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Why Do Edibles Hit Differently Than Other Forms of Cannabis?

Here’s a story we’ve all heard: someone eats too many edibles at once, then becomes uncomfortably intoxicated a while later because cannabis edibles affect the body differently from other forms of cannabis. It all has to do with the chemical interaction between your body and the active ingredients in cannabis. If you want to get to the bottom of why edibles hit differently than other forms of cannabis, take a quick look at the basic science behind the plant.

What Are Cannabinoids?

There are many things, such as terpenes, that can impact a person’s experience with cannabis. The single most significant thing to know before you buy edibles is about cannabinoids, though. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are the natural components of cannabis that interact with the human body. THC is mostly popular among recreational customers who want to enjoy the psychoactive effects, while CBD is typically associated with a general sense of wellness.

Cannabinoids can bind with multiple different kinds of receptors in the human body, and this interaction is primarily governed by how cannabinoids are consumed. For example, when you smoke cannabis flower or vaporize concentrates, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the lungs. This introduces the cannabinoids to your bloodstream almost immediately, which is why the effects of vaping cannabis or smoking cannabis are so sudden.

How Do Edibles Work?

Part of the reason edibles hit so differently is because they’re processed by your digestive system instead of your lungs. Vaporized THC can reach the bloodstream through your lungs almost instantly, but it takes a while to digest an edible. After the edible breaks down in your stomach for a little bit, the cannabinoids are processed by the organs in your digestive system. It’s at this point that you start to feel the effects of edibles.

How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In?

Most people say it takes about an hour or so for edibles to kick in, but that timing can vary significantly. There are a couple of factors that play into that:

    • How Recently You’ve Eaten – If you have a cannabis edible for dessert after a large meal, it will take longer for the edible to be processed by your digestive system. When you eat cannabis edibles on an empty stomach, your body may be able to interact with the cannabinoids more quickly.
    • Your Body Chemistry – People’s bodies sometimes perform certain functions at different rates. The speed and efficiency of your digestive system will affect how quickly edibles kick in and how much they affect you.

If you talk to a budtender about edibles, they may tell you to “start low and go slow.” In other words, start with a small serving size of your cannabis edible, then give it plenty of time before you eat more. Be mindful of how you feel at certain times until you get a better idea of your typical experience with cannabis edibles.

How Long Do Edibles Last?

Just as edibles take longer to kick in, many people say the effects stick around for a longer time. Your body may not be finished processing all of the cannabinoids for a few hours after you eat the edible. Once the amount of cannabinoids in your bloodstream has peaked, the effects will decrease gradually for the next few hours.

The effects you feel have a lot to do with how much THC is still active in your body, and eating more will make the time longer. Your metabolism will play a significant role in this, too. If you follow the classic advice of “start low and go slow,” you’ll be able to figure out how long the effects of edibles typically last for you.

How Long Do Edibles Stay Good?

Just like any other kind of food, edibles will eventually go bad. If you make your own baked goods, they’re probably going to start getting stale after a few days. Most professionally-made edibles will come with plenty of accurate information on the package. It’s much easier to determine how long you have before your edibles expire this way.

How Much THC Is in Edibles?

The other reason so many people buy edibles at dispensaries is that the THC levels are carefully measured for consistency. This makes it easier to manage the way edibles hit differently. If you know precisely how many cannabinoids you’re ingesting, you’ll be more prepared to predict how long it will take to kick in, how long they’ll last, and how intense the experience will be.

Everyone has their own ideas about the appropriate serving size of THC, but there’s a lot to be said for knowing exactly how much you’re getting in a cannabis edible:

    • To be completely honest, it’s a little bit disappointing to eat a cannabis edible, wait several hours, and not feel anything. It’s certainly not the worst thing in the world, but it’s much better when you can count on having a reliable, predictable version of what you pay for.
    • On the other side of things, it can put a serious damper on your night if you accidentally eat too many cannabis edibles. Feeling overly intoxicated makes people uncomfortable, and that takes a lot away from the enjoyment of cannabis. Knowing the exact level of THC will help you cultivate a more moderate experience.

What if I Eat too Many Edibles?

The good news is that there are a few things you can do if you eat too many edibles. The most important thing is to stay calm and remember that the effects will start to wear off gradually once your body completes processing the THC. Besides that, just avoid operating a motor vehicle or doing anything else that could be dangerous or get you in trouble. Some people say sniffing or chewing black pepper can help, while others just like to lie down and get comfortable.

Since edibles do hit differently, it’s always good to pace yourself. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the best way to optimize your experience is to start with a small serving size and take things slowly. Even the most educational article on the internet can’t predict precisely how you’ll feel, so you have to be the judge of your own experience. Most people say they get a feel for cannabis edibles quickly when they monitor their consumption.

Want to Buy Cannabis Edibles in Federal Heights?

Now that you know why edibles are different, you know what to look for in the best cannabis edibles. Visit us at Green Sativa in Federal Heights to find consistent, professional, top of the line edibles. Our dispensary menu contains many great options, and our friendly staff can help answer any additional questions you may have. Much of our dispensary menu is online, but we’d love for you to come in and see what we have to offer for yourself!

Featured Image: Shutterstock / CreativeFireStock

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