If you’re struggling to eat the cannabis you were prescribed or want more from a recreational high, a marijuana edible might be the next best thing. Edibles can come in many forms, from snacks like brownies and gummies to drinks like sodas and iced teas. It’s easy to dose your weed with an edible since there are precise measurements that can be followed without making mistakes.
The important thing is quality control – only buy edibles from reputable brands that clearly display exactly how much THC they contain (particularly when it comes to edibles for recreational use).
Is there THC in your weed? According to the Cannabis Control Commission, all cannabis products sold in Massachusetts will be tested for THC and other substances.
Marijuana growing market
According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, 51 percent of young adults have tried marijuana at least once. Many have done so more than once, with a third of those surveyed saying they’d smoked cannabis more than twenty times.
It’s no surprise then that the legal marijuana market is expected to grow from $3.7 million this year to $5 million by 2020 and $22 million in sales between 2017 and 2019, according to estimates from ArcView Market Research. Legal marijuana sales should total $6.7 billion by 2021, according to estimates from Cowen and Company.
States that have legalized recreational marijuana have seen steady growth in usage, with Colorado seeing its highest usage levels since the start of the 2014 election cycle. Here in Massachusetts, legalization advocates say consumption has exceeded expectations.
Consumption behavior after legalization
While usage in Massachusetts is expected to reach 50 million grams this year, more than half of cannabis users consume edibles daily, according to a new study from the Marijuana Policy Group. Edibles are projected to be the top category of legal recreational marijuana retail sales nationwide as early as 2019. That’s up from $650 million in 2016 and hitting $1 billion by 2020-21 based on previous trends.
There are many reasons why edibles have and will continue to become more popular. They’re an uncomplicated way to control the dosage you consume, meaning that new consumers can use cannabis safely. They’re discreet and can be taken on-the-go, making them popular with those who want to smoke or vape off the clock. There’s also a growing stigma around smoking cannabis as it’s seen by many as something that belongs in the past. Smoking is being now replaced by the use of vaporizers or edibles.
Here’s everything you need to know before purchasing your first edible.
Edibles have many things going for them. They’re discrete, meaning you can take them on the go or use them after work without anyone knowing and they also offer a range of effects that each individual can control. For instance, you can make edibles with high THC levels (upwards of 80 percent THC) and then reduce your level if you don’t want to feel overly stoned. Choose low-THC edibles for daytime use and high-THC edibles for evening consumption.
Best Types of Edibles
There are a number of types of edibles, but they can be broken down into two main categories, cannabidiol (CBD) and THC. Both offer different effects, and both are legal in Massachusetts. Cannabis products with low CBD levels (under 0.5 percent) have no psychoactive effects at all.
THC-dominant products are those that contain greater levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, which can lead to euphoria and feelings of being ‘high.’ THC-dominant products also tend to have more side effects than CBD-dominant products – it is possible to feel jittery or anxious after consuming THC-dominant products, for instance.
Edibles with lower levels of both THC and CBD offer a mellow ‘high’ that can be a good starting point for first-time users.
Ingredients of Your Edibles
There are three main types of cannabis edible, or infused products, available on the legal market: baked goods, beverages and infused oils. Baked goods come in the form of brownies, cookies and chocolate bars. Beverages contain THC in sodas, teas and other drink mixes while oils are sold in sprays or bottles that can be used to infuse food with cannabis extracts.
All infused products must contain at least 5mg of THC per serving. The percentages of THC in edibles can vary significantly, depending on the THC level in the product, but it is standard that it contains at least 20 percent. Edible amounts are always listed on packaging.
When choosing an infused product, it’s important to check the ingredients list. Legal cannabis products must include terpenes, a component of cannabis that is responsible for creating a particular smell and taste associated with each strain.
It is also used to make edibles more accurate and slightly increase their potency. Terpenes are typically added at low levels but are still noticeable in the final product – so you still want to make sure they’re there.
What to Look for in Cannabis Edibles
There are many different types of edibles but the most common ones are chocolate bars, cookies, brownies and gummies. You can also purchase drinks infused with cannabinoids, such as soda or tea. No matter which edible you choose make sure that the ingredients list is easy to understand and you know what’s in the product. For instance, if it contains coconut oil then it may contain traces of THC (not listed) depending on where the product was made and under what conditions. If in doubt about an infused product ask your budtender for advice on which products might be right for you.
Purchasing Your Cannabis Edible
Whereas smoking cannabis can be done anywhere, edibles are typically consumed at home. In Massachusetts, you must be over 21 to purchase and consume any form of cannabis. It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis – driving within one hour of consuming cannabis is illegal.
More information on Massachusetts’ laws can be found on the Department of Public Health’s website. In Colorado, you must be over 21 years old to possess more than 1 oz. (28g) or up to 8 grams of concentrates in public. You must also not break federal laws if you have a medical marijuana card.
Now that you know everything about edibles, what are you planning to eat? Let us know!