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Cannabis-Infused Edibles 101: What to Know About Dosing, Potency, and Labeling

Many of us new to cannabis-infused foods (also known as “edibles”) fall victim to the same mistake: we eat too much. Edibles are a great choice when consumed responsibly; they’re potent and body-focused, meaning they’re perfect for people who suffer from pain, nausea, or lack of appetite.

Unfortunately, they can easily lead to disaster if you’re not careful. You eat a whole brownie and feel normal for an hour, then all of a sudden you startle at a police siren and think everyone in the room is secretly laughing at you. In order to better understand what to expect from cannabis-infused foods, we reached out to Lindsay from Dixie Elixirs. Dixie is a Denver-based infused beverage and edible company that has become one of Colorado’s premier makers of edible products since they began in 2009. They were gracious enough to help weigh in on some handy tips on how to consume edibles responsibly.

How Long Do Cannabis Edibles Take to Kick In?

When you smoke or vaporize cannabis, you feel the effects of the herb almost instantly. You’re also able to tell how much cannabis you have consumed and can easily decide when you’ve had too much. When you eat (or drink) activated cannabis, these signals go away. As Lindsay explains, “Different delivery systems are absorbed into the body at different rates. Dixie Med-a-Mints, for example, are absorbed in the mouth and get into the blood much quicker than edibles you digest.”

Después de ingerir un comestible, tu cuerpo necesita digerir y metabolizar el alimento antes de que puedas sentir los efectos. "Una trufa , por ejemplo, debe ser procesada por el hígado antes de que pueda afectar al consumidor", afirma Lindsay. "Esto significa que la absorción se produce de una forma más lenta y se filtra una mayor cantidad de THC a tu sistema".

El plazo de tiempo que se requiere para que haga efecto depende también de tu metabolismo. Las personas con metabolismos más rápidos pueden empezar a sentir la medicación en tan solo una hora, mientras que los metabolismos más lentos pueden no sentir nada durante dos horas o más.

How Long Does the Effects of an Edible Last?

La metabolización del cannabis hace que los efectos sean mucho más potentes. Los comestibles se elaboran habitualmente con cannabis de alta concentración, ya sea en la propia forma de concentrado (aceite de hachís), mantequilla con cannabis o aceite con cannabis. Esto significa que es increíblemente fácil pasarse con la dosis. Entre el tiempo que le lleva al cannabis producir sus efectos y los elevados niveles de concentración del THC en muchos comestibles, determinar la dosis correcta puede resultar todo un desafío.

Lindsay señala "En la mayoría de sitios, 10 mg se considera una dosis. Es como una cerveza, una cantidad así puede afectar mucho a algunas personas y a otras nada de nada. Tómate tu tiempo para averiguar qué es lo adecuado para ti".

While no one has ever reportedly died from cannabis overconsumption, ingesting too much cannabis can mean that what was once a pleasant evening can turn into a pretty bad time. Eating the entire cannabis-infused cookie may seem like a good idea, but many times a single product may actually be considered two or more doses. When it comes to edibles, it’s best to taste and wait for a while before gorging yourself on potent and delicious treats.

Another important factor is whether you consumed the edible on an empty stomach or after you’ve already eaten. An empty stomach will feel the effects much more quickly, while a full stomach won’t hit you as hard. In order to avoid feeling uncomfortable when eating an infused product, you may want to take Lindsay’s advice: “Eat a meal, and then try an edible. Not vice versa. Food doesn’t have the same effect for edibles as it does for alcohol. If you feel like you have taken too much, eating a meal can actually push more into your system rather than dilute what’s already there.”

What Should You Look for on Edible Labels?

Cannabis-infused edible labels

The cannabis industry is in its infancy. Due to the plant’s federal illegality, cannabis products are not subjected to FDA regulations, so a lack of standard rules could result in a lack of consistency in dosage from one product to another. This can make finding the correct dose for you even more difficult.

“At Dixie,” Lindsay said, “we want our customers to know what they will get from us each and every time so that they can have a predicative experience. Many edibles’ potency varies from unit to unit. We run excessive lab tests to ensure the consistency and quality of our products.”

En la actualidad, encontrar marcas que ofrezcan resultados uniformes cada vez puede resultar muy complicado. Recuerda leer la etiqueta para determinar el tamaño de la porción de la dosis que mejor te funciona. Encontrar productos en los que aparezcan indicaciones claras en el envase puede ser también difícil, especialmente en regiones donde la industria acaba de empezar.

When trying to find the best edible for you, look for products that have a clear label and are properly packaged. Support companies that have taken the initiative to create clearly labeled, quality packaging for their products, as they’re taking extra steps to ensure their products are consistent, safe, and honest.

Photo credits in order: etringita; Βethan; mark sebastian via photopin cc