To understand how edibles work is to understand the self.
Your metabolism impacts the edible experience
One of the most common mistakes novice cannabis consumers make when dabbling with edibles is not giving your body enough time to metabolize the laced treat before assessing whether you should eat more. It’s hard to know sometimes because it can take anywhere between five minutes to two hours for an edible to kick in. The onset depends on a few factors: what type of edible you’re consuming, your metabolism, how much you’ve eaten that day, and your surroundings.
The best advice is to err on the conservative side: start small and wait two hours. Or “start low and go slow,” to use a canna-cliche. Depending on how much you’ve eaten that day — and how soon after eating you consume an edible — will determine how quickly you feel high. So if you’ve eaten a big lunch with lots of carbs, it might take closer to two hours to feel the effects of an edible, regardless of how many milligrams it contains. If you decide to pop an edible first thing in the morning, it’s likely you’ll feel it closer to the 30-minute mark. If you eat an edible after eating a solid salad, you’ll likely feel the magic around the 45 to 60-minute mark.
Some edibles will hit you quicker
Legalization has also lead to the advancement of absorption technology. So, unlike the solid-food edibles (think: brownies, cookies, pastries, and candy) that go through your digestive system before entering the bloodstream, there are other canna-laced products with fast-acting technology. For example, Mondo Medsmakes a cannabis powder that dissolves in whatever you put it in. Because it’s already broken down, the cannabinoids in the product quickly bind to cannabinoid receptors.
“When you put it in your mouth, [the cannabinoids]are absorbing immediately through your carbohydrate uptake pathways. Your body recognizes it as a carbohydrate,” Skyler Bissell, COO of Oleo Inc, told MERRY JANE in 2017. Getting absorbed through this specific pathway increases early onset. So it’s possible to feel the effects within 10 to 20 minutes.
Then there are edibles with sublingual technology. These infused meds usually come in the form of breath strips, sprays, or tinctures, and require being put under the tongue to trigger the technology and allow the product to work accurately. This application is rooted in science and among the most effective ways to consume cannabis. It’s also utilized by an array of over-the-counter medications. Since cannabis is absorbed through saliva glands, one should expect to feel the THC-onset between five and 15 minutes.
Then there are medicated beverages, like cannabis tea, coffee, Kombucha, water, lemonades, etc. These drinks are closer in onset with solid-food edibles in that they can take a moment to hit, so it’s recommended to take it slow — and don’t drink the whole bottle. Start with a cocktail-on-the-rocks amount of the beverage, or make the liquid into ice cubes and put the tasty ice cubes into another drink for a conservative dose.
If you’re having a medicated drink on an empty stomach, expect to feel THC creeping into your consciousness around the 30-minute mark. If you’re drinking it with food or you’ve eaten a full meal, expect to feel the magical herb after about an hour.
Keep in mind that everyone reacts to cannabis differently — again, it’s better to start slow. Unless, of course, you want to be lit like a birthday cake for three days. And sometimes, that’s just what we need.