Edibles are among the easiest and healthiest ways to consume cannabis. When buying edibles online, there is a wide array of choices, with a variety of different flavors, products, and dosages to consider. It can be confusing to beginners or to users who have stepped away from cannabis for a number of years. A lot has changed in recent times, so we will explore the fundamentals and differences between two common edibles categories: CBD and THC.
Anyone can see that edibles come in many flavors and varieties. You do not need to know anything about CBD edibles or THC edibles to see these differences. It’s really as simple as some people prefer a sweet taste and others like a sour one. There is nothing more to it than that.
Besides the number of flavors, there are also different “vehicles” to consider. We will use the terms “vehicle” and “riders” to keep it simple. A vehicle is a food used to transport riders. For our purposes, a vehicle is any type of food that contains cannabinoids (riders).
What are Cannabinoids?
Vehicles are no different from everyday food. These can be treats like brownies, cookies, or candy. But they aren’t just sweet—they can be any flavor your taste buds interpret: sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty, or even umami. Simply put, vehicles are not specific to the world of cannabis. These are just used to transport cannabinoids, or cannabis chemical compounds.
Have you heard THC and CBD mentioned frequently but still are a bit uncertain about what exactly they mean? These are the two most commonly referenced cannabinoids. THC is an abbreviation for the full name, tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD is also known as cannabidiol. You will hear these mentioned time and time again. These are the riders in CBD and THC edibles.
THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. In order to be added to food, they are extracted. By separating out these chemical compounds, food manufacturers are able to customize the makeup of the edibles. If you want an edible with certain dominant characteristics, then you look for the corresponding cannabinoid. Each cannabinoid elicits different effects. This is why you can find CBD, THC, or hybrid products marketed in this manner.
What to Know About CBD Edibles
As mentioned, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a common cannabinoid. In general, CBD is more commonly used medicinally than THC. This is because CBD is an anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and general body relaxant. Its medical benefits are vast, with more and more research being conducted to showcase its benefits.
Endocannabinoid receptors, which are part of our body’s nervous system, deliver the effects of both CBD and THC. There are two receptors, called CB1 and CB2. CBD binds to both of these receptors, delivering effects to the body, while THC only binds to CB1.
This is not to say that CBD is only for medicinal use. Recreational users too enjoy the relaxing properties of CBD. CBD drinks and edibles are becoming a popular alternative to alcohol. This is especially true for younger generations who statistically consume less alcohol than their parents did.
Some users find the effects of THC too stimulating and intense (this can also be due to dosage and inexperience), so they prefer CBD. Other people believe that THC is best experienced with CBD so will take them together, as unadulterated cannabis flower or in a hybrid product. Whatever the reason, medicinal or recreational, CBD is a great option as a stand-alone compound or in addition to other cannabis products.
One of the most common reasons for the abundance of CBD edibles is legality. In places around the world, CBD is seen as a legal and safe product. This is chiefly due to it being non-psychoactive but having proven medicinal properties. For this reason, CBD edibles, on a global scale, are more abundant.
What to Know About THC Edibles
When people think about cannabis or cannabis products, they often think about getting high. The feeling or idea of getting high is linked to the cannabinoid THC. This is because THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not.
THC is not just for recreational use, though, but also has medicinal benefits. Studies have found that THC helps with nausea, pain, sleep disorders, and stress. More and more medicinal marijuana users and medical professionals are using THC-specific products for this reason. It looks like this trend is due to continue.
When consuming high-concentrate THC edibles, it is important to take note of dosage. While it is always best to go with the product’s recommended guidelines, this is even more important than looking at dosage ratios with CBD products. Too much THC can have adverse effects on users. Simply put, you can get too high!
It is best to start slowly. Take note of the dose, THC/CBD ratios, and timing. For those who have drank alcohol, think of it this way: If you consume the same amounts of a 5% ABV beer and a 40% spirit, you will have very different effects. In the same way, heed the dosages on the packaging and increase only as required once time has passed.
Edibles take longer to take effect than smoking or even sublingual methods like tinctures and drinks. This is because the edibles must be digested and absorbed through the stomach. In general, it takes most people about an hour after consumption to feel the effects. Of course, this will vary depending on factors like individual metabolism. This is why the mantra to keep in mind is: Go slow.
Try Edibles for Yourself
Edibles are one of the simplest ways to consume cannabis. They do not have adverse effects on the user’s lungs. Anyone who consumes food orally can do the same with cannabis edibles.
There are more considerations to make with edibles such as strains (i.e. indica, sativa) and terpenes, which are responsible for the flavors and aromas. But when you start looking into these specifics, you are entering connoisseur or expert territory. Any cannabis consumer will undergo periods of trial and error to best decide preferences. If you can’t decide, then maybe go for a variety pack to see what you prefer.
Many factors play into how cannabis compounds are experienced that go beyond the plant itself. These are things like state of mind, environment, and what you consumed that day. When looking at buying edibles online, beyond these subjective factors it’s best to first decide what your purpose is.
Do you have a medical condition, or are you just looking to have a fun night with some friends? Whatever your reasoning, you need to consider if you want a CBD-dominant, THC-dominant, or hybrid product. Your choice of vehicle and rider will dictate the type of effects you will experience.