How Long Do Edibles Last? A Consumer’s Guide
Cannabis edibles are simply foods and beverages infused with cannabis. While they've risen in popularity more recently, they're not a new invention. There's a long history of humans incorporating cannabis into their diets, ranging from traditional drinks in India to the humble pot brownie.
Edibles are perfect for people who want to feel the effects of cannabis without having to smoke or vaporize concentrates.
Like every other venture, there are things you need to know before you start consuming edibles. Whether you're already a pro at consuming edibles, or a beginner, you'll find this article helpful.
With so many types of edibles available, it may be overwhelming to pick the right one for you. This guide covers the world of edibles, including what edibles are and if they’re safe to consume (the answer is yes!).
Covered by BATCH: How long do edibles last?
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What Are Edibles?
You now know that edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. What else is there to know about them? You can consume these cannabis-infused foods orally, sublingually, or buccally (under the tongue or through the cheek, respectively)
How Are Edibles Made?
Edibles can be produced in a home environment or prepared commercially for dispensaries. Extracting cannabinoids ( tetrahydrocannabinol THC, and cannabidiol) from the cannabis plant involves heating flowers from the female plant in an oil-based liquid. The chemical in this plant in its non-psychoactive acid form is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is then heated to convert it to THC.
The diffusion of THC now occurs at this point and is dissolved into an oily liquid with other cannabinoids. So that they can be effective, these ingredients are infused into the edible by pairing them with a fat to bond. Butter or oil is the most commonly used for this purpose. You can also home-make cannabis butter or oil using the ground flower without going through the dispensary.
Types of Edibles
Although cannabis brownies and cookies are likely the most popular edibles, consumers have many options. There's almost a limitless number of different types of edibles, with each type having its characteristics and use. The following are four types of edibles you'll find.
This may be the most popular category of edibles. Cannabis brownies and cookies fall into this category. Cannabis-infused foods can take almost any form, which includes baked goods, gummies, candy, or even potato chips. You can turn virtually any food into an edible. Hence, there's a wide range of varieties.
There are emerging experiments with different types of cannabis-infused drinks. They include teas, sodas, coffee, and sometimes even alcohol. Like cannabis-infused foods, THC in these drinks can metabolize through the stomach. They usually have the same effects.
Tinctures may be categorized as edibles because they are to be taken in through the mouth and tongue. They are potent and alcohol-based cannabis extracts and are placed under the tongue using a dropper. Consumers can also add them directly to food and drinks. Tinctures offer more dosage control than cannabis-infused foods.
Dissolvable Cannabis Powder
Dissolvable cannabinoid powders are emerging on the edible scene. They are usually tasteless and odorless and are an attractive option for people who don't like the taste or smell of cannabis but still want its medicinal benefits. Their versatility is owing to their dissolvable nature. They help you to turn just about anything into an edible. All you need to do is mix the powder into whatever you want to consume.
Are Edibles Safe?
With all the buzz about cannabis edibles in recent times, one frequent question that comes to mind is, are they safe?
This question has no straightforward answer as there are risks here and there. There is a risk of overconsumption, as determining the correct dosage in edibles may be difficult. Also, edibles take a while for their effects to kick in. The delay is because they must digest first before being absorbed. As a result, inexperienced consumers may overconsume as they do not feel the effects immediately.
Despite looking attractive and harmless, as in the case of gummies and candy bars infused with THC, cannabis edibles are not for kids. Yes, they look like candies, but they aren't for kids. The other most at risk? Older adults. Here are tips to consider to make them safe.
- Know who you're buying from
- Talk to your doctor.
- Start low and go slow.
- Keep out of reach of minors.
Are Edibles Legal?
Yes, as long as the product is under 0.3% THC it is considered legal to possess, sell, and consume. What does this mean? It means that the federal government defines THC-containing cannabis as illegal but allows each state to determine its laws. So far, 38 states have legalized medicinal cannabis, and 18 have legalized recreational ones. Every state has slightly different rules about the dosages and how much you can buy or own.
Do Edibles Make You High?
Yes, they do. Although, delayed absorption might not make you feel the effects for up to two hours. However, onset time, and the severity of the effect, depending on a lot of factors. Firstly, it depends on the product's active ingredients. If the product contains a high amount or concentration of THC, its effects could kick in faster. Other factors may include:
- Diet: The amount of food in the consumer's stomach can be a factor. Edibles hit quicker, and harder on an empty stomach.
- Metabolism: Because the edible is being digested and processed the same as regular foods, your rate of metabolism can affect your experience. Consumers with a high rate of metabolism are likely to feel the effects more quickly than ones with low rates of metabolism.
- Tolerance to Cannabis: People with high tolerance to cannabis may feel the effects later than people with low tolerance to cannabis.
Because edibles don't kick in immediately, it could be tempting to consume more soon after taking the first dose. Doing this could lead to an overdose. It is advisable to wait for 24 hours before taking another dose.
How Long Do Edibles Stay In Your System?
Edibles generally last longer than smoking or vaping. Their effects could last anywhere between six to eight hours. Edibles and their effects may have their peak periods around three hours after administration. That's when the effects are likely to be more intense. Like onset time, the length of an edible "high" depends on several factors, including the dose and potency. The "high" effect from edibles that are chewed may last longer than those that are absorbed orally. Other factors such as weight, metabolism, and tolerance also affect the duration. It may not be possible to predict how long the effect in edibles will last. In a 2016 study, researchers analyzed more than one hundred thousand tweets about edibles. The result returned an "unpredictable" high duration as one of the most adverse effects.
Pros And Cons Of Edibles
The pros and cons will consistently differ depending on your preference and the dosage. Check out some top ones below to keep in mind.
Effects in edibles last longer than in smoking or vaping, which makes it ideal for medicinal users who want a long-acting relief from symptoms.
No Respiratory Risks
Regular cannabis smoking may be associated with several respiratory issues. Since edibles do not require burning cannabis and inhaling the smoke, they do not pose the same risks.
Can Be Discreetly Administered
Much like medication, one can ingest edibles without drawing too much attention. Those who use cannabis for medicinal reasons and would need to use it while at work would find it very helpful.
A high dose of THC edibles can produce unpleasant symptoms which may linger for several hours or even days.
Other cons may include:
- It may be hard to regulate dosage.
- It takes longer for effect to kick in, which may lead to an overdose
- Edibles are not created equally.
Do Edibles Expire?
Generally, edibles may last and be potent three to six months from when they were made when stored properly. After that, the food products themselves may become stale and THC may start to degrade.
How Long Do They Last?
All edibles have varying shelf lives. The ones bought at a licensed store or dispensary usually have their expiration date indicating when the product will no longer be safe to consume. Some baked foods, like brownies and cookies, may go stale in a week or slightly more, while gummies can remain fresh for months.
How To Keep Edibles From Going Bad
While you should always check expiration dates you can store edibles safely if you:
Store Them Properly
- It is advisable to store them in a cool, dry, and dark place because environmental factors such as sunlight and heat can degrade their components quickly.
- It's a good idea to store them in an air-tight container in a pantry or cupboard. Edibles bought in the store like candy and chocolate can be stored like this.
- Some edibles can be refrigerated. They usually come with instructions on their labels.
Buy Quality Products
Always ensure you patronize renowned dispensaries. Double-check the product before you buy it. Credible dispensaries or stores usually give information on THC content and storage tips. They provide extra information should you need to refrigerate your edible.
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Edibles are a good option for you if you don't want to inhale smoke but you still want to ingest THC for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, if you're new to cannabis, it's good to allow for enough time to examine the effect the edible is having on you before you take more.
For even more on edibles, CBD, and any other cannabis offerings, check out the BATCH blog today.