis edibles, it’s beneficial to eat a moderate amount of food as the time to realize its effects will be more gradual and potentially last longer. Try choosing fat-rich foods over others, as the fats help absorb and distribute cannabinoid molecules throughout your system.

So in other words, if you want your body to really absorb cannabis’ therapeutic value, that is, its THC and CBD molecules, it’s best have food in your stomach.

Related Article: Does Ingesting Edibles Produce a Different Effect?

 

Start Low and Go Slow  – How Long Do Edibles Last and More

With cannabis edibles, the path by which the various cannabis compounds enters into your bloodstream takes significantly longer than when smoking or vaping, but the potency is about 4 times stronger. Not a typo.

It’s common you won’t feel any effects for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours after taking your first dose, however. The reasoning behind its higher potency and delayed onset is because of our biology, or rather, how our digestive system processes different foods, which inevitably reaches our endocannabinoid system.

This is a big contrast to smoking or vaping, which directly enters our bloodstream, making the effects almost instant, but not nearly as strong.

Because of this, it’s best to eat a modest dose, and wait at least an hour and half to assess if more is needed. If you aren’t patient, you could end up eating far more than necessary, and when it finally kicks in, you could be facing a more powerful experience than you were expecting!

 

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The Different Types Of Cannabis Edibles

There’s a wide range of marijuana edibles on the market today. Here’s just a smattering of the more commonly available types. Also, as time progresses, and laws surrounding legalization are fleshed out, expect to see this list grow exponentially.

Figure: Marijuana edibles product categories. Click for a better view

Related Article: Cannabis Tinctures – A Manual of How to Dose and Make Weed Tinctures

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How to Make Edibles – Marijuana Edibles Recipes

With all the different creative recipes available, you could fill an entire book with just this topic alone, and people have.

But before we deep dive into any recipes, there’s one thing you absolutely need to know before setting foot in your kitchen – it’s decarboxylation or decarbing.

What is Decarboxylation or Decarbing?

Contrary to popular understanding, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis is THCA, not THC, and THCA isn’t readily absorbed by the human body.

However, when the plant material is heated, the THCA converts to THC. This happens immediately when cannabis is smoked or vaped because of the high temperatures involved.

When cooking with weed, however, you need to make sure that decarbing occurs at some point in the cooking or baking process. Otherwise your edibles will be completely inactive or much weaker than they otherwise could be.

So with this in mind, here are 4 different ways of how to make edibles. 

 

4 Important Ways of How to Make Edibles: An Overview

 

1) Cannabutter or Cannabis Infused Butter

Figure : Many cannabis edible recipes require straining cannabis from other ingredients, including cannabutter and cannaoil. Here’s an example of one way cannabis is strained to make a tincture.

Let’s face it, butter or fats are integral to MANY general recipes from brownies, to cookies to pancakes and more. And with cannabutter or cannabis-infused butter, you can have these thousands of different recipes with a marijuana twist. To make this staple marijuana edible ingredient, you would need to decarb your marijuana and fuse it with butter, which usually takes about 2 hours.

Here’s an extremely simple cannabutter recipe that will ignite your creativity for the endless amount of edible recipes.

 

2) Cannabis Cooking Oil or Cannaoil

As with cannabutter, cannabis infused oil can serve as the foundation for a whole new universe of cannabis inspired recipes. Being just as flexible as cannabutter in its use, cannaoil can be used to bake cakes, stir fry vegetables, or the many delicious and nutritious desserts. However, this isn’t it. With canna oil and cannabutter, dosing can be tailored to your personal preference.

Here’s a canna oil recipe that’s sure to take your creative efforts to new heights.

 

3) Bhang Thandai or Bhang Lassi

Bhang Thandai or Lassi are both milkshakes that use the traditional Indian cannabis paste bhang as the main staple ingredient.

Figure: Bhang Thandai and Bhang Lassi are ancient cannabis milkshake recipes derived from India. Click for a better view.

There are numerous ways of how both the bhang paste and milkshakes can be made, and it doesn’t always include decarbing your weed. For instance, here’s a 20-minute recipe for Bhang Thandai that only includes grinded marijuana flowers with a few additional steps.

Being a staple in India culture for thousands of years, not a typo, these milkshakes usually use milk as a means to extract cannabis’ valuable compounds. For those, who are looking to take things real exotic and traditional, a Bhang Thandai or Lassi milkshake will do the trick.

Related Article: What is Bhang and How to Make Bhang Thandai, India’s Cannabis Milkshake

 

4)  Organic Weed Ice Cream

Carrying on the use of milk in extracting cannabis’ valuable compounds, there are numerous recipes for a delectable, yet potent weed ice cream. As with Bhang Thandai or Lassie, milk being a lipid is extremely effective in activating cannabinoids, which are lipids as well.

This means if you’re looking for a euphoric experience, you can have a THC weed ice cream, or if you’re looking for something more therapeutic based, a CBD weed ice cream can be made at the comfort of your own home.

Related Article: How to Make Weed Ice Cream That’s THC Potent and Organic

 

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What are Edibles Explained…

For many, cannabis edibles are the go to means for experiencing marijuana’s hundreds of valuable cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavanoids.

And there are endless reasons why – its a healthier option for those suffering from lung conditions, its potency is preferable for those suffering from chronic pain and making them can be a fun, creative experience.

Yet, all these advantages come with a cost, as difficult dosing can result in unpredictable experiences. But as long as you follow the best practices in this guide, you can ensure that your experience is one that suits your unique preferences.

Better, yet, with this what are edibles guide, you’ll likely have an experience that suits your taste buds as well!

 

 

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Hey! I’m the editor of Herb Approach News, and i'll write on just about anything cannabis related. Outside this medium, I have my own writing firm, while also being a freelance writer. I reside in Vancouver, the 'tropical', overpriced city of British Columbia, where exploring off the beaten path hiking trails and relaxing on cozy beaches are a 30-minute car ride in-between.  Aside from writing, you can find me strolling through the city streets, soaking in the culture and ambiance of everyday city life.  [email protected]