What Happens if You Eat Weed: Exploring the Effects and Science Behind Consuming Cannabis Edibles25 October 2023
- Aside from inhaling cannabis, another way to consume weed is by eating it in the form of edibles or oils.
- Eating weed edibles differs from other consumption methods as they pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. This means that they take longer to kick in but also can provide a more extended high.
- Cannabis edibles, due to their more intense psychoactive effects, may be utilised to alleviate chronic pain and insomnia.
- Not all edibles are created the same – some can have stronger effects than others and cause side effects such as anxiety or paranoia.
- It is advised to consume small amounts of cannabis edibles and wait at least two hours before consuming more.
As the cannabis industry continues to expand, an increasing number of individuals are turning to different methods of consuming marijuana. One such popular way is through edibles, which involve ingesting marijuana-infused food products. While smoking or vaping is well-known, eating weed has its unique effects.
In this blog post, we dive into what happens when you eat weed, exploring the scientific research behind edible consumption and the potential benefits and risks involved.
As the leading medical cannabis clinic in the UK, Lyphe is dedicated to providing our patients with the most up-to-date information on all things cannabis. We intend to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding edible use so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you.
To learn more about your alternative treatment options, schedule an appointment with one of our experts today!
Sourcing Marijuana From a Reliable Source: Medical Cannabis Versus Illegal Cannabis
When it comes to consuming weed-infused edibles, it is essential to know the source and quality of the marijuana used. Here’s why sourcing medical cannabis from a reliable provider like Lyphe is crucial.
- Legal and regulated: Obtained through legal channels, following specific regulations set by the governing authorities. In countries and states where medical cannabis is permitted, it is tightly regulated to ensure safety and quality control.
- Prescription-based: Requires a prescription from a qualified healthcare professional. This ensures the patient receives a product tailored to their specific medical needs and conditions.
- Quality control: Undergoes rigorous testing to guarantee accurate potency and to screen for contaminants. This testing ensures that patients receive consistent and reliable products.
- Access to healthcare professionals: Patients have the advantage of consulting with healthcare professionals who can provide expert advice on dosage, strain selection, potential interactions, and monitoring for any adverse effects.
- Specific medical conditions: Often recommended to treat specific health ailments, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nausea related to chemotherapy, among others. Its use is guided by scientific research and evidence-based medicine.
- Sourced illegally: Obtained from the illicit markets or suppliers, it is not regulated, and its origin and quality are uncertain.
- Risk of contamination: Poses a higher risk of contamination from pesticides, moulds, and other harmful substances.
- Uncertain potency: Often lacks accurate potency information, making it challenging for users to determine the appropriate dosage. This increases the risk of adverse effects or unexpected reactions.
- No professional guidance: Users are often deprived of expert advice from healthcare professionals, leaving them to navigate usage on their own without medical oversight.
- Legal consequences: Can result in legal repercussions, varying by jurisdiction. Engaging in the illegal market puts individuals at risk of criminal charges and penalties.
To highlight the differences, below is a table summarising the contrast between sourcing cannabis from a reliable provider versus the illicit market:
|Reliable Provider||Illicit Market|
|Quality assurance through testing||Lack of quality control|
|Accurate dosing information||Inconsistent potency and dosing|
|Peace of mind regarding safety||Concerns about product integrity|
|Guidance from healthcare professionals||No professional guidance available|
|Legal compliance||Engaging in illegal activities|
Lyphe: Your Trusted Source of Cannabis Options
At Lyphe, we understand the growing interest in alternative methods of cannabis consumption, and we are here to provide you with a wide range of options.
When it comes to consuming cannabis-infused edibles, understanding the source and quality of the marijuana used is crucial. While it may be tempting to turn to illicit sources for cannabis products, it’s essential to prioritise your health and safety by sourcing weed from a reputable and regulated provider like Lyphe.
Having a medical weed prescription from Lyphe offers numerous advantages, including:
- Personalised approach: Benefit from customised treatment plans that take into account your unique needs, medical history, lifestyle, and more, ensuring a tailored approach to your medical cannabis prescription.
- Follow-up consultations: Receive regular follow-up consultations to ensure ongoing support, monitoring, and adjustment of your treatment plan, maximising its effectiveness for your specific condition.
- Affordable price points: Acquire medical cannabis prescription at affordable price points, making it more accessible for patients who can benefit from its therapeutic properties.
By choosing Lyphe as your trusted source of weed options and obtaining a medical cannabis prescription, you can ensure that you are consuming medical cannabis safely and responsibly. Hence, let us be your partner on your journey to well-being, providing you with the highest quality products and compassionate care you deserve.
Book a call today!
What Are Edibles: Understanding the Science Behind Consumed Cannabis
Edible cannabis products are food and drink items that contain cannabinoids. These can be made from the whole plant, including the leaves and flowers, or extracted from the resin of the plant. The most common forms of edible cannabis include the following:
- Cookies, brownies and other baked goods
- Soft drinks (such as soda)
- Dairy products such as cheese or milk
- Ingestible oils
The Importance of Decarboxylation
Before diving into the effects of eating weed, it is crucial to understand the process of decarboxylation. Raw cannabis contains non-intoxicating, acidic compounds such as THCA and CBDA.
However, when heated, these compounds undergo a chemical reaction and are converted into THC and CBD, respectively. Decarboxylation is essential for the activation of the psychoactive properties of cannabis, as these compounds have to bind with our endocannabinoid receptors to produce their effects.
Metabolism and Absorption
When consuming cannabis-infused edibles, the cannabinoids are processed differently by the body compared to inhalation methods. Once ingested, THC is metabolised by the liver into a more potent compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily, resulting in stronger, longer-lasting effects. Also, the absorption process is slower but steadier, as cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive tract and then distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream.
What Edibles Do to You
Diving into the world of cannabis-infused foods reveals a unique landscape of effects on the body and mind. Let’s explore its subsequent impacts in detail.
Delayed Onset and Extended Duration
Unlike the immediate effects of smoking, the onset of effects from consuming edibles can take between 30 to 120 minutes. As also highlighted above, this delayed onset is due to the time required for the cannabinoids to be absorbed and processed by the digestive system.
Additionally, the effects of edible consumption are known to last significantly longer, often ranging from four to eight hours. These prolonged effects are particularly useful for individuals seeking relief from chronic pain or insomnia.
Increased Intensity and Potency
One notable aspect of edible consumption is the potentially intense psychoactive experience it can produce. The conversion of THC to 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver results in a more potent form of THC. This compound has a higher affinity for the brain’s CB1 receptors, leading to more intense and profound psychotropic effects than smoking or vaping cannabis.
More specifically, the experience of such an edible high can vary from person to person, but common effects include intense relaxation, euphoria, altered perception of time, increased sensory awareness, and potential physical and mental sedation.
Are Weed Edibles Good for You? Benefits and Therapeutic Uses
While mostly used recreationally, cannabis edibles also provide a wide range of therapeutic effects. Some individuals use edibles to treat a number of conditions, including chronic pain, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment and sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Alternative to Smoking and Vaping
Individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma may find smoking or vaping marijuana challenging for their breathing. For those seeking an alternative method of cannabis consumption, edibles offer a safe and discreet way to use weed.
Extended Pain Relief
As also discussed above, edibles offer a longer-lasting pain-relieving effect compared to other consumption methods. This prolonged relief is particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
Better Sleep Aid
The relaxing properties of cannabis make edibles an effective sleep aid for those struggling with insomnia or sleep disorders. Hence, consuming a marijuana-infused food or oil several hours before bedtime can help induce relaxation and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Risks, Considerations, and Side Effects of Edibles
Just as with any cannabis product, edible consumption should be approached with caution. Let’s take a closer look at the possible risks, considerations, and side effects associated with edibles.
Given the slow-acting and long-lasting effects of edibles, it can be difficult to establish the right dosage. Users, especially beginners, often underestimate the potency, leading to potential discomfort or unwanted effects. It is crucial to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to find the desired effect while avoiding negative experiences.
Edibles can be deceiving, as they often come in small, delicious-looking treats that may be tempting to consume in larger quantities. However, impatience and overconsumption can lead to adverse effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and dizziness. Understanding personal tolerance levels and being patient with the onset of effects is essential to prevent such adverse outcomes.
Different Metabolic Rates
Factors such as body weight, metabolism, and tolerance levels can vary significantly from person to person. It is important for users to be aware of their own limitations and adjust their dosage accordingly.
There’s also a greater chance of interactions with other medications due to the liver’s involvement in metabolising both cannabis and other pharmaceuticals. Always consult with a medical professional, like those at Lyphe, before mixing marijuana with other medications.
Edibles Versus Other Consumption Methods
There are a number of different ways to consume cannabis, including inhalation (smoking and vaping) and oral consumption (edibles). Each method has its own pros and cons.
|Method||Benefits||Risks||Onset of Effects||Duration of Effects|
Easier dose control
|Respiratory concerns||1-5 minutes||1-3 hours|
|Vaping||Fewer toxins than smoking
More discreet than smoking
|Unknown long-term effects||1-5 minutes||1-3 hours|
No respiratory concerns
|Dosing can be unpredictable
Delayed onset can lead to overconsumption
|30 mins-2 hours||4-12 hours|
|Taste might be unappealing||15-45 minutes (sublingual)||4-8 hours|
No psychoactive effects
|Limited to localised effects||Minutes to hours (localised)||Hours to days (localised)|
Eating weed provides unique effects and experiences compared to smoking or vaping cannabis. Understanding the science behind edibles is crucial for responsible consumption and ensuring a positive user experience.
While there are risks associated with overconsumption and dosing challenges, edibles also offer extended relief for pain and sleep disorders. Those new to marijuana-infused foods should always start with a low dose, working their way up one-to-two hours after the first intake.
At Lyphe, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our patients have all the information they need to make informed choices about their consumption. Always consult with a medical professional before starting any cannabis regimen, and remember that with edibles, patience is key.
To know if edibles are right for you, schedule a call with one of our medical cannabis experts today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are edibles?
Edibles are food or drink products that have been infused with weed, specifically containing cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. When consumed, they deliver the effects of cannabis through digestion, resulting in a slower but stronger psychoactive effect.
Do edibles make you gain weight?
Edibles themselves do not inherently cause weight gain. However, some cannabis-infused food may contain additional ingredients such as sugar, fats, or calories, which can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excessive amounts.
What does an edible high feel like?
The experience of an edible high can vary from person to person, but common effects include intense relaxation, euphoria, altered perception of time, increased sensory awareness, and potential physical and mental sedation. The high from edibles is often described as more potent and long-lasting compared to other methods of consuming cannabis.
Will I get sick if I eat weed?
Eating weed in its raw form is not recommended and can potentially lead to unpleasant effects such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. However, consuming properly prepared weed edibles made with decarboxylated cannabis usually results in a safe and enjoyable experience as long as consumed in moderation.
Do edibles make you hungry?
Edibles can potentially increase hunger as one of the common side effects of consuming cannabis is an increase in appetite, also known as “the munchies”. However, not everyone experiences this effect, and it may not be pronounced in lower doses or for individuals who are regular cannabis consumers.
Grotenhermen, F. (2003). Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 42(4), 327-360.
Barrus, D. G., et al. (2016). Tasty THC: Promises and challenges of cannabis edibles. Methods report (RTI Press), 2016-01.
Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4(1), 245-259.
Stout, S. M., & Cimino, N. M. (2014). Exogenous cannabinoids as substrates, inhibitors, and inducers of human drug metabolizing enzymes: a systematic review. Drug Metabolism Reviews, 46(1), 86-95.
Di Marzo, V., & Piscitelli, F. (2015). The endocannabinoid system and its modulation by phytocannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 692-698.
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