Edibles have been around for decades now, but we still don’t really know that much about them. The special brownie may have made an appearance long before legalization was ever even close to being achieved in any state, but it hasn’t been until recent years that we are starting to really see how differently people can be affected by eating cannabis rather than smoking it. Unfortunately these differences have been brought to light by the numerous incidents involving tragic accidents, in which edibles were involved. Although still rare, psychotic breaks that have ended in suicide and or homicide within the cannabis industry have virtually all involved someone eating an edible rather than smoking. While many of us have probably scoffed at the notion that a 10 mg edible could possibly push someone over the edge to the point of killing your wife, as one Colorado family is claiming in a lawsuit against an edible company earlier this year, the consistent trend of edibles being involved is definitely worth looking into. So what is it about edibles that set them apart? There are a few major factors that many people don’t even think about, that we know could definitely be responsible for less than satisfactory experiences.
One of the biggest issues when purchasing an edible is that it takes a lot of trust from the consumer. Even before the days of dispensaries, magic brownies could be a bit suspect since you have no way of knowing how strong one might be, or if the chef decided to include any other choice substances. Now that we’ve taken the chef’s job from our drug dealer and given it to big companies, many people have relaxed and stopped worrying about what exactly is going into their edibles. That trust may be unwarranted because many of the top edible companies don’t practice the most ethical procedures. Tons of them will include trim that isn’t separated by strain whatsoever. This creates a major problem where consumers aren’t truly being given the options between sativa, indica, or hybrids because most edibles turn out to be a crazy cocktail of all three. Psychotic breaks aside, I think we can all admit that popping a big indica edible when you thought you were eating sativa could definitely mess your day up. Obviously the edibles you get out are only going to be as good as the product you put in, but many of these companies are opting to take the cheap route by using inexpensive weed and buying mass amounts of leftover trim from growers, thinking the consumer probably won’t even notice the difference. As ignorant as that is, many of these companies know way more about weed than they do about cooking. It really isn’t safe to assume that these people are trained chefs, when lots of times they are just picking new recipes based on how well it covers the cannabis taste, without knowing how those ingredients could interact with THC or CBD.
The most notable difference between smoking flower and eating an edible is how the THC and CBD are processed by our bodies. When smoking, the THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs, which results in a much faster high. Edibles, however have to pass through the stomach and liver to reach the bloodstream. The weed is also decarboxylated before it ever enters your body, which could be a big factor as well. There’s also a good chance that baking THC with other ingredients could be changing the chemical compositions of these substances. All of these factors could be a big part of why edibles have such a variance in effect from person to person. At this point we honestly just don’t know enough about edibles to have a clear cut answer on this. That is another reason to be a bit wary of edibles, the scientific research of edibles is literally years behind the research of smoking cannabis. Hopefully in the next few years more studies will come out that shed some light on why some people can’t seem to handle edibles. Of course no real progress can happen until the federal government reschedules cannabis from a schedule 1 drug, which makes it almost impossible to conduct studies on. Until then, remember to proceed with caution when it comes to edibles. Only buy from companies that you trust and make sure to take things slow and know your limits.