Eating cannabis is an enduringly popular way of enjoying the plant’s benefits and for good reason. Edibles are discreet—your favorite cannabis cookies probably look a lot like the plain cookies your coworker brings to work every day.
That’s only one of the many benefits that eating cannabis provides. Here are five more.
There are many different types of edibles. In California, gummies remain the most popular option. In 2019:
- 49% of people buying edibles chose gummies
- 24% bought chocolates
- 6% bought caramels and chews
- 5% bought beverages
- These statistics only count products bought on the commercial market. You get even more options when you make edibles at home.
2. DIY Options
There are countless recipes out there for cannabis edibles. Some people make their edibles completely from scratch, starting with dried flower or by adding a lab-tested cannabis tincture to your baked goods and favorite drinks.
If you go this route, remember to bake your flower first, starting with 20 minutes at 225 F and then at 240 F for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on whether you want a THC-heavy or CBD-heavy experience. Baking activates the THC in the plant so you’ll feel the edible’s effects. Your next step is to grind the flower, at which point it’s ready to become part of an infusion.
Cannabutter is possibly the most popular infusion type. All you have to do is mix your ground cannabis into the butter and let it simmer. If you don’t want to use butter, canna-oil is a good option. You can even infuse your dried and ground flower into milk or bacon.
Don’t want to go through the whole process of making cannabutter or canna-oil? If you live in a state like California where cannabis is legal, you can buy these ingredients commercially. You still have the same wide variety of options—cookies, brownies, lattes, pancakes…the list goes on and on.
3. Lasting Effects
When you smoke or vape cannabis, it hits you quickly because it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the lungs. When you ingest it, though, the active chemicals have to pass through the stomach and into the liver.
This slower burn also means that the effects last longer. A high from inhaled cannabis lasts for 10 to 30 minutes, but a high from edibles can last up to six hours. Peak effects usually happen after three hours and lingering effects can last as long as 24 hours.
4. Potential for a Stronger High
The liver processes THC into another metabolite known as 11-hydroxy-THC, which has a smaller chemical structure. Studies suggest that 11-hydroxy-THC may cross the blood-brain barrier more readily than pure THC.
Because a higher percentage of the psychoactive chemical enters your brain, you get more of an effect from the same amount of cannabis. For many people, this translates to a stronger high.
5. Smoke-Free Dosing
If you enjoy the effects of cannabis but don’t want to smoke, edibles provide you with a safe and flexible alternative. You don’t have to bring smoke into your lungs, and you don’t have to worry about exposing the people around you to secondhand smoke.
Also, if you make your edibles at home, you can control exactly what goes into them. You can adjust the concentration and customize the recipe to suit your tastes.
Benefits of Eating Cannabis
There’s no one right way of using cannabis, and no method will be best for everyone. Eating cannabis has many pluses in its favor, but you’re always free to experiment and find out what works for you.