Do Different Edibles Give Us Different Highs?

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Do Different Edibles give you different highs
You might be wondering… Do different edibles give us different highs? It’s a question we definitely all ask ourselves. Read on to find out what makes each edible different and learn which ones are best suited for you.

The Science Behind How Edibles Make You Feel

Edibles are well-known for being unpredictable—just eating a brownie can have effects that range from a gentle buzz to a full-day knockout that leaves you, well, pretty much immobile. So why is that? Two big reasons for the unpredictability of edibles are:
  1. The way they’re made (not consistently)
  2. The way our bodies metabolize them (also not consistently)

Why Different Edibles Give Us Different Highs

Many people’s journeys into edibles start with a rite of passage: making their own cannabis butter (aka. cannabutter).

Edibles with cannaoil or cannabutter produce different effects from edibles with extracted hash oil like CO2. Compared with other forms of extraction, the way that butter is processed preserves more terpenes.

Terpenes are chemical compounds (found in a whole range of plants and herbs) with specific aromas, kind of like essential oils, except they can enhance your high—and also have medicinal benefits.

Different terpenes = different tastes = different highs.
To throw another wrench into cooking with edibles, some types of food react better (chemically) with cannabis, making them a better vehicle for transporting the good stuff in your edible to your brain.  

According to Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York, when you eat cannabis, it gets metabolized by the liver and passes the blood-brain barrier more rapidly, which gives you more of a psychedelic effect than the usual THC. On the other hand, smoked or vaporized cannabis bypasses the liver.

What this means is that even though you feel the effects much faster after smoking cannabis, they last longer when you eat cannabis.

How to Choose an Edible That Gets You High

When you’re thinking about what types of edibles you want to try at dispensaries, try the popular ones (usually you can’t go wrong with the most popular edibles), and go for taste. After all, a delicious edible is a good edible.

Right? Well… sort of.

Based on everything we’ve talked about, it’s probably safe to say that it’s rare that you’ll ever have to look for “the strongest edibles on the market.” Assuming that the dispensary you’re shopping at has their edibles labelled properly and a good standard of quality (no skimping, intentionally mislabeling products or bad storage practices), most edibles will be able to get you high.

However. Getting the right amount of high is another story—and it’s even more important if you’ve never experienced edibles before. Granted, specificity is not very useful if the dispensary you’re buying from isn’t putting the right amounts on their labels.

How’s specific? We’re talking milligrams.

“10mg is considered a single serving for an adult.” says Dr. Margaret Gedde, who’s based in Colorado Springs and provides medical marijuana services. “5mg is a reasonable first-time starting dose.”

Whether you’re looking at gummies, chocolates, or even savoury treats (bison jerky, it exists, it’s delicious, look it up), the types of edibles you’re looking at, need to have accurate labelling that tells you not only what is in them, but also how much. It’s hard to overstate this, but as of right now in 2018, the relative lack of cannabis regulation makes it more important than ever to have a supplier that you can trust.

How Long Do Edibles Keep You High For?

As you can imagine, the answer is “it varies,” but usually, the effects of edibles can last anywhere from four to 12 hours. And you also have to factor in the 30-ish minutes (or an hour—or two hours) that it takes for the edibles to kick in.

It goes without saying, but don’t schedule an important test or big meetings on the day that you plan on having an edible if you’re not familiar with how it affects your body.

Are Edibles Healthier Than Smoking?

Ah, the health effects of edibles highs versus smoking highs. For us, edibles win out pretty clearly, but let’s dig deeper into how they interact with our bodies.

When you eat an edible, it has to go through your liver before it enters your stomach—and your blood. According to Professor Earleywine, this process is called ‘first-pass metabolism’. “Cannabis gets absorbed through the lungs and goes straight to the brain, but is only metabolized by the liver on the second pass. When the liver metabolizes delta-9 THC to 11-hydroxy THC, users feel the ‘combined effect of the two.’”

In a nutshell, not only is the high itself different but so are the health effects.

Namely, when you smoke cannabis, you involve a new not-very-healthy factor, and these are called carcinogens. Yes, the stuff that causes cancer. Although when it comes down to it, it’s pretty well established that if you absolutely have to smoke (whether it’s a cigarette or a blunt), vaping is “healthier”—meaning it’s not healthy, but it’s healthier compared to smoking.

The benefit with vaping is that you feel the effects more immediately—and are more likely to know when to stop. The question of how much cannabis exactly is in your edible will always be considered a safety risk, simply because currently there isn’t a reliable way for the average person to easily find out how potent an edible is.

That being said, in terms of being kind to our respiratory tracts, we may be biased, but we’d choose edibles over smoking.

The Best Edibles of 2018

So, you’ve decided you want to try out some edibles. There’s a huge selection in dispensaries (and online) to choose from, but here are a few popular edibles trends that are really popping off in 2018.

Chewies: Bite-sized candies (they can be fruit-flavoured too) that come in any flavour you want.

Chocolate bars
: We’re suckers for a soft, chewy chocolate bar—especially when it’s an edible.

Chocolate truffles: Who knew that edibles could get such a classy makeover?

Marshmallows: Imagine making smores out of these…

Affogato bar: You read that right—your favourite coffee order now comes in edible form

Peanut butter cups: Move over, Reese’s. There’s a new peanut butter cup in town.


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