Cannabis-infused cookies, lollipops, sauces and many other cannabis-infused products can be made at home in any proportion you like. For many cannabis users, the effect is quite different from what they are used to when they smoke cannabis. So we will try to tell you what you should pay special attention to when preparing your own cannabis treats and how they actually affect your body.
Food marijuana - how does it work?
A more precise question would be: how do cannabinoids work? When marijuana is consumed, it is processed by the body in different ways, depending on the distribution method chosen. However, the effects are very similar, although more or less intense and lasting.
When we smoke marijuana, the smoke, which contains cannabinoids such as THC, travels directly to the lungs, where it meets millions of bubbles lining their walls. These vesicles absorb the cannabinoids and distribute them into the bloodstream. Within seconds, they are able to deliver them to the brain and we already feel the first effects.
However, they pass relatively quickly - one to two hours.
When consumed in meals, there are two possible scenarios. If the cannabinoids are released in a more or less liquid form directly in the mouth and especially under the tongue, they also enter the bloodstream very quickly. In contrast, food that has to be fully digested will produce the desired effects later. More specifically, it must reach the small intestine or liver. In these places, the fats in the food will be broken down and nutrients, including cannabinoids, will eventually be sent into the bloodstream.
Depending on what you consume, the entire process can take anywhere from 20 minutes (oral cavity) to 2-3 hours (intestines). The effects of eaten marijuana last up to two to three times longer than after smoking it.
What types of marijuana foods are there?
Which ones are better depending on different situations?
There is a big difference between 20 minutes and 2 hours, so in order to fully enjoy your new experience you need to be aware of what to choose and what effects to expect.
Cookies, pretzels, muffins, cookies and anything cooked or baked with cannabis are among the most popular treats among cannabis users. This is because they allow for relatively safe experimentation with proportions, and their distinct flavor helps to hide the aroma of the herb.
They take the same amount of time to digest as any other food would take for this process. This time depends primarily on your metabolism: the fitter you are, the faster the effects of ingestion will occur - in the case of extremely thin people, it can be as little as less than an hour. In many cases, we will have to wait 2 to 3 hours before we feel the effects of THC and other cannabinoids contained in marijuana.
Hemp lollipops and other sublingual foods don't have an immediate effect like smoking does, but still much faster than the aforementioned products. The release of cannabinoids occurs directly in the mouth, which allows them to enter the bloodstream quickly through the well-circulated oral tissue.
However, the preparation of the candy and its composition is of great importance here, especially the amount of fats, alcohol and emulsifiers that inhibit the absorption process. However, if we overdo it with the enhancers, not everything is lost - the effects will still be felt when the food enters the intestines.
Keep in mind that many cannabis foods are kind of hybrids - some of their ingredients will already work in the mouth, others in the intestines. This is true, for example, of cookies with toppings, in which the thin sweet layer will dissolve in the mouth and the harder pieces will digest in the intestines. Even cannabis-infused drinks work on a similar principle.
What to expect.
The intensity of the effects felt largely depends on the amount of cannabis ingested in the food. If you are new to this, always start with small doses! For example, don't add more to a cookie than you can burn without any discomfort. Over time you can experiment with portions, but always do it with your head!
The dose is not the only thing that matters. The effects are most dependent on the amount of THC in a particular type of cannabis. In fact, THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid that enters our body, and through metabolic processes is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which has a much stronger effect than its original.
Additionally, THC is transported to the brain much faster and can easily penetrate its tissues, so the effects after consumption are intensified. The conversion rate is particularly high when marijuana is ingested (eaten), whereas it is of marginal importance when smoked.
The effects produced by ingesting cannabis with food are comparable to those produced by smoking it, but it is particularly noteworthy that the body is affected more than the mind. For this reason, marijuana ingestion in the form of food is often recommended for medical marijuana users, especially those who use it to combat pain, nausea and inflammation.
When preparing foods with cannabis it is important to remember that in addition to the dosage, the effect will be influenced by other ingredients of the food such as fats, which can in excess slow down the absorption of the active substances, so different types of food may work differently, even if you use the same amount of the same cannabis as before.
Mortar and spices
Cannabis products - best practices
Commercially available (obviously in countries other than Poland) products usually contain very high concentrations of THC and other cannabinoids. Even for people who smoke a lot and frequently, these amounts can be overwhelming. To avoid panic attacks or falling asleep after a few bites, there are a few rules to follow.
Read labels/stick to the recommendations!
When you're on vacation in a country where you can easily buy hemp food, pay special attention to the labels. This should become a habit, not only when it comes to cannabis products, but also in the case of ordinary food. On the labels you will find information about the concentration of cannabinoids, the strain used, the recommended intake, the single serving. However, if you prepare the delicacies yourself, do not question the recommendations of the person who wrote the recipe. All the more so if we want to treat friends and relatives with marijuana dishes. It is better to first prepare a few portions for yourself, then test and decide what portion will be safe for everyone.
Don't experiment on an empty stomach
This is one of the worst things you can do to your body, especially if it's your first adventure with food cannabis. Depending on the type of food, we can feel the effects very quickly or only after a few hours. In the case of an empty stomach, almost every case ends with a significant "departure", which not everyone will be ready for.
Before consuming hemp products, eat at least one normal meal. You may want to limit the amount of fats in your meals before consuming cannabis-infused foods, as these will cause the effects of cannabis to be felt more delayed.
Don't be impatient
As we have already established - it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to as much as 3 hours for the first effects to appear after eating marijuana products. If you know what dose of the herb is in the cookies, then just calmly wait for them to take effect. Eating another serving after half an hour because you think the previous serving didn't work can cause the dose to be so high that the effect will be unpleasant (once the food is digested and it starts working, e.g. 1 or 2 hours after the first serving).
Expect stronger effects than when smoking
Consuming cannabis in edible form is a very different experience from traditional smoking. Sometimes the effects can be so strong (even more so if you overdo it) that it's a good idea to surround yourself with people you trust during this time. Don't experiment with cannabis cakes for the first time at a party where you don't know anyone, and don't serve them to people who have never had any experience with cannabis.
Ok, we may have scared everyone a little bit with the previous paragraphs. However, the truth is that if you consume cannabis products with your head, nothing bad will happen to you.
Why do people who smoke often have no problem with panic attacks? Cannabis tolerance plays a role, but the secret of smokers lies in something else - they don't have a negative attitude when they sit down to consume. They don't build scenarios in their heads like "if something bad happens, take me to the hospital," etc. Paranoia and fears will not appear if we approach the subject completely relaxed. The company of friends and people you trust will certainly help you look at your condition more positively.
And what are your experiences accompanying marijuana brownies? Is it better or worse than smoking? What advice would you give to beginners? Share your knowledge in the comments!