A Beginner’s Guide to Consuming Cannabis Edibles and Concentrates

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When it comes to cannabis, there is no “one size fits all” approach to product and use.  Everything starts with your personal physical and emotional constitution.

That’s good, and it’s bad. It’s good because cannabis comes in so many varieties. And, it’s bad because, if you don’t know what you are doing, you may be very disappointed or seriously sickened.

Much of it comes down to dosage.

If you are new to pot, you should take it easy and plan to ease your way in. A worse thing you can do is pretend that you have been a pro pothead for years, just to show the gang. So, here’s an approach to dosing and consumption.

If you’re rolling yours, a fatty will hold about one full gram. That’s enough to put a hit on a veteran smoker. You’d be smarter to start with a quarter gram joint before you move through a half gram until you are ready for the big one.

It’s an opportunity to figure out your tolerance, and because there are no absolute rules, you will eventually discover the dosage you want to enjoy.

Now, a single piece of edible cannabis chocolate might hold 20 grams. So, consuming a whole piece at one time, could be equivalent to dosing with half a dozen spliffs. Because the chocolate tastes so good, users are tempted to eat the whole thing — and overdosing badly.

And, dapping with concentrate threatens more trouble unless you keep your dab very small. It is so potent, you want to take it very slow at the start. Typically, you never want to melt a one-gram piece when you should be using about the size of a single piece of rice.

If you can get your dosage under control, it’s worth looking at what else you need to know.

Beginner’s guide to consuming cannabis edibles.

Slow impact.

Edibles are digested not inhaled. The power takes much longer to take effect because it goes through your metabolic system. Cannabis drinks, candies, bake goods, and chewable — they all process differently. And, depending on your body makeup and metabolic rate, the effects will hit you at different times.

Smoking marijuana has an immediate effect. The cannabinoids reach the brain within ten seconds. But, edible effects take much longer. It may take forty minutes to two hours to kick in. But, you must resist consuming more product to make the effect happen sooner because you are overdosing.

Lasting impact.

One advantage to edibles is the effect lasts much longer than smoked weed. Edibles include concentrated cannabis oils or infused butters. So, eating edibles on a full stomach will take longer to take effect.

But, when they do, the high will last much longer than smoking, even as much as a full day. Wikileaf notes, “inhaled cannabis does not alter the delta-9-THC, but when cannabis is digested, the cannabinoid breaks down into 11-hydroxy-THC, a more psychedelic version of the chemical that passes the blood-brain barrier quicker than delta-9-THC does.”

Read the label.

When consumables are so potent and dosage so critical, you must check the label. In most markets, there is not standardization in label content or readability. But, skipping the label can leave you crippled by paranoia.

You must study the detail to determine the strains, potency, and dosage that works for you. The label should confirm the manufacturing process and quality control. Only with a clear label can you determine the THC:CBD content and ratio.

Beginner’s guide to consuming cannabis concentrates

High potency.

Making cannabis concentrates takes professionals. It is difficult and possibly dangerous. They take a lot of forms: wax, kief, powders, resin, hash, and so on. But, “concentrates” usually refers to wax and shatter.

This reduction produces a potent product. You can expect as much as 70% to 90% THC, and you must know how to handle that dose. That potency can induce paranoia, delirium, panic, hallucinations, and lung infections. Consumers are at extra risk if they already suffer from schizophrenia, psychosis, or bipolar disorder.

Efficient impact.

A much smaller amount of concentrate will get you much higher for a longer period than smoking weed. That makes it quite cost-effective.

Adam Drury, writing for GreenRushDaily.com, says, “Due to the concentrated nature of dabs, you’re simply taking in more THC than you could smoking flower or even eating edibles. And that THC sticks around in your system longer, making sure you absorb as much as possible.”

Depending on the strain, your metabolism, and the dosage, you can stretch the effect for days, but you are still advised to start very slowly.

Expect side-effects.

You’ll definitely have side-effects following treating with concentrate. You may cough heavily and sweat excessively. So, you want to have water handy to soothe your throat and re-hydrate your system.

When you shop, you need a label to explain contents and dosage. For instance, alcohol-based extracts are meant for oral consumption not dapping. You really must trust your budtender to walk you through what you need and what you don’t know.

Your satisfaction

Edibles are popular, especially with medical patients. Because the medical marijuana market is expanding, manufacturers are stepping up to the market with new and innovative products. But, until states establish acceptable and gold standards for manufacturing, quality control, ingredients, and dosage.

Concentrates are another matter. Very high in potency, their use is always high risk for novice and veteran users. Customers are called to make decisions on the type of concentrate, manner of consumption, and strength of dosage. The growing hunger for new and stronger experiences, concentrates are selling well. But, concentrates are not the way to start using cannabis.

It would seem the cannabis industry would be smart to collaborate on product quality and presentation before state’s feel pressed to legislate controls. For example, if consumers start to suffer bad effects from edibles or concentrates, some accountability will be devised.