The Effects of Edibles
Because most edibles are exposed to some kind of heat during the cooking process, many of the inactive cannabinoids such as THCA and CBDA, are converted to THC, CBD, and CBN. This heating process, known as decarboxylation, as well as the high levels of THC found in edibles, work together to create an ideal treatment for many disorders / health conditions including chronic pain, muscle inflammation and spasms, autoimmune disorders, nervous system disorders, insomnia, and nausea — provided the patient is well enough to ingest the medication. The acid forms of THC and CBD (eg. THCA and CBDA) are highly beneficial and provide their own medicinal benefits, so finding infused edible products that are not completely decarboxylated is preferred.
While anyone can enjoy the benefits of edibles, patients suffering from Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that affects as many as 700,000 Americans, find this method of medicating extremely beneficial. This is because Crohn’s Disease occurs in the GI tract, precisely where edibles distribute useful active and inactive cannabinoids at the root of the problem.
Edible Cannabis Pros and Cons
Ingesting cannabis will affect you different than smoking the plant. However, exactly what effect edibles will have on you depends on several factors: the type and potency of the edibles you are using, your tolerance, your body chemistry, and even how much you’ve had to eat. Because the effects of eating an edible differ greatly from the effects of smoking, many first time users are caught off guard by the stronger potency and long-lasting effects.
Despite CBD’s anxiety-relieving properties, many people experience a heightened sense of anxiety and paranoia when they initially ingest an edible. This is caused by various factors, but tends to mostly deal with fact that most people are not used to ingesting cannabis yet and have feelings of uncertainty, which leads to anxiety and paranoia. This seems to fade away the more you eat them, and get used to the effects.
When you smoke marijuana you only receive a small amount of the cannabinoids in each draw, although the effects will be felt instantly. This is unlike eating edibles which tend to hit you much more slowly. In fact, edibles take roughly 30 minutes to 1 hour to reach maximum effect, so be sure to allow adequate time before ingesting more. Eating infused treats tends to release the effects in waves as the cannabinoids are processed by the stomach and digested over a 2-6 hour period.
Edibles are a popular way to ingest marijuana alternatively without smoking or vaporizing cannabis. Cannabis is put into different tasty and recognizable food products. Many people choose this method because it’s a more discreet way to medicate, but many people prefer the long lasting effects compared to the fast fading effects of smoking. Patients can use edibles for treatment for autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, muscle inflammation, nervous system disorders, insomnia, and nausea.
Although there are a lot of different types of edibles, they can be categorized into three different categories:
Any edible such as brownies, cookies, chocolate bars, etc. falls into the category of gastrointestinal which means that it’s digested through the stomach.
Tinctures, lozenges, gum, etc. fall into the oral uptake category and can affect a patient almost immediately.
(both gastrointestinal and oral): Some items such as drinks fall into the hybrid category because they are absorbed by both the stomach and mouth. The benefit of these hybrids is that they offer fast acting relief, but can last for four or more hours.
Marijuana infused drinks have become an increasingly tasty way of consuming cannabis. The simple process to ingest and partake in a drink as opposed to smoking or vaporizing appeals to people due to the familiar nature and dilution of the smell or flavor of cannabis. Many users prefer not to smoke because of health and personal reasons.
Drinks are a great alternative and are a way to consume without drawing attention. Infused beverages have been recommended to first-time users.
Cannabis consumed orally enters the blood stream after being digested or broken down in the stomach and is absorbed in the intestines. Eating infused products is a healthier alternative to inhaling cannabis smoke because there is no exposure to carbon, tar, carcinogens, etc…
Some patients, such as those on supplemental oxygen, turn to cannabis infused edibles when smoking is no longer an option. For patients with eating and digestive disorders, edibles testing high in cannabidiol (CBD) are not only a great source of nausea-reducing medicine, but also a vital source of essential nutrients and calories. The same is true for cancer patients suffering from nausea caused by their treatments, and expecting mothers dealing with hyperemesis (morning sickness). Additionally, many patients choose edibles as their preferred method of consumption because they are a more discreet way to medicate, while others simply prefer the longevity of effects when ingesting cannabis compared to the fast-acting effects of smoking.