New cannabis consumers often approach edibles with a mixture of excitement, fear, and caution. We get it: Edibles have a questionable reputation. But they shouldn’t. Our basics will help you have the best experience, every time. 

When it comes to cannabis-infused edibles, there’s an element of mystery that can make taking the first bite of that infused chocolate bar (or oat bar, marshmallow crisp, or cookie in a jar) a nerve-wracking experience. How do you know the correct dosage? And what effects will you experience? 

Unlike more familiar forms of cannabis, such as flower and vape cartridges, it’s hard to make a visual assessment of the perfect amount (and variety) of cannabis edibles to suit your needs. 

That’s why we decided to sit down with our favorite professional Patient Consultants from the best dispensary in Washington DC to learn the ins and outs of cannabis edibles, how to take edibles, and how new consumers can ensure a perfect experience every time.

cannabis-infused edibles

What are cannabis edibles?

Let’s start with the basics. What are cannabis edibles and how do they work? 

Put simply, it is any cannabis-infused food product that contains either THC or CBD. Enthusiasts prefer an edible consumption method for many reasons: convenience, circumventing possible impact of smoking on their lungs, delayed effects, and more. 

These days, cannabis-infused edibles come in many forms beyond the familiar pot brownie—from beef jerky to breakfast cereal! With the world of cannabis edible brands expanding by the day, it’s easy to find a product to suit your palette (and dosage and effects requirements).

Types of Cannabis Edibles at Dispensaries

Nowadays, you may come across many different types of edibles at dispensaries. Edibles can differ in both their form and their contents, resulting in potential changes to how long their effects can take to kick in and what kinds of effects you may experience when ingesting them.

For example, you may opt to go with a candy or mint that may get absorbed sublingually and kick in faster, or a baked goodie such as a cookie or a brownie that is processed through your stomach, then liver, thus kicking in only after some time has passed (usually, 30 minutes to 2 hours). It’s important to be mindful of the kinds of cannabinoids and cannabinoid ratios that each type of edible contains. This will be detailed on the packaging.

An edible containing solely THC can be expected to produce the typical psychoactive and mind-altering effects that are usually associated with cannabis. The type of THC strain used to make the edible will indicate which types of psychoactive effects are most likely. As a general guide: sativa tends to produce more active, energizing uplifting effects and indica usually will lean more mellow, spacy, and chill. A high-CBD edible will produce some physiological effects, but not psychoactive ones.

Different ratios of these two cannabinoids can result in vastly different edible experiences. Thanks to the entourage effect, consuming THC and CBD together will produce effects that are different than if either one was to be ingested on its own. 

Exactly what kinds of effects you can expect from a mixed edible will depend on its exact cannabinoid ratio. A 1:1 THC to CBD ratio indicates a blend of mild euphoria and calm relaxation. The more CBD in the ratio, the less euphoria and psychoactive effects. For example, a 1:10 THC to CBD ratio may mean that there’s no (or very little) noticeable euphoria or ‘high’ whatsoever, making it preferable for therapeutic dosing. 

Pay close attention to the label of your edibles to see what their cannabinoid ratio is, and think carefully about what kinds of effects you want to experience from them. Whether you’re looking for a fun and euphoric buzz, or a calm and therapeutic one, you’ll be sure to find it among the many types of edibles at dispensaries. You just need to make sure you choose the right one.

How long does it take cannabis edibles to kick in?

Cannabis-infused edibles tend to take longer to kick in than inhalable cannabis products. 

Typically, you can expect to wait between 30-60 minutes to experience the effects of cannabis edibles, though it may take 2-3 hours, depending on your physiology and tolerance. Many such factors can affect the timing of cannabis absorption via edibles. Let’s go over a few:

  • You might feel the effects of high dosage THC edibles more quickly than a lower dose product.
  • Edibles you consume by sucking on them (such as lozenges, lollipops, and gum) tend to kick in faster since some of the cannabinoids are absorbed directly through your saliva sublingually. 
  • Chewable edibles (such as gummies, cookies, or oat bars) take longer to kick in since they have to be digested before your body absorbs the THC or CBD they contain. 
  • Other factors, such as how empty your stomach is and your sex, weight, and cannabis tolerance, can affect how quickly your body reacts to edibles, as well.

If you’ve consumed an edible and don’t yet feel the effects, have patience! Our Budtenders recommend waiting 24 hours before dosing again to avoid consuming too much. Instead, try eating a bit of food to kick-start your digestion.

Cannabis Edible Consumption

How do edibles make you feel?

One advantage of edibles is the intensity they offer compared to other cannabis products. Cannabis-infused edibles create a more powerful high than some other consumption methods, and you’ll feel the effects longer than inhalable cannabis products. Because an edible is slowly digested by the stomach, an edible high can last for as long as 6–8 hours.

Exactly how an edible will make you feel will largely depend on the strain of cannabis that you’re ingesting. As we mentioned, a strong indica strain often helps you feel relaxed and even sleepy, while a potent sativa will feel much more stimulating and energizing. In general, you should expect a strong body buzz when ingesting cannabis-infused edibles, especially if you’re ingesting an indica strain.

How to Take Edibles: Dosing Your Edible

Getting your dosage right is really important when you’re considering how to take edibles. If you’re planning on trying a THC edible, you should always try to stick to a dosage that you’re sure you can handle.

Ingesting too much THC is a common mistake that people make when enjoying edibles and, while it won’t endanger your health, it can lead to an overly strong buzz that may feel overpowering and may expose you to THC’s side effects like anxiety and paranoia. 

That’s why it’s best to start low and go slow with your THC edibles. Try a low dosage that you’re sure you’ll be comfortable with. If you find that’s not enough, go ahead and move up to a larger dosage next time. Just don’t try to ingest more until you’re sure the buzz of your first one has peaked or you may end up taking too much.

How to Take Edibles: Wrapping Up

Looking for the best dispensary in Washington DC for cannabis-infused edibles? Come down to Takoma Wellness today or browse our online menu from home to shop a huge variety of delicious cannabis edibles that you’re sure to love! 

Have a question about how to take edibles that we haven’t answered? Don’t be afraid to ask us. We’ll be sure to help you however we can. Taking a mindful approach to cannabis edible consumption will ensure you have a blissful, relaxing experience that’s DC Budtender approved. We look forward to seeing you!