Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, PhD, BCHP, CTC, CNHP
Medical patients who use cannabis now have a range of possibilities. They have the option of ingesting cannabis. They can utilize highly concentrated concentrations in edibles but the effects can differ depending on the way the body processes the substance.
When we talk edibles, they are cannabis or cannabis oil-infused foods, tinctures and or beverages. This indicates that they’ve been infused with preferably full spectrum whole plant cannabinoids such as THC, CBG or CBD.
Edibles, unlike smoking, are absorbed through the digestive system. This means the effects can not only feel different but also last longer. The effects of smoking cannabis are almost instantaneous, whereas the effects of an edible take 30 minutes to 2 hours. An edible’s effects can also last significantly longer (3-14 hours) and can be much more strong than smoking alone. The length and strength of the reaction will differ based on the dose, your previous meal, any other medications you’ve taken, your tolerance level, and your body chemistry. Your level of experience and body weight are also important aspects to consider.
Solid Food Edibles
Baked products, chocolates, cookies or gummies are just a few examples of cannabis-infused edibles. Almost any food including butter, oil, milk, sugar, or flour can be made into an edible.
In solid food edibles, the cannabis is then broken down in the digestion system and because of that, the cannabinoid receptors which are also located in the digestive system will be directly affected. When the chemicals pass through the digestive system and are processed by the liver after being ingested THC forms 11-THC-hydroxy, which is a stronger molecule that can make the effect felt by the consumer much stronger than just smoking.
Cannabis-infused drinks, like teas, sodas, coffee, and even alcohol blends, are increasingly being experimented with by cannabis connoisseurs. THC in these drinks, like in cannabis-infused edibles, is digested in the stomach and can be just as strong as eating a cookie or gummy. So be cautious and take it easy.
Tinctures & Drops
Then there are “under the tongue” drops or tinctures made of whole-plant cannabis plants. Because tinctures are supposed to be taken through the mouth and tongue, they are classified as edibles. A dropper is used to administer these powerful, cannabis extracts “under the tongue”. These can be made in several ways, alcohol extractions, coconut oil or glycerin-based. The tincture is absorbed into the bloodstream, if taken directly it can be felt sooner. In my opinion, tinctures provide you with more control over your dosage, faster and more accurate results.
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Beginners with a very low tolerance should start with a suggested dose of less than 5mg as a general rule. Around 2.5mg will provide relief from mild symptoms as well as a feeling of well-being.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources. Please check with your Cannabis Educated Primary Health Care Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change.
Written by Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC, CNHP in ECS & Naturopathic Medicine, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, The Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute. To find out more about her Telemedicine Consultations, Educational Programs, YouTube videos, and other creative content, you can find her on the massive inter-webs on all platforms or at drpepperhernandez.com.
Go forth, Go Cannabis…