You've been saving those baked goods with tasty THC for the end of the week. Because boy, it's been a long one!
But have you ever stopped and wondered about how exactly edibles produce their effects? There's a lot more to edibles than you might think.
Below, you'll learn how edibles typically work in your system. And maybe it'll even give you something to ponder the next time you're eating an edible.
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What are cannabis edibles?
Cannabis edibles are any cannabis-infused food products. These can range from delta 9 gummies to baked goodies like brownies or cookies.
Even lozenges and yes, cannabis butter. (No, seriously, cannabutter actually exists and you should check it out because how cool!)
But these types of edibles tend to interact with your body differently from other forms of cannabis. Namely, because they're traveling through your digestive tract.
So how exactly does the body absorb an edible? We're so glad you asked.
How edible cannabis gets absorbed by the body
(For this next part, just imagine you're on the Magic School Bus. And our narration is in the voice of Ms. Frizzle! Just for fun...)
Edibles take quite a journey throughout the body. After they travel down your esophagus, these edibles land in your stomach.
There, edibles get digested by the various acids and enzymes in your digestive system, allowing the edible to break down into its component parts. Namely, CBD and THC.
Once the CBD and THC have been absorbed through the lining of the stomach, they get taken to the liver. And this is where the fun part begins.
In the liver, THC and CBD get transformed into super-versions of themselves. This can make them more potent and can even cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than if you're smoking.
So all in all, edibles that travel through the digestive system may take longer to take effect. But they tend to produce stronger effects than other forms of cannabis.
How long do edibles take to kick in?
Well, that was fun! But getting back to business, let's take a look at some of the factors that affect how long it can take for edibles to take effect.
Type of cannabis edibles you're consuming
Typically, edibles such as brownies, drinks, and gummies will take longer to take effect. And that's because they're having to travel through both the stomach and the liver.
You can expect these types of edibles to take about 45 to 60 minutes to take effect. But for some, this period of time may be even longer. (More on that later.)
On the other hand, edibles such as mint strips, lollipops, and lozenges don't take as long to produce mild effects. Because they have a rather different journey from The Magic School Bus adventure we went on.
Instead, these types of edibles are absorbed sublingually under the tongue. With these types of edibles, you can expect effects to occur within a couple of minutes even.
And that's because you're absorbing both THC and CBD straight into your bloodstream. Didn't think there was such a spectrum of cannabis edibles, did you?
How much THC and CBD you consume
If you have an edible with high THC levels, you can expect your edible to take effect more quickly. And last longer in your system.
But when it comes to taking edibles, you'll always want to start small. You can always take more edibles if you want to increase the effects.
But you can't undo how many edibles you take. So remember to pace yourself and start with a conservative helping.
Your tolerance level
Some people use edibles on a daily basis. And if that's the case, then their tolerance level will be significantly higher than someone who uses edibles once a month.
This will certainly affect the amount of cannabis you decide to take. Something as small as 5mg may feel quite mild to someone who's used to taking edibles on a regular basis.
Then again, if you're new to edibles, 5mg may be the max you can handle for the time being. That's why it's always a good idea to start small and see how you reacts to the THC in your system.
Whether you're taking it on an empty stomach
This one has a little bit of a caveat to it. Yes, taking an edible without any other nutrients may yield you the effects of edibles much faster.
But when it comes to the bioavailability of CBD and THC, experts say to take your edible during or after a meal. This way, all of the other nutrients you've ingested can mingle with the cannabinoids in your system.
And they may help to bolster the effects of both in a more prominent way. Then again, you may just want fast effects with little bioavailability.
Either way, it's important to know how you will react to taking an edible without other nutrients in your body too. So if you plan to do that, start with a small amount.
And to be safe, follow it with a nutritious meal. This will help your system acclimate to the new compounds in your body. And you'll increase their bioavailability in the process.
The bottom line
Cannabis edibles are a fun way to enjoy both CBD and THC. Not only do their effects last longer, but they can become stronger as they get metabolized in the liver.
Additionally, they're a much better alternative to smoking or vaping. Even though the wait time is significantly longer than an instantaneous effect.
But all in all, we hope you've learned just a little bit more about how edibles digest through your system. It really is like a Magic School Bus adventure if you think about it.
And with this new knowledge, we hope your cannabis experience is made all the more insightful. So go on and enjoy that edible - and know what all it's doing on the inside too!
Keep Reading: How Much THC Is In CBD Oil?
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