An edible is any food product that is infused with cannabis that will get you high simply by eating it. Edibles are typically made by infusing cannabis with some kind of fat — oil, butter, or milk, for example — as a way to extract the THC or CBD.
Although marijuana’s role in the kitchen has long been associated with campy baked goods, the cannabis cooking has grown up and is no longer confined to your uncle’s weed-y herb-flavored chocolate brownies (to be honest, people would make edibles with chocolate because it would mask the taste). Nowadays, however, you can find a whole range of tasty, potent treats available at dispensaries, varying from gummy bears to granola to the staple (albeit much higher quality) cookies; even chefs now prepare entire meals offering both tasteful and psychoactive experiences from this potent herb.
Smoking Vs. Eating Edibles
But edibles and smoking/vaping marijuana go beyond just superficial delivery vehicles. One of the main differences between smoking/vaping and eating an edible is how the body processes marijuana. Often, people say that eating marijuana-infused edibles provides a much stronger effect than smoking cannabis. Smoked marijuana hits quickly after inhaling and its effects begin dissipating relatively soon after. This is because it’s metabolized differently than when ingested via edibles. When you inhale it through your lungs, THC (specifically, the chemical compound delta-9 THC) gets into the body extremely quickly and travels straight to the brain. On the other hand, when ingesting an edible, the liver metabolizes the delta-9 THC and converts it into 11-hydroxy-THC. This passes the blood-brain barrier quickly and has more psychoactive effects compared to delta-9, which leads to a more intense high. When consuming, it can take somewhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects, but they’ll also last much longer than smoking.
Edible Dosage Advice
The second difference, one that has admittedly, given edibles a bad rap over the past few years due to consumers, is dosages of edibles (and also setting). Whereas smoking’s effects are immediate and easy to figure out when you are high enough, edibles take much longer, making each person’s dosage a bit of a tricky science. Dispensaries typically measure out a dosage in their edibles, with the standard dose being 10mg. Given the longevity of the time it takes for edibles’ effects to come on, it’s best to pace yourself and wait an hour if you don’t seem to feel anything. Although you can’t overdose, just as you shouldn’t take another two shots immediately after your first, you’re bound to have a bad time if you get too baked.