Brownies. Cookies. Candy. Whatever delicious form you like your cannabis to take, you’ve probably heard (or experienced) the horror stories of, well, eating too much.
While marijuana edibles—and even medical marijuana edibles—are relatively harmless (and often yummy), their side effects are often way more pronounced than just smoking cannabis because your body digests food at a much slower rate. Meaning it usually takes at least half an hour for you to feel anything after you’ve eaten your edibles.
Regardless of how experienced you are with eating marijuana edibles (and no matter how healthy they claim to be) here are five things to look out for before you pop one into your facehole.
1. We’ve been smoking it for a lot longer than we’ve been eating it.
Yeah, we’ve come a long way from making a stick of weed butter and using it to bake a batch of special brownies in our moms’ wallpapered kitchens. But even though the range of marijuana edibles has vastly expanded to include gummies, lollipops, fudge bars, and more, the truth is, we still don’t have a complete knowledge of the health effects of edibles yet.
We know that when you smoke weed, it hits you faster and you get more cannabinoids in your blood, and we know that when you eat edibles, the effects are… way more unpredictable.
2. Need to know the health or side effects of edibles? Read the labels. (There’s a label, right?)
It matters where you buy your marijuana edibles from. It really does. Your neighbour downstairs might dream of contending on a cannabis version of The Great British Bake-off, but it also probably means that they’re not lab-testing their delicious green cupcake creations.
If you having edibles for their health effects, you’ll probably want to a label that at the very least shows CBD vs. THC content and describes (briefly) the effects you might experience. Otherwise, you pretty much have zero idea of what’s going to happen—and how long it will go on for—after that cookie goes into your mouth.
3. How many “healthy marijuana edibles” have quality control?
Not a lot, apparently. Nolan Kane, an assistant professor of evolutionary biology at CU-Boulder who studies cannabis, compares good and not-so-great marijuana concentrates to “fine-scotch and cheap vodka”—you can use potatoes from any old field, or you can use the best grains to get the really good stuff: fine scotch. Every step is stringently monitored, with thought and care given to every step of the process to best maintain the grain’s traits and taste.
There are also all kinds of issues that you run into with trim, which is the part of the plant that is most commonly sold to people who want to make edibles. Most trim is poor quality, mixed in with whatever’s sitting in someone’s dark, damp storage room, not to mention that trim typically does not have the same density of cannabinoids (which you want) as the bud of the flower. This is partially what causes a lot of the bad side effects of “too much” edibles—the quality and consistency are hard to manage when everyone’s just throwing their leftover trim together to sell in a bundle.
4. Not all edible foods are equal.
When you smoke weed, you’re smoking the weed—but when you’re cooking with marijuana, you need to take into consideration the science of how different foods interact with cannabis too. Some could make them more potent, while others might dampen the effects of your marijuana edibles.
Even the basic(ish) process of making weed butter has its requirements. “The first mistake many people make is they forget to decarboxylate their cannabis, says Matt Gray, co-founder and CEO of The Stoner’s Cookbook. “A lot of home chefs skip this important step, and put the plant directly into the oil or butter.”
Time to start studying.
5. Don’t mix.
Yes, cannabis is all natural. No, that doesn’t mean you should mix it with your painkillers, beer, or any other non-recreational drugs like blood thinners. While some people have a great time mixing beer with marijuana, the effects are almost always unpredictable—and often unpleasant. Antifungal medications, benzodiazepines, antibiotics… every medication interacts with weed differently, so even if you have “medical marijuana edibles,” that doesn’t mean that you should expect them to amplify each others’ positive effects.
To see the full range of marijuana edibles we carry please click here: