A Beginners Guide to Cannabis Edibles: How to Choose the Right Cannabis Edibles for Your Needs?

Updated: 08/18/2023

Smoking isn’t the only way to consume cannabis. As the legalization of cannabis has grown across the United States, more products and variations have become available to enjoy, including a vast range of edible cannabis options.

Offering a refreshing and enjoyable way for consuming cannabis, cannabis-infused food, and drinks are available in a number of forms and flavors. From gummy-inspired cannabis edible options to liquid edibles to drink on the go, understanding the different types of edibles can help you improve your cannabis experience. To better understand the best edibles for beginners, we are sharing a guide to edibles to help you unlock the world of edible cannabis for your recreational cannabis use. Let’s dive right in!

What Are Cannabis Edibles?

To kick off the beginner’s guide to cannabis edibles, let’s first explain – what are cannabis edibles anyway?

Edibles are cannabis-infused foods or drinks which typically contain “activated” cannabis. When we say “activated,” we mean that the cannabis plant’s material or oil has been heated or chemically transformed, allowing for a psychoactive substance to easily activate in the body.

And this is no new feat. Edible cannabis products have been around for thousands of years, dating back to early Eastern Europe when candies made from the cannabis plant were utilized by women as medicine. In addition, in 2000 BC in India, “bhang” was prevalent – serving as an edible preparation of psychoactive cannabis.

While edible cannabis products have been available for centuries, the assortment of cannabis-infused products has greatly expanded, with a whole host of edibles for beginners and cannabis connoisseurs available on the market today.

Exploring Different Types of Cannabis Edibles

To better understand the cannabis edible options available today, here is a beginner’s guide to edibles available commonly at dispensaries today, and more about their perks.

Cannabis Gummies & Chews

Cannabis Gummies & Chews

First on the list of edible food products are cannabis gummies and chews. These types of edibles typically come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making them incredibly popular as they can mimic your favorite sweet treat, with a cannabis twist. Keep in mind that while these edible products may taste like candy, they do have a psychoactive compound, and following the proper dosage is essential.

Baked Goods & Cannabis Brownies

Baked Goods & Cannabis Brownies

Cannabis brownies are one of the most popular baked edibles available today and are available at local dispensaries or can be homemade edibles. The baked edible industry has expanded further, including other baked goods beyond the classic brownie, expanding to options like cookies, pancakes, and muffins.

Cannabis Beverages & Drink Mixes

Cannabis Beverages & Drink Mixes

Yes, you can even drink your cannabis. Cannabis beverages and drink mixes come in a wide range of options, including teas and juices. You can even make your own drinks, using drink mixes that include cannabinoids like THC to help you create an at-home concoction.

Cannabis Mints & Hard Candies

Mints and hard candy cannabis products are made with cannabinoids and terpenes and are often infused with a THC distillate to enjoy the effects of the substance. Due to the distillate, you can still enjoy a sweet candy flavor, without the taste of cannabis. Of the forms of cannabis, mints and hard candy actually absorb the cannabis effects through the cheek wall, or under the tongue for faster effects.

THC-Infused Cooking & Baking Oils

THC-Infused Cooking & Baking Oils

If you want to make your own cannabis product at home, there are additional products that can help you achieve the desired effects while cooking your favorite treat. Today, there are options like cannabutter or taco seasoning, as well as cooking oil, to help you infuse your meals with the active compounds in cannabis.

The Benefits of Cannabis Edibles

The Benefits of Cannabis Edibles

As part of a beginner’s guide to edibles and how to choose edibles for your enjoyment, let’s break down the numerous benefits of opting for edibles over other forms of cannabis.

As cannabis legalization continues to gain popularity, the edible experience continues to improve and expand, offering more edibles in various formats for your enjoyment. From baked goods to coconut oil, there’s no limit to the many edibles available today.

When taking edibles, the benefits include:

  1. The Healthier Alternative: Unlike inhaling smoke when smoking cannabis, edibles will not cause harm to the lungs, avoiding that unwanted smoking effect. This is particularly beneficial for patients with conditions like asthma and those concerned with avoiding the harmful effects of smoking.
  2. Discreet Consumption: Compared to smoking and vaping, edibles work with little disturbance, and offer a quick and convenient way to get the effects of cannabis. While smoking involves visible smoke and other accessories, like lighters and tools, all you need for edibles to work is the edible itself.
  3. Easier to Administrate: We’ve all heard the horror stories of homemade recipes infused with too many milligrams of THC. Thankfully, edibles today are carefully formulated, and you can trust in both the quality and the number of milligrams of THC for a more controlled experience.
  4. Precise Dosing: As mentioned before, edibles sold at a dispensary will offer precise dosing, allowing you to better manage how many edibles to take and the proper beginner edibles dose as you explore this cannabis category.
  5. Exceptional Variety: There’s no limit to the flavors and strains of edibles. From chocolate bars and brownies to CBD-only edibles, you can explore a wide range of edibles for your cannabis consumption.
  6. Help Manage Pain & Nausea: Consuming edibles has been shown to assist with nausea and pain. In addition, they have been said to help with symptoms like arthritis, nerve pain, and chronic pain.
  7. Improve Appetite: Consuming edibles is also said to help those dealing with a loss of appetite or weight loss.

How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Take Effect?

How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Take Effect?

When you smoke cannabis, the psychoactive and medicinal effects usually occur within 15 minutes, however, edibles tend to take much longer, working their way through the digestive system before psychoactive effects occur.

Generally speaking, edibles work within 30 minutes to two hours. This length of time varies from person to person and can make getting the proper dose of THC edibles a challenge. For some, when they don’t feel effects within 30 minutes, they may take another edible dosage, which can end up meaning too many edibles in the system and major effects upon the onset. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you wait at least two full hours after first trying an edible to increase your dosage in order to avoid taking too much cannabis at once.

How Long Do The Effects Of Cannabis Edibles Last?

Not only do edibles take longer to take effect, but they last longer, too.

Typically, depending on how many milligrams you take, edibles can last up to six hours when properly dosed. If you take a large amount, however, residual effects may still be felt for 24 hours. That being said, the experience typically peaks within the first four hours of consumption.

The day after taking a high dose of edibles, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms of lethargy, headache, or fatigue. While these effects are typically mild, a high dose of cannabis is the closest you will get to a cannabis-induced hangover.

Why Don’t I Feel Cannabis Edible Effects?

In some scenarios, you may not feel the effects of an edible within the two-hour period. If this is the case, it may be due to a phenomenon known as “first-pass metabolism.”

For those taking an edible for the first time, liver enzymes will clean out unwanted compounds like THC, clearing it from the body without allowing it to take effect. This can be true not only for cannabis, but other common substances like pharmaceutical medications.

To help minimize this effect, avoid eating edibles on an empty stomach, instead eating a small meal. It’s best recommended to eat something fatty, like peanut butter, cheese, or avocado, to help your body better metabolize the THC.

To avoid unwanted side effects, wait a few hours before attempting to take a larger dose.

Beginner Edible Dose: How Much Edibles to Eat for the First Time?

When it comes to edibles for beginners, one of the biggest questions is how much edibles to eat for first time users, and we’ve got the answer.

Dosing edibles does require a bit of trial and error, but with this in mind, it’s best to start with a lower dose to see how it affects you. Typically, for those who have never tried edibles, it’s recommended to start at around 2.5 to 5mg of THC.

The 10 to 15 mg range is a good starting point for those who have used cannabis before. Doses over 20mg are considered to have intense effects, which can even lead to severe paranoia or slurred speech. With this in mind, always take note of the dosage and start slowly when first introducing the substance.

Can You Overdose on Cannabis Edibles?

Can You Overdose on Cannabis Edibles?

It is not possible to overdose on cannabis plants, even when ingesting them. That being said, it is possible to have an uncomfortable experience with edibles if you take too much.

While an “overdose” on edibles will not cause harm, it can cause a few hours of discomfort. The negative side effects include:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Skewed sense of time
  • Slowed movement
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth

If you do begin to feel these symptoms when taking edibles, there are a few tips to help you mitigate them. These include:

  1. Distract yourself with a game or relaxing music
  2. Chew on fresh popcorn balls
  3. Get some air
  4. Get some rest
  5. Try CBD to help modulate the THC in your system

Keep in mind that if you take too much cannabis, there is no need to panic. While you may be uncomfortable for a few hours, it will get out of your system and not cause you harm. However, to avoid this, always start with a lower dosage and only take as much as your individual body can handle.

Tips on Choosing the Best Edibles for Beginners

With so many choices of edibles today, from different edible forms and edibles taste, choosing the right one can feel like a cumbersome task. To help, here are a few tips.

First, when exploring the cannabis edibles options, consider taste. Some forms will taste better than others. Some items may have a stronger cannabis taste, while others will hide it altogether.

For those using medical cannabis, you will want to avoid products heavy with sugar and gluten to ensure your health. Shop around at your local dispensary, and see what is available to you if this is a concern.

Lastly, consider the level of effects and price range, ensuring your choice is not only budget-friendly, but offers the right amount of effects for your needs.

Discover Your Perfect Cannabis Edibles at Windy City Cannabis

There is so much to discover at Windy City Cannabis. With a range of exceptional cannabis edibles, from candy and gummies to brownies and drinks, there’s no limit to the edibles experience. With a diverse range of products, and experts to help you find the right match for your needs, our team at Windy City Cannabis is ready to help. Contact us today to begin exploring our assortment of edible cannabis and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I expect to feel?

    The effects of edibles vary from person to person, but most people feel a more full-body effect than other forms of cannabis. Keep in mind that edibles are often associated with feeling intensely, and can be more unpredictable than other formats.

  • Will I taste cannabis in my edibles?

    Wondering what do edibles taste like? With a range of products, you can choose whatever flavor or taste you prefer. Some will have more of a cannabis flavor, while others will mask it entirely. Depending on your preference, you can find your ideal flavor profile with ease.

  • How do you make cannabis edibles?

    DIY cannabis edibles can be made in many different ways, but a good place to start is with a quality THC oil or tincture. All you need to do is add a few drops to your favorite homemade brownie or cocktail mix, and you can feel the effects. Just be sure to calculate the proper dosage per serving to ensure the best experience.

  • Do edibles expire?

    Yes, like all food products, edibles do expire. Pre-packaged edibles will have an expiration date clearly listed on the package. Homemade cannabis edibles, on the other hand, will typically last about a week, depending on how you store them.

  • Are cannabis edibles safe?

    While there are no deaths associated with cannabis consumption, there can be unwanted side effects as a result of taking cannabis, including dizziness, vomiting, and anxiety. In addition, some people may be allergic to cannabis, which may require medical attention.

    For those with mental health conditions, cannabis can induce feelings of anxiety or panic. For these individuals, consider consulting with a doctor prior to trying. 

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