Things You Need to Know about Edible Cannabis

Edible cannabis products (edibles for short) are products containing cannabinoids that you take in or drink. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds seen in cannabis that can affect your body and mind when consumed. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid that makes a person euphoric and intoxicated (or high). CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid which may have some therapeutic benefit, although more research is required to confirm its potential medical use. There is certainly a wide range of edible cannabis products. Although some edible cannabis products might appear to be normal food items, they are not food and are not intended to provide any vitamins and minerals. Edible cannabis products provide an alternative method of cannabis consumption to smoking and vaping. If you are enthusiastic about trying cannabis edibles, here are seven things you need to know.

1. Be Sure to Read the Label Carefully
Edible cannabis products vary widely in the look of them and ingredients, including how much THC and CBD they contain. Always read the label before ingesting edible cannabis. When you have never tried an edible before or are not used to cannabis, consume at most 2.5 mg of THC and wait to feel effects before taking more. It might also be worth doing a lttle bit of homework to learn how THC and CBD affect your brain and body, and exactly how these effects differ between inhalation and ingestion of cannabis. Keep in mind that some edible cannabis products might have expiry dates and ingredientsthat could cause allergic reactions.

2. The Effects of Ingesting Cannabis GO LONGER than Inhaling Cannabis
It takes a long time for your body to absorb the THC from edible cannabis so the THC exists in your body for longer than after smoking or vaping cannabis. The consequences of ingesting cannabis last longer compared to when cannabis is smoked or vaped. The effects can last up to 12 hours, with residual effects lasting up to 24 hours. If you are new to edibles or to cannabis, use these products in a place where you feel safe and comfortable, and with friends or family who are experienced in using them. If you plan to use edible cannabis at a friend or family member’s home, make travel arrangements ahead of energy or intend to stay over. Do not drive or operate heavy equipment after using cannabis.

3. The Effects of Ingesting Cannabis Can Be More Intense than
For some people, the effects of edible cannabis can become more extreme than inhaling an identical dose of dried cannabis. This intensity is partly because when you ingest THC, your liver turns it into a stronger form. With edible cannabis, both THC from the first product and the stronger form of THC produced from your liver can influence the intensity of the high. Individuals who are fresh to edibles or cannabis should look at the THC content of the product and begin with edible cannabis products containing no more than 2.5 mg of THC. It’s best that your first few times using edible cannabis be with trusted friends or family members who’ve experience with them. Should you or someone you know has consumed too much cannabis and is not feeling well, contact your neighborhood poison centre or seek medical attention.
Start low by eating a cannabis edible without more than 2.5 mg of THC.

4. It Takes Time to Feel the Full Effects
With edible cannabis, the intoxicating effects or “high” do not activate for around 30 minutes to two hours and peak at about four hours. The consequences can last up to 12 hours after use and residual effects can last up to 24 hours, so you could be affected into the next day. This timing differs from smoking or vaping cannabis, where the effects begin to be felt in a few seconds or minutes and peak at about 30 minutes. When you ingest edible cannabis, the THC first travels to your stomach and then to your liver, before rendering it to your bloodstream and brain. This process varies across individuals, so that it is difficult to predict when you will actually feel the full effects of edible cannabis. Because it can take up to four hours to feel the full effects, eating more cannabis in this particular time period can bring about over-intoxication. Over-intoxication can take the form of anxiety and panic, nausea and vomiting, and symptoms of psychosis (paranoia). Be patient and go slow, ingesting edible cannabis without more than 2.5 mg of THC at a time.

5. Be Sure to Properly Store Your Cannabis Products
Chocolates and brownies with cannabis in them look like chocolates and brownies without cannabis in them. In other words, they appeal to both adults and children. Actually, unintentional ingestion of edible cannabis by children and pets is more widespread than you might think, and can lead to severe health problems. If you have edible cannabis at home, including edibles you made yourself, be certain that they are properly labelled, stored in child-resistant containers that are re-sealed after use, and stored out of the sight and reach of children and pets. Additionally it is a smart idea to invest in a lockbox or to make your own. If you or someone you know has accidently consumed cannabis which is not feeling well, contact your local poison centre or seek medical attention.

6. Cannabis Should Not Be Mixed with Alcohol or Other Substances
Alcohol increases the intoxicating and impairing ramifications of cannabis. Consuming cannabis and alcohol at the same time can significantly increase your risk of over-intoxication and impairment. As mentioned, cannabis over-intoxication can include anxiety, panic, nausea, vomiting and paranoia. To reduce the risk of these negative experiences, stick to either cannabis or alcohol, not both. Also, avoid mixing cannabis with nicotine or any intoxicating substance, including stimulants (“uppers”) and depressants (“downers”), as the mix can cause serious health complications. If you are taking or planning to take prescription medications, talk with a healthcare practitioner about whether
cannabis interferes with them. Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

7. Regular Use of Cannabis Can Affect Your Mental Health
Daily or near-daily cannabis use increases the threat of dependence and brings on or worsen disorders related to anxiety or depression. Regular use of cannabis products containing high levels of THC can increase your threat of developing psychosis, particularly if you have a family group history of psychosis or schizophrenia. (See the report, Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis: Regular Use and Mental Health for more information.) These facts are meant to cause you to think of the potential risks associated with using cannabis and help you make a more informed decision. To lower your risks of experiencing mental health problems, choose products with no more than 100 mg/g (10%) of THC for those that you inhale and only 10 mg of THC for people who you ingest. Limiting your use of cannabis can also reduce these risks.