Ingestibles 101: A Beginner's Guide to Cannabis Ingestibles

For a novice cannabis user, it can be overwhelming with all the different cannabis consumption methods. Some cannabis methods can seem intimidating; especially if it’s a method you’ve never tried or even heard of it. That’s why at GreenLabs, we pride ourselves on providing the best cannabis knowledge to our patients. If you’ve never tried cannabis ingestibles, are curious about trying them, and still have questions, then read below for more information.


What are ingestibles?

“Ingestibles” refer to food products containing marijuana, typically with the cannabinoids THC or CBD. Cannabis is usually infused into a fat-soluble base, such as butter or oil, and the infusion is used to make baked goods, such as chews, mints etc. Ingestibles are consumed orally and processed in the stomach and liver, making them more potent and longer-lasting than smoking cannabis, but with a longer time for the onset of effects. Ingestibles allow people to consume cannabis without inhaling smoke and typically don’t smell. At GreenLabs, we carry a lot of different ingestible products. We have drinks, chews, mints, tablets, and more. Ask a budtender for more details on the kinds of ingestibles we have and what may work best for you!


What are CBD and THC?

Cannabidiol (CBD) and terahydrocannabinol (THC) are two natural compounds found in cannabis plants. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most well-known compound in cannabis due its euphoric effects. In other words, THC is one of the main reasons we feel high after using cannabis. THC is a cannabinoid, which refers to a class of unique compounds in cannabis that interact with the body.

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many compounds in the cannabis plant. Cannabis contains dozens of known cannabinoids, which are compounds like THC and CBD that interact with a particular type of receptor in the body called “cannabinoid receptors.” Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it will not make the consumer feel high when consumed.

Although CBD does not deliver any kind of euphoric high commonly associated with cannabis, many who use CBD report feeling relaxed and less anxious. Most edibles contain both THC and CBD. If you’re looking for a less intense high, then try an ingestible with a more balanced 50/50 ratio of THC and CBD. Because the higher the THC, the more extreme your high will be.


How long do the effects of an ingestible last? How long do ingestibles take to work?

Because ingestibles are ingested rather than inhaled, the active ingredients are processed in the stomach and liver, as opposed to the lungs and then bloodstream. It takes longer for the body to digest and process cannabinoids this way, but the effects will last longer. Typically, effects from an ingestible can be felt within 2 hours and their effects can last from roughly 2-4 hours.


How do ingestibles work?

Ingestibles work by being ingested and then metabolized by the liver. The cannabinoids then reach the brain. This is the reason why it takes longer to feel the effects of an ingestible. For example, when someone smokes cannabis, the lungs metabolize the cannabinoids, and then reach the brain through the bloodstream.


What can I expect to feel?

While the effects vary depending on the person consuming the ingestible and the type of ingestible consumed, most users say that eating an ingestible gives more of a body high. At GreenLabs, we carry a brand called Wana and they make strain specific ingestible such as sativa, hybrid, and indica ingestible. It’s important to note that ingestible are also often associated with intense highs that can be unpredictable, which is why starting LOW and SLOW is critical.


How much should I eat?

As we mentioned before, it’s very important to start slow and low with ingestibles because you can ingest ‘too much’ cannabis. (We have a minor section below for what to do if you think you’ve taken too much as well.) At GreenLabs, we like to tell all of our staff and patients the same thing. If you are just starting out the cannabis ingestible, we are always going to recommend you to start at a very low dosed ingestible at 10mg or below. Once you’ve ingested the ingestible, then WAIT one hour to see how you feel. If you feel that you might need more out of your ingestible, then we recommend starting small and take 1-2.5mg. Again, just remember that once you’ve eaten an ingestible you can always add more, but a good rule of thumb is less is more.


What if I took too much? What can/ should I do?

First, it’s okay! Believe it or not, this has happened before and we can help! We recommend to first trying to stay calm and remember, that this experience will pass and what you’re feeling isn’t permanent.

A meal or a snack may take your mind off your high. Furthermore, making sure you are hydrated and are drinking enough water is imperative. Having a meal with carbs is a great option! Another tip we recommend, is chewing on black peppercorns. Some studies have shown that people have found that the sharpness of the black pepper contains a terpene called “alpha-pinene”, which has been shown to enhance the calming effects of THC. This is why chewing or even smelling black peppercorns can help calm you down.

Another tip we recommend is moving to a calm quiet room. If you’re too high loud noises, bright lights, or very fast external stimuli can make your experience much worse. Consider listening to soft instrumental music or even white-noise sounds. With those steps, you may start to feel a bit sleepy and that’s okay! Sleeping can be one of the best ways to cope when you’re too high.

However, if you are too anxious to relax or to try and sleep, that’s okay too. In this instance, we recommend that going outside and going on a walk with a friend can be very helpful. Fresh air can help clear your head, while movement can help process any extra energy. In addition, going on a walk can help you focus on the world around your, instead of whatever unpleasant side effects you may be feeling with your body.


If you have any other questions about cannabis ingestbles, or simply need some help selecting the best edibles for beginners, head over to GreenLabs! Our budtenders are always more than willing to help you select the right product for your needs.

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