Cannabis can be ingested in many forms. Eating cannabis usually leads to a longer, stronger, and much more physical effect than smoking. Because ingestion provides a longer, slower release of cannabinoids, it may be a better choice for chronic conditions requiring maximum dosage, as well as for sleeping. It can be cooked directly into edibles with cannabis in herbal or resin form as an ingredient, or made into butter or oil that is used to prepare foods, or packaged into capsules.
Although eating is a good way of absorbing marijuana into the bloodstream, higher amounts must be used in a preparation in order to make the product effective – up to three times as much cannabis is required when taken orally compared to smoking. Cannabis must be absorbed through the intestinal tract into the bloodstream, also requiring the butter, oil or food to be digested as well. Sometimes the high-sugar content of many edibles presents a problem for users who have dietary restrictions.
It is crucial that inexperienced users start with a very small edible dose, 2-5mg, because some users react much more strongly than others due to their unique metabolism. “Overdosing” on edibles is common problem that can be avoided with proper education. Edibles generally do not take any effect for at least 30 minutes in not up to an hour after being ingested, something some users who only have experience using flower might not know.
- no smoke
- long-acting: 8 hours
- lasts through the night
- food as medicine
- foods can be stored frozen for months
- can dose as other oral medicines, 3x/day
- Widely available in many forms and concentrations
- slow onset up to 1 hour
- may be too long-lasting, can’t turn it off
- more product required
- may cause stomach irritation
- dosing is difficult due to variability of digestion and product
- Common issue of “overdosing”