Oh, no. You did it again…
You got impatient and ate another piece without giving the first dose a chance to take effect. Now you’re higher than you have probably ever been in your entire life, Fibonacci sequences and quadratic equations floating like specters in your vision over a symmetry of surrounding furniture.
Eating cannabis is fundamentally different than combustion. Each method requires a chemical process called decarboxylation. That’s because THC isn’t inherent in raw cannabis. On its own, cannabis is actually pretty boring. Instead, you start off with THCA, a non-psychoactive compound. The application of heat degrades THCA into THC, effectively activating cannabis into the neurological bouncy-house block party we all know and love. Heating cannabis, or in the case of edibles, cooking cannabis, is how you would catalyze decarboxylation. But once digested, your body takes things a step further.
Tetrahydrocannabinol’s metabolic form, 11-hydroxy, is at least five times more psychoactive than inhalation. Effects largely depend on an individual’s metabolism. However, people seem to experience the tidal waves of a sedative edible high all the same depending on how many milligrams they ingest.
Although we are not a medically licensed dispensary, the Oregon Health Authority still recommends 5 mg as an ideal dosage for beginners. For those who need something more than that, here are some factors to consider.
Chocolates are typically made using cannabutter in their mixes. There’s nothing wrong with consuming cannabis this way, it just means the overall experience will be heavier. That’s because cannabinoids are not water soluble. Fats in cannabutter edibles conduce cannabinoids through your liver, where the 11-hydroxy enters the bloodstream before breaking into your blood-brain barrier.
Homogenizing cannabis is much easier this way, because all the phytocannabinoids get absorbed into the fat in both chocolate and butter. If you’re seeking a more medicinal route, then chocolates are probably going to be your thing. Just be aware that absorbing fat can take a while. It isn’t uncommon for psychoactive effects to linger for more than one day. High fat content also makes chocolate edibles have an underwhelming activation period, with the average wait time being 45 minutes to an hour.
Gummies are a good option if you’re not concerned about maxing out on phytocannabinoids, or if you just want something a little more approachable. Activation comes on quickly, expect the effects to take hold roughly 10-15 minutes after ingesting.
The high itself is fleeting, lasting only a few hours rather than the entire day as with chocolate edibles. Your body processes sugar into a glucose, eventually storing it as a fat. Fat from the chocolates are broken down much slower than sugars and other simple carbohydrates. This is also true with cannabis-infused beverages.
An edible high was an undertaking not too long ago, because dosing ourselves was all guesswork. Even today, without the right insight, proper equipment is still needed. The great thing about regulation has been the mandates for accurate doses. No more will we hear about the Portland Police officers or any other city authority eating confiscated homemade edibles and losing their minds, as humorously cathartic as that sounds.