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About Dosing & Consumption of Cannabis Edibles & Beverages

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10/03/2022 Cannabis edibles and drinks offer a tasty, health-conscious alternative to cannabis flowers. However, if you're new to using them, you need to learn a few things about consumption and dosing-infused products before getting started.

Cannabis edibles and drinks offer a tasty, health-conscious alternative to cannabis flowers. However, if you're new to using them, you need to learn a few things about consumption and dosing-infused products before getting started.


What's the best way to figure out how much to take? When it comes to edibles and beverages, determining how much to take can be tricky. Even expert marijuana users can overdo it and become overwhelmed by the drug's effects. Cannabis Edibles are classified as 'ingestible extracts,' which include cookies, brownies, candies, gummies, and mints. Today's cannabis user has a wide range of alternatives when selecting an infuse beverage, depending on their state's cannabis legislation. Sparkling waters, flavored seltzers, juice-based drinks, mocktails, tonics, and kombuchas are just a handful of the cannabis-infused beverages available today. Manufacturers are already producing THC-laced protein powders, chocolate bars, and granola pieces, making it easy to consume edibles while staying true to a healthy diet.

THC, CBD, and other cannabis chemicals work through interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system, which comprises many types of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body and brain, supports a wide range of human processes such as appetite, mood, memory, pain perception, and body temperature regulation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when these systems are overloaded, you can feel confused, agitated, dizzy, and sick after eating a few pots of brownies. You may also undergo a rapid heart rate and, at large doses, aural or visual hallucinations.

Cannabis edibles and beverages differ in terms of dosage. How? 

Consumers new to infused beverages may question if they're as potent as edibles. The answer to that is it depends on how the body metabolizes cannabinoids. Most beverages on the market now include anywhere from 15 to 30 milligrams of CBD, which is non-psychoactive. However, some CBD-experienced consumers prefer higher-dosed beverages ranging from 30 to 50 mg. In addition, THC levels in most drinks can range from as little as 2 mg to 100 mg. 

THC, the primary mind-altering chemical present in the cannabis plant, is the active element in most cannabis edibles. Most edibles contain colorless and odorless refined THC (known as distillate). However, some artisanal edible makers use whole-plant cannabis extract in their products, which means they may also contain other plant compounds like CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids. 

The duration of the effect of an edible, the onset time, is determined by several factors, including the dosage and potency. The effects from chewed and swallowed products may persist longer than the high from consuming orally. Other factors such as metabolism, weight, and tolerance can affect the duration. The onset time for Cannabis edibles will always be faster after a meal than on an empty stomach." For most users, the initial start, including flushing or tingling, will occur between 40 and 90 minutes after consumption. However, those same individuals, on an empty stomach and with the same dose, may not experience early onset until 60 to 180 minutes." While beverages have a much faster onset of 10-15 minutes due to their rapid absorption into the bloodstream, longer onset times might be off-putting to new customers, who may overconsume while waiting for effects. "A critical aspect is that the same customer is likely to have a very different experience with edibles depending on how recently they consumed a meal," says Chris Bunka, CEO of Lexaria Bioscience Corp.

Cannabis-Infused cocktail

Image Source: Unsplash, Cannabis-Infused cocktail 

If you've never tried edibles or cannabis drinks before, here's what you can expect from a specific dosage.

Specific dosage

Cannabis gummies

Image Source: iStock, Cannabis gummies 

Here’s what you should know before consuming Cannabis edibles and beverages: 

  • When consuming edibles for the first time, make sure to start with a small dose, and then you can increase the dosage to an amount that produces the desired effect.

  • Cannabis-infused products have the potential to interact with other medications you may be taking. In this situation, seek the advice of a physician or pharmacist. There are some interactions in which cannabis can either raise or decrease the strength of other medications that patients are taking.

  • Relaxing for a few minutes after drinking half of a Cannabis-infused beverage and observing the effects, you can determine whether completing the beverage is the best option or keeping the remaining for later. Slowing down will allow you to see how your body reacts to the cannabis and how long it takes to feel the effects.

  • Eating more before the effects have had a chance to set in, it's critical to note that the digestive system needs time to absorb everything you've consumed thoroughly, especially if you're consuming infused cannabis on an empty or full stomach.

  • Therefore, it's critical to give your edible or beverage time to work before consuming more. Reaching for another consumable too quickly is a novice mistake that frequently results in overly intense effects after everything has begun to digest. Instead, wait for the first edible to take effect before taking another one, even if it takes a couple of hours.

  • Customers should also consider the serving size of both edibles and beverages. A little gummy, for example, may contain 20 mg of THC, whereas the serving size is half of the candy. Who consumes half of a gummy? The bottom line is that you should always read the label. Some beverages have a dosage ruler on the box to help consumers determine how many milligrams are in one serving. The best rule of thumb is to take it carefully and observe how you feel afterward when consuming for the first time.

  • Dr. Tishler, President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, recommends using a new cannabis edible product in the evening the first time you try it. That way, if you do need to sleep, it won't be a problem, and you may alter the dose appropriately the following time to make it easier to stay up. "If you overshoot, you can go to sleep and not waste your entire day," he says.

People with the following medical conditions should generally avoid consuming marijuana edibles: schizophrenia, high blood pressure, a history of heart attacks, substance misuse, or anxiety. In addition, people should avoid consuming marijuana edibles or any cannabis product due to medical problems. 

Consult a physician before consuming.

Article By Aakriti Rawat, Beverage Trade Network