Edibles

An ‘edible’ is the common term used to describe consumable food products that contain marijuana or cannabis. Though the high felt from edibles is similar to smoking cannabis, how the drug affects the body is different.

What are edibles?

Edibles are food or drink products that have been combined with the psychoactive component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). the THC is extracted from the plant in the form of an oil which is then mixed with butter or other ingredients in order for it to be easily combined with food or drinks. 

These food and drink products are ingested orally and provide similar effects to smoking weed, though often over a long period of time. 

As the amount of THC in edibles can vary depending on where it was made and the volume of oil infused, different edibles can cause more intense reactions than others. Additionally, some edibles manufactured by drug dealers may be laced with other, more harmful, substances such as fentanyl or meth.

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What types of edibles are there?

Traditionally, edibles were mainly backed confectionaries such as brownies or muffins as they could be easily combined and made with THC oil.

In recent years, edibles have gained increased popularity across the United States and Europe and are now available in a wide range of food and beverage products.

Some of the most popular common forms of edible include[1]:

  • Confectionaries (brownies, cakes, muffins, cookies)
  • Hard candies (such as Moon’s Cinnamon Mints)
  • Gummies (Everest’s Delta 8)
  • Chocolate (Kiva’s Mint Chocolate Bar)
  • Popcorn (Pop-up Potcorn)
  • Beverages (Keef’s Orange Kush Soda)
  • Tea (Kikoko’s Positivi-Tea)
  • Coffee (HOPE’s Cannabrew Cold Brew Coffee)

While these are some of the most popular commercial forms of edibles, chefs and home cooks are constantly coming up with new concoctions and recipes that use THC as a primary ingredient. In states where marijuana is legal, there are restaurants where the entire menu is based around cannabis and edibles, such as Popcultivate in LA, The Heart of Chicago Bakery in Chicago, and Big Bad Wolf, which is a fine-dining pop-up hosted around San Francisco.

In short yes, depending on which state you are in.[2] As with marijuana and other THC products in their pure form, certain states in the US have decriminalised weed and some have it available legally as a form of medication. 

In these states (such as Colorado or California), consuming and purchasing edibles is completely legal, though some states have different laws regarding edibles not purchased from dedicated vendors.

In the UK and parts of Europe, purchasing and consuming edibles isn’t strictly legal, though many countries have more relaxed laws around them and harsh fines and prison sentences are rare.

Read here to learn more about legal marijuana.

How much do edibles cost?

The cost of edibles varies depending on the type of product, where it was made, and the strength of THC in it. 

On average across the USA, the price per milligram of THC is 20 cents, meaning candies can start at $5 and high-end edibles with higher THC content (and often better ingredients) can cost anywhere from $50 to $100.

Read here to find out more about the cost of marijuana.

What are the effects of taking edibles?

The effects of taking edibles can vary from person to person depending on their body height and weight, their previous experience with THC, gender, and age. It can also vary depending on the type of edible consumed and its potency. 

Common side effects of marijuana edibles include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Relaxation

  • Sedation

  • Hallucinations

  • Loss of coordination

  • Increased appetite (“munchies”)

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Dry mouth

There are also a range of negative side effects reported from people who have taken edibles, such as:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Psychotic episodes

  • Paranoia

  • Anxiety

  • Respiratory depression or trouble breathing

  • Heart problems

  • Impaired cognitive ability (thinking, memory, etc.)

  • Impaired judgment

  • Increased heart rate

How long do edibles last?

The effects of edibles often come on within 1 hour of ingesting and will last between 2 and 12 hours but can have residual effects for up to 24hrs.[3] As well as the user's physical attributes, the strain of THC used in the edible can greatly affect how long its effects will last and how powerful they will be. 

If the effects of edibles last for longer than 12 hours or if the user starts to feel side effects uncommon for THC, there is a chance the edible they have consumed may be laced with another substance. If you have consumed edibles and start to experience severe side effects such as respiratory depression then contact the emergency services.

Read here to learn how long edibles stay in your system.

Are edibles addictive?

As with regular cannabis and other THC containing substances (such as vapes), the effects of edibles on the brain's pleasure and reward centre can lead to tolerance and dependence if consumed in high doses or for long periods of time. However, addiction to edibles is not widely reported and those who suffer from a marijuana use disorder will often take the substance in various ways.

Finding help for weed addiction

While addiction to cannabis may not have as many negative consequences on a person's life as other substances, it can still debilitating and may lead to serious health complications. 

Marijuana addiction, even from edibles, can lead to negative impacts on relationships, work-life, finances, and mental health and should be taken seriously even by those who feel they have a grip on their weed use. 

Though excessive edible use may not seem harmful, you could be rewiring your brain to become dependent on the substance, which may lead to addiction. If you are worried about yourself or someone you know taking too many edibles and would like to seek help, then speak to an addiction specialist today. 

There are many options for marijuana addiction treatment including inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, detox, and therapy. Visit our rehab directory today to find treatment near you today.