4 Tips to Safely Try Edibles
Edible etiquette for first-time users.
Edibles continue to gain in popularity. A recent study reported a 20 percent growth in edible sales in 2021 over sales in 2020, rising from $1.15 billion to $1.38 billion. To put this in context, the cannabis market as a whole grew 18.4 percent.
This is great news for cannabis entrepreneurs who specialize in edibles, as well as the dispensaries that sell them.
But education about edibles is still lacking. Many consumers may not realize that using edibles requires a different approach than smoking. For this reason, edibles entrepreneurs would do well to pass along tips on their product's use, especially for those new to cannabis or who have always smoked flower in the past.
1. Start low
When you smoke cannabis, THC enters your system through the lungs before making its way to the bloodstream. With edibles, THC moves through the digestive system, absorbed into the bloodstream after entering the stomach. Absorption of cannabis through the digestive system takes longer than through the respiratory system (which is why it can take longer to feel the euphoric effects of THC), but once the high kick in, it can last much longer. For this reason, it's best to start with a low dose and wait before raising the amount you eat.
2. Go slow
People who smoke cannabis feel the effects within minutes, but it might take as two hours to feel the effects of edibles. One of the biggest mistakes people make with edibles is being impatient. They don't feel any effects after 30 minutes, so eat more. But too much THC can lead to a list of bad experiences, especially for the inexperienced cannabis consumer, including an increased heart rate, anxiety, and nausea.
3. Read the label
States require that companies put the THC amount on the packaging for edibles. For newcomers, it's best to start with a low dose of THC (2 to 5 mg), no matter how experienced they are with smoking cannabis.
4. Don't mix with alcohol
It's one thing to drink a beer after smoking a joint. It's another thing to eat a whole cannabis brownie after you're already buzzed from alcohol. That combination can lead to the dreaded "spins" - the same feeling someone gets after drinking too much.
5. Store edibles safely
Put edibles either out of reach of small children or stored in a safe place. We can't expect kids to read the warnings on packaging, so it's up to us adults to take responsibility. Edibles stay fresh the longest when stored in a cool, dry location.
6. Never use edibles as a prank
For some reason, people still find it funny when people eat food they did not know was infused with cannabis. This happened recently at a wedding in Florida. Some guests were not amused and filed criminal charges against the people who spiked the food.
The edibles market will continue to grow in the coming years. Companies that help people understand the best practices for using them will win the trust and loyalty of cannabis consumers.