Cannabis-infused foods are mainstream items now with people of all generations using them recreationally and for their health benefits. Forty-eight states have legalized some or all cannabis use, meaning you probably have easy access to edibles.
The medical community is now acknowledging the benefits of edibles for many conditions, both physical and mental. Edibles give you the benefits of cannabis without the harmful effects of smoking. Plus, they are a healthy alternative to certain prescription medications.
Types of Edibles
Edibles come in five main forms:
- Cannabis-infused foods: These items include, brownies, gummies, cookies, cakes, potato chips, lollipops, and even bacon. You can conceivably add cannabis to any food that contains butter, oil, milk, sugar, or flour. Of course, you can buy these products pre-packaged at your local dispensary, but you can also experiment with making items at home.
- Cannabis-infused drinks: You can enjoy cannabis-infused, teas, coffees, sodas, juices, and alcoholic beverages. They allow you to enjoy the benefits of cannabis in an unobtrusive and delicious way.
- Tinctures: Tinctures pack a powerful punch and are considered edibles because you consume them through your mouth by either placing a drop under your tongue or by adding them to food or drinks.
- Cannabinoid Powders: These powders are odorless and tasteless and aimed at people who dislike the flavor of cannabis but still want the health benefits. You can add the powder to just about any food or drink, which makes it a convenient source.
- CBD Edibles: If you want the health benefits of cannabis without the psychotropic effects, you can purchase CBD versions of the above. Since they contain almost no THC, you will be able to use them legally even in states that have not legalized cannabis.
No matter where you live in the US, you can enjoy the benefits of some type of edibles.
Health Benefits of Edibles
Edibles promote a healthy lifestyle when used correctly. Medical professionals are increasingly embracing these foods, drinks, powders, etc., as physical and mental therapeutics. Some of the health benefits of edibles include the following:
Research on the mental benefits of cannabis is still relatively new, but scientists have collected enough data to draw some conclusions. Studies have shown that cannabis helps those with chronic anxiety. Other studies indicate that it can help insomnia, PTSD, and, possibly, ADHD. The effect on other mental health conditions is not as clear, although some doctors are using cannabis as part of their treatment for schizophrenia.
Cannabis edibles are not a mental health panacea. For instance, any edible with high levels of THC is not effective for depression, and CBD does not work on mania seen in bipolar patients. So the research is a little mixed on some mental health benefits. The medical community does mostly agree that edibles are helpful for easing general anxiety.
Some doctors worry that cannabis negatively affects cognition. Research shows that early, heavy users of marijuana did score lower on IQ tests. But in recent years, the THC levels in cannabis have gone down, and mature users of medical cannabis may actually raise their cognitive function.
Studies on CBD products are not as extensive, but anecdotal evidence suggests that they have many of the same benefits as cannabis.
Experts generally agree that cannabis has several physical benefits. In fact, its use among the elderly has skyrocketed largely because it reduces pain and helps relieve nausea from chemotherapy. And of course, using edible products is far safer than taking other pain medications, particularly opioids. The elderly suffer from many ailments, including arthritis, poor appetite, neuropathy, etc. And they can take advantage of low THC level edibles or choose the CBD option to avoid the psychotropic effects.
Young and middle-aged adults benefit from both cannabis and CBD edibles as well. Again, the key is the THC level. If it’s too high for an individual, it may not deliver the desired effect. Fortunately, most cannabis now has around a 0.15% THC level as opposed to the 12% levels seen in cannabis just 7 years ago. Also, different cannabis types have varying chemical compositions, so some strains are better than others for certain medical conditions. Your doctor or medical dispensary expert can guide you to the type of edible that will work best for you.
Recreational Use of Edibles
When you think about the benefits of edibles, do not forget fun. Consuming edibles has long brought enjoyment to humankind. Edibles are the way to go since they give you the high you crave without causing lung damage or spreading around second-hand smoke. Proponents of legal cannabis have long noted that alcohol is far more dangerous to your health despite its being legal in all states.
Federal law is still at odds with individual states’ laws. Technically, Colorado says you can use edibles for your health, but the US government says you cannot. Right now, the government is not overriding state law, and public pressure is on to make cannabis legal across the land. Experts predict that legislators will change the law soon. Until then, you need to check the laws in your area.
Edibles Are a Valuable Health Aid
The health benefits of edibles are clear. They can help you with both physical and mental ailments while causing few if any side effects. You do need to make the right choices for your condition with the help of a medical professional. Know the THC level in the products that you ingest. Then enjoy.
FAQ: Edibles do not take full effect until several hours after ingesting them. You should not keep eating them until you feel high or you risk getting much higher than you intended. In short, do not stuff yourself with the brownies.
FAQ: Edibles often contain a much higher concentration of THC than a joint does. One cookie can contain 5-6 servings of THC on its own. Know each edible item’s THC content so you do not overdose.