Medical Marijuana Edibles: An Alternative to Smoking
More than 3 million U.S. and Canadian citizens now buy medical marijuana to treat a variety of health problems. Many patients eat or drink cannabis-infused products instead of smoking marijuana. Although edibles are new to many buyers, the concept is ancient. Civilizations on the Indian subcontinent have been consuming a cannabis-laced substance called Bhang since 1000 BCE.
Today patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana can buy a variety of flavorful food and drink made with cannabis. Customers get the same benefits as smoking. Reputable dispensaries offer quality products that include dosage information. Edibles are safe when used as intended.
There are also marijuana users who create and enjoy homegrown edibles, a practice that has been popular in contemporary culture since Alice B. Toklas wrote a cannabis cookbook in 1954.
Smoking Marijuana Is Not for Everyone
Although marijuana users are known for smoking their cannabis, many people cannot smoke. Edible products infused with cannabis offer a solution for patients who need medical marijuana.
Research into the long-term health effects of smoking marijuana is ongoing, but patients often want to avoid inhaling any kind of smoke. Others cannot smoke because they are on oxygen or using equipment that makes it impossible. Their healthcare providers are likely to suggest consumable medical marijuana as a compromise.
If your doctor has prescribed medical marijuana, you might choose edibles because you like the flavor better than the taste of smoking. Consumables are also more discrete since they are sold in the form of small, easily hidden items like baked goods or candy. Edibles offer a lot of choices since dispensaries carry a wide variety of marijuana-laced products.
Consumable Medical Marijuana Offers Powerful Benefits
There has been a surge of interest in edible marijuana because it provides a pleasant way to get potent medical benefits. The Chinese and Indians have used cannabis as a medicine for centuries. Many civilizations have also utilized it the way modern cultures use alcohol – to create euphoria and minimize stress.
Edible cannabis became popular in the U.S. around 1960. The legalization of marijuana in many areas has also renewed interest in consumable products. Today suppliers have expanded the number of offerings, and clients can find a variety of tasty items with properties that relieve a range of symptoms.
Most consumables include the potent marijuana cannabinoid THC, which can create feelings of euphoria and relaxation as well as reduce pain. Doctors may prescribe this type of medical marijuana for patients suffering from:
The CDC reports that CBD, another cannabinoid found in marijuana, may be able to decrease inflammation and relieve pain without causing the classic “high” associated with products containing THC. With that in mind, dispensaries also offer products containing only CBD.
Raw Cannabis Must Be Processed into Edibles
Consuming edibles containing potent marijuana cannabinoids provides a host of benefits, but you would not get the same effect by eating the plants. Cannabinoids must be activated before they can create results like euphoria or deep relaxation.
Heat transforms THCA in raw marijuana to powerful THC needed to produce the effects. The conversion process is called “decarboxylation,” and occurs when users light a bud or heat cannabis to the point of vaporization. The marijuana in edibles works because it has been through the decarboxylation process.
Professionals create edibles using one of two ingredients. They add cannabutter or cannabis oil to products. Cannabutter is a mix of butter, decarboxylated cannabis flower, and water. Cannabis oil is a blend of cooking oil and cannabis flower. It is typically blended into sauces and dressings or beverages.
With the incredible variety of marijuana strains available today, you can only imaging the kind of custom-tailored pain releaf available now for those who don’t want to smoke. Think of a future where you can buy purple haze cookies, purple punch soda, or even popcorn infused with blue ice cannabis.
The List of Edibles Is Almost Unlimited
Almost any food or drink may be turned into a marijuana edible by infusing it with cannabis flower. Edibles generally include reasonably high levels of THC, so they provide the intoxication customers want.
The consumables offered by dispensaries vary widely depending on a store’s size and location. However, common edibles found in shops include:
- Baked goods such as brownies and cookies
- Hard and chewy candies
- Nuts and trail mix
- Ice Cream
- Dessert Balls
- Dressings, condiments, and sauces
- Energy drinks
- Coffee and tea
Beverages include tinctures that provide THC content. You can also buy tincture and add it to drinks, which make it easier to control the dosage.
How Edibles Affect the Body
When you ingest a marijuana edible, cannabis is digested and then enters the bloodstream. You begin to feel the effects within 30-60 minutes. In contrast, smoking provides an almost immediate sense of euphoria.
There are dozens of cannabis-infused products sold in dispensaries, and they fall into three categories. Stores carry consumables geared toward oral uptake, gastrointestinal uptake, and hybrids with qualities of each.
Most products are designed to be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract via the stomach. They can take as much as two hours to be absorbed, but their effects may last up to eight hours. These include:
Oral uptake edibles are held in the mouth, provide an immediate effect, and wear off in two or three hours. They include:
Dispensaries also sell hybrid weed products like chocolate bars and drinks that are absorbed by the stomach and the mouth. Their effect is midway between that of intestinal and oral absorption. They provide fast relief, often within a half hour. It can last up to four hours.
Patients’ Reactions to Edibles Vary
It is essential to exercise caution when you begin using edible marijuana since it impacts everyone differently. Effects are influenced by factors that include dosage, body chemistry, weight, and even whether you have recently eaten. It is common for first-time users to be surprised at how edibles make them feel.
Even if you have smoked marijuana, you may find that consumables provide a different experience. According to Medical Jane, smokers take in small amounts of cannabinoids each time they draw, while eating cannabis has a delayed effect. As a result, patients should be careful not to continue eating products because they think they are not working.
When you buy edibles, it is also essential to understand the strength of the cannabinoids in each product and how that impacts dosage. Some edibles are much more potent than others. Once you know how much you should be ingesting, you can split edibles into several doses.
Professionals recommend that patients begin slowly, and suggest a 10-15 mg dose as a good starting point. Unfortunately, packaging information about cannabis content can be inconsistent among edibles. It may be hard to translate the information on product packaging into the needed dosage. Many suppliers list strength as ten xs, 20x, etc., or provide cannabis content in grams. Neither of these measurements provides enough detail for inexperienced buyers.
The experienced budtenders who staff dispensaries can guide your choices. They are familiar with all the edibles they sell and can help you understand how much to consume. Budtenders also explain the safe use of consumables and let you know what to expect from the experience.
Experts usually suggest that first-time medical marijuana users find a comfortable setting where they can relax. You might want to have one or two friends are nearby, to be safe. It is important to read packaging guidelines and start with a minimal dose.
Although small amounts of edibles do not usually cause anxiety, some people feel anxious simply because it is a new experience. Lying down, taking deep breaths, and staying calm can have a soothing effect.
Homemade Edibles Offer Advantages
Creating homemade cannabis edibles is a time-honored tradition in some cultures, and is a modern trend that became popular during the 1960s counterculture movement. At that time, Alice B. Toklas published a book that included a recipe for “haschisch fudge,” which has morphed into modern pot brownies.
Over time, weed users have created hundreds of ways to include cannabis in cooking. For some, it is a matter of convenience. They may not live near dispensaries, making it difficult to get medical marijuana when they need it. Many also enjoy creating and sharing mood-enhancing food and drink. For these reasons, it may be wise to buy your own marijuana seeds to grow and then cook with the resulting herb produced.
Medical marijuana patients may choose to create their edibles because it is easier to control the dosage. Those who suffer from loss of appetite can create edibles that appeal to them. Some patients who have found professionally packaged consumables too strong choose to bake brownies and cookies that suit their metabolisms.
Patients who make edibles get a chance to control all ingredients. That can be critical to those on salt-restricted diets, the lactose intolerant, and patients who cannot consume gluten. Salt intake is especially important to the elderly and patients with high blood pressure or kidney problems.
There is no danger that homemade edibles will contain allergens like peanuts, dairy products, nuts, or shellfish, which limits the chances of adverse reactions.
Patients can also save money by making their edibles, and they have a chance to get creative. You can infuse cannabis into almost anything. Some cooks use concentrates, while others grind flower. When starting with good quality cbd seeds
Or thc seeds, the sky is the limit for what kinds of things you can make with it.
If you decide to create consumables, it is wise to experiment with small amounts of cannabis at first. That allows you to determine the best taste and potency. For instance, many people like the taste of certain weed strains, while others want to disguise marijuana’s flavor.
Some Cautions Regarding Edible Marijuana
Despite its many benefits, edible medical marijuana must be used with caution to prevent unwanted side effects.
It is very easy for new users to consume a dose that is too strong for them. That can result in disorientation, an upset stomach, and anxiety. Many patients have unpleasant first experiences because they continue consuming products when they cannot feel effects immediately. Users need to understand how long each product takes to impact them.
Fortunately, the effects of overeating cannabis wear off fairly quickly. Severe reactions are rare, and patients cannot overdose the way hard drug users do. Occasionally a patient might have a severe adverse reaction, in which case they should get medical help immediately.
Reputable Dispensaries Provide Safe Edibles
Customers who buy edibles should be careful to deal with trustworthy dispensaries. Like any business, shops can vary widely in quality, and some sellers provide inferior products. It is especially important to buy medical marijuana edibles from trusted sources. There are steps you can follow to ensure a positive experience:
Find out what other users are saying about dispensaries. Customers often leave reviews online.
Visit each store and make sure it has a pleasant atmosphere. A quality shop will look and smell fresh and clean. Find out if dispensaries deliver, which could be critical when you need medical marijuana.
Choose a business that feels comfortable. Ideally, it will be near your home. The environment should be relaxed and welcoming. Whether you shop at a huge store or mom-and-mop establishment, it needs to feel right.
A dispensary should sell a variety of products. Ensure stores carry all the edibles you need. Reputable businesses offer a wide selection. There are even dispensaries that have chefs who can infuse cannabis into almost any food or drink.
Ask about the cannabis that goes into edibles. Learn where it is grown. Some of the best dispensaries grow pot onsite or get it from local farms. If marijuana is not locally produced, ask questions about how it is cultivated and handled.
Be aware that premium products cost more. However, make sure the dispensary staff can explain why some products are more expensive. Some products will also have similar effects with slightly differences for those that really pay attention. For example, capsules made with blue dream strain cannabis will be uplifting and energizing, as will capsules made with sour diesel. Despite both being sativa, the different spectrum of cannabanoids contained means they will present unique benefits to the user.
Buy from a store with well-informed, friendly budtenders. They will be your guides as you choose products. Budtenders help customers calculate the THC content in products and assist clients’ in determining their needs. You are likely to develop ongoing relationships with budtenders.
For centuries marijuana components have been infused into food and drink and used as medicine. Today many patients get health benefits from modern versions of marijuana edibles sold at dispensaries. Medical marijuana edibles are used to treat symptoms associated with a variety of health conditions. High-quality dispensaries offer a wide range of cannabis-infused food and drink. Stores are staffed by budtenders who guide customers’ choices. Many patients also make homegrown marijuana consumables.
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