Most people are aware of the basic recommendation to only eat a small portion of an edible, wait 30 to 45 minutes, and then eat more if the person feels they are ok. The reason for this is the way the body processes ingested marijuana edible versus a vaporized or smoked flower. When cannabis is smoked or vaporized the cannabinoids rapidly passes from the lungs into the blood stream. While edibles pass through the gastrointestinal tract with some absorption by the intestines first. Then cannabinoids are processed by the liver, which then passes on the processed cannabinoids into the blood stream. These processed cannabinoids can often be more potent than the original or vaporized versions in flower.
Because edibles are processed through those key organs, it makes sense for patients with certain conditions to prefer the medicinal value of marijuana edibles. Conditions like insomnia, Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, or even those looking for the anti-cancerous effects directly on the liver or digestive tract. There are other edibles like candies and tincture products that are consumed and absorbed through the mouth. These are processed faster, but also can be preferred by migraine or headache sufferers, or those suffering from nausea.
Other patients prefer edibles because the effects can last much longer than vaporizing or smoking. When a patient knows they may not have access to their medicinal flower or need to discreetly transport or take their medical marijuana, marijuana edibles are good alternative. Or insomnia sufferers may prefer the long-lasting effects of the edibles for a good night sleep. Something to note, is that for certain patients who either take medicines that hinder the processing done by the liver, like certain anti-seizure medicines, or those who have liver damage, often find the effects of ingested edibles minimal.
Because of the aforementioned additional potency of the cannabinoids, it makes sense that the medicine is ingested with food. Just like certain pharmaceuticals, ingesting marijuana on an empty stomach can cause unwanted side effects. Including the cannabis in an edible can help a bit to ensure there is other food ingested simultaneously, although it’s still recommended not to ingest edibles on an empty stomach. Of course, it’s also known that many patients miss their prescribed pills because the pill taking process isn’t enjoyable. Making enjoyable and tasty edibles is a great solution that works well for cannabis patients.
Despite some misconceptions, medical marijuana edibles still do have plenty of medicinal value, if not more than smoking or vaporizing for some patients. If you’ve been hesitant about cannabis edibles, but are interested in some of the benefits, be sure to talk with the dispensary staff about your needs and as always, only eat a small portion and wait 45 minutes!