Marijuana legalization is favored by 61% of Americans. While federal legalization won’t happen anytime soon, nine states and Washington D.C. permit recreational use. Plus, another 29 states allow medical marijuana.
This growing acceptance is causing a boom in marijuana products, including weed edibles.
Sales are exploding across the country. Legal pot sales are expected to grow by a staggering 45% this year.
As legal pot enters the mainstream, many adults are enjoying the benefits of weed, even those who hate smoking.
Ways to Enjoy Pot Without Smoking
There are several ways to enjoy weed legally that don’t require inhaling smoke.
Vaporizers produce vapor because the weed doesn’t touch the heating element. Rather, the air around the plant heats up.
Concentrates can be many products, but at its most basic definition, it comes in the form of waxes and oils. They’re potent and can be used in vaporizers to avoid smoke.
Topicals are absorbed through the skin. They come as lotions and oils. But this high is different. It makes your body feel soothed and relaxed.
Tinctures are another concentrate made by extracting compounds using alcohol. You use this in a dropper and add it to mixers (like salad dressings) or on your tongue.
Edibles are cannabis-infused foods, which are much more diverse than just pot brownies. There are several ways to consume weed edibles.
Why Weed Edibles
You can ingest pot through solid foods and even beverages. Examples of weed edibles include elixirs, coffee, baked goods, and candies.
There are several reasons weed edibles are gaining popularity.
Healthy Alternative to Smoking
Smoking anything is bad for your respiratory system. It can also be uncomfortable and cause coughing.
Even smoking pot introduces carcinogens to your lungs. Ingesting pot, on the other hand, does not have these negative effects on your respiratory system.
Smoking is common practice for medicinal marijuana users. The main reason is because smoking provides rather immediate relief, but it doesn’t last long.
However, when you ingest weed, you experience a more intense, longer full body high as compared to smoking. Smoking is estimated to last one to two hours, whereas ingesting lasts from four to six hours.
This is especially helpful if you struggle with appetite, which is why chemotherapy patients often use weed edibles.
It also helps with stomach pains and menstrual cramps.
Research from the National Cancer Institute found that cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system are likely involved in controlling anxiety and general mood.
Also, several animal tests show that cannabidiol (CBD) have anti-anxiety effects.
Aside from getting high, you also get a lot of valuable nutrients from the cannabis plant.
Raw leaves are high in vitamin K and C, iron, calcium, fiber, and folate. When it’s cooked, it also provides several antioxidants.
As you can see, there are many benefits to ingesting pot. But before getting started, you need to know what you’re doing.
Tips for Trying Weed Edibles for Beginners
Bad first experiences are far too common because consumers don’t do their research first. It’s important to know how to make the most out of your experience.
Before You Ingest
Eating pot creates a unique experience. You need to prepare before you start experimenting with edibles.
1. Know Your Metabolism
The problem most newbies have with weed edibles — they eat too much, too fast.
This is caused by the fact that it takes a long time for the effects to hit. Remember, your body is digesting and metabolizing the pot.
This takes time. It gets absorbed in the stomach, then passes through your digestive tract to your liver. This is where your body breaks down the THC so it can enter your bloodstream.
Here’s the basic rule of thumb:
- Faster metabolism — estimated to take an hour
- Slower metabolism — about two hours or more
2. Schedule Your Day
Prepare for several hours of feeling high, depending on your dosage. If you’re the type to feel overwhelmed when you’re high, avoid public areas. And nobody who is high should be driving.
Plan to stay in a safe place, and invite experienced and sober friends to stay with you.
3. Eat and Hydrate
Just as you would before drinking, you need a good meal and water beforehand.
4. Do Your Research
Shop at a legitimate dispensary, and find lab tested edibles with labels that clearly state dosages.
Because it’s still illegal at a federal level, weed edibles and other pot products are not subject to FDA regulations. There are not any standards.
Only buy from companies that use proper packaging and clear labels. These places take the steps to be consistent in dosage and quality and strive to be both safe and honest.
When You Ingest
You made your plans and did your research. Now it’s time to enjoy your edibles in a safe, fun way.
5. Start Low, Go Slow
This motto is straightforward and easy to follow. It’s commonly recommended to start with an edible that has no more than 10mg of THC in it.
Some people advise a dose of 2.5 to 5mg for the first time.
After starting low on the dosage, remember to keep your pace slow. Always wait two hours before taking another dose. Otherwise, you might eat more and then the high will fully kick in.
While nobody has ever died from a cannabis-related ‘overdose,’ you can feel sick and too high. This is uncomfortable and can last for several hours.
6. In Case You Get Too High
Some people panic and run to the emergency room, but this is typically not necessary. There are no toxic levels of THC.
Only seek medical attention if there are other factors, like if the consumer has a heart condition.
The best way to handle eating too much weed — get some rest. Lay down, drink plenty of water, and simply sleep it off.
Making Your Own Weed Edibles
Purchasing quality edibles from a dispensary makes dosing much easier. However, buying weed edibles can be pricey.
Consider making your own. Here’s the step-by-step process:
1. Know Your Strains
It can be overwhelming when you read through all the different kinds of strains. Keep it simple by following this motto:
Indicas to meditate, sativas to stimulate.
If you’re looking to manage fatigue, purchase sativa strains. For managing your pain and anxiety or for relaxation, try indicas.
2. Choose a High-Quality Strain of Weed
Consult local budtenders at your closest dispensary. They can show you what’s best for baking.
3. Bake Your Plant Material
Next, you need to bake your pot. This is also called decarboxylating.
While it sounds complicated, it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is bake your finely ground plant material at about 240 degrees for 25 minutes to an hour.
You will need to bake it longer if you’re using a lot of weed.
This process concentrates the bud, converting the cannabinoids to THC.
4. Make Cannabis Butter
This is a main staple in the most popular weed edibles, like brownies, cookies, and cakes. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 lb. unsalted butter
- 1 – 2 oz. high quality decarboxylated weed
Directions: Put butter and water in a pot and boil on low heat. When the butter melts, add the ground weed, then simmer for a few hours.
Stir throughout the simmer to ensure the mixture doesn’t boil.
5. Get Creative
Now you have weed butter, which you can use and store just like regular butter.
You can also make other weed edibles by making cannabis oils. This is a simple infusion process.
- 1 cup of oil of your choice (coconut, olive, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon sunflower lecithin
- 1 cup of high quality decarboxylated weed
Directions: Add ingredients into a slow cooker. Simmer for eight to 12 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Let the oil cool inside the slow cooker.
Place cheesecloth in a bowl, and pour plant material into the cloth. Tie a string around the cheesecloth, then squeeze the oil out with your hands.
Store the oil in a mason jar or container, then let it cool in the fridge. Use the weed oil as you would use any other oil.
Make the most of your marijuana experience.
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