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The Summit Releaf Blog

Facts and Information On Using Edible Medical Marijuana

September 14, 2020

Chewy Brownie Edible

Overdosing on cannabis food can be alarming. The effects range from mush brain (do not eat cannabis edibles before events where you might meet important people) to near catatonia. Your mind becomes a wooden roller coaster – slow, creaky, with deep twists and plunges. Cannabis food overdose makes you ridiculous in social situations, though in a much kinder way than downing too many vodka tonics. (In fact, Scientific Reports states that cannabis may be as much as 114 times safer than alcohol.) You’ll have a head full of cobwebs the next day, but you won’t have to worry about what you said or did. A night out on edibles and you might have said, “Can I lay down on the couch?” And that will be precisely what you did.

Eating is not smoking. Eating cannabis presents some obvious benefits over smoking – it’s less irritating to the lungs and the effects last longer – and it is an entirely different experience. Whether you have been an experienced cannabis smoker for years or are trying cannabis for the first time at your doctor’s advice, you are a beginner the first time you eat cannabis. All too often, frequent cannabis smokers or vapers think they have the tolerance to handle more cannabis food than they should. Tolerance to smoked cannabis doesn’t translate to cannabis food. The THC delivery process is entirely different.

When cannabis is smoked or vaped, delta-9 THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs within fifteen minutes. When cannabis is eaten, the stomach and intestines break it down with acid and enzymes before sending it through the liver, and that’s where the majority of the physiological breakdown occurs. The liver converts delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly, causing more psychoactive effects and a very different “high” than smokers experience. This process takes much longer to deliver psychoactive effects to the brain, especially when cannabis is infused into rich, dense food like a chocolate bar. 11-hydroxy-THC delivers an overall body high that is quite different than delta THC-9 (scientists are unsure why), with much longer lasting effects.

It is almost impossible to compare eating cannabis to smoking it, but the easy equation is that you must eat much less cannabis than you would smoke to feel the effects. (Hash is up to three times more potent when it’s eaten.) How food is prepared, the type of infusion, the food it’s combined with, and how much you’ve already eaten all affect how long it takes for cannabis to hit your system. Fatty, protein-rich foods intensify the effects, sugar creates a faster high that dissipates more quickly, and alcohol can compound the effects and create paranoia. Combine that with each individual’s metabolism, body size and mass, personal biochemistry, age, and tolerance and you have a complicated set of variables that make it impossible to know how and when the effects of cannabis food will hit each user.

When delivered through food, cannabis can take two hours or more to dial in. If it finally does, and you added a few more nibbles to the equation, the effects triple. Especially if you are new to cannabis food, eat a small amount and don’t have seconds. If nothing happens, you enjoyed delicious food and it’s not the end of the world. Eat a little more next time.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf distributes this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions for an Ohio marijuana card. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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