Cannabis Education: Edibles

Activated cannabis compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes contained in your selected edible are absorbed through your digestive tract, including your liver.

Your method of ingestion will vary the onset time and the length of the cannabis-induced experience.

Smoking and Vaporzing: Onset: Immediate

Duration of Experience: 1-4 hours

Mode of Action: When a person smokes cannabis, they immediately absorb the cannabinoids into the blood, which flows directly to the brain where the most abundant quantity of CB1 receptors resides.

Edibles: Onset: 15m-1.5 hours

Duration of the experience: 3-6 hours

Mode of Action: You primarily absorb Cannabis edibles through your digestive tract, including your liver. When you consume THC via an edible, your liver will convert it to 11-Hydroxy-THC. This active metabolite will cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to CB1 receptors inducing a long-lasting experience. Most edibles take longer to onset and also last longer. This will vary depending on the type of edible and your own body.

Sublingual Application: Onset: Immediate – 20 minutes

Duration of Experience: 2-4 hours

Mode of Action: When placing cannabis sublingual preparations under the tongue or between the gums and the cheek, it is absorbed via the sublingual mucosa and moves directly to the blood and then to the brain, where the most abundant quantity of CB1 receptors reside.

Most edibles onset between 15 min – 1.5 hours. Yes, this is a wide range of time! There are many variables to onset time, including what sort of edible you ingested and your unique metabolism and endocannabinoid system. For example, if you consume a hard candy that dissolves in your mouth, activation time will be much quicker due to the sublingual absorption of cannabinoids. And if you ate a cookie or a brownie, it will likely take longer, ranging from 30 minutes – 1.5 hours. Additionally, each person has a unique endocannabinoid system and metabolism, impacting both the onset time and dosage required for a cannabis experience.

You will most likely not experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis if you consume raw cannabis. There is only one exception to this rule I am aware of: if you juice fresh, natural cannabis combined with citrus fruit or citric acid, you may experience a shift in perception that will last several hours. This is because citric acid has the power to oxidize cannabis and therefore cause a redox reaction potentiating the THCA into THC.

We always suggest starting small and working your dosage up to your desired experience. Remember, you can always ingest more, but you can’t go back if you overdo it! The state has determined that 5mg of THC is a single dose for a recreational user. This can be misleading, as each person’s endocannabinoid system and body is going to process cannabis differently. If you are brand new to cannabis, we suggest you start small – perhaps with only 2.5mg. Another good trick if you are new to cannabis edibles is to make sure there is some CBD in your edibles. CBD has the potential to help reduce anxiety and create a well-balanced cannabis edible experience.

The most commonly used cannabis products in edibles are extracts and concentrates. Some of the most commonly used extracts include Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and Distillate. The most frequently used concentrates include Kief, Hash and Cannabis Butter.
In Oregon a recreational customer may purchase up to 16 ounces of edibles in solid form and 72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.
In Oregon, both medical and recreational customers may purchase up to 16 ounces of edibles in solid form and 72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.
Decarboxylation is a scientific term for a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide. You might ask: what does this have to do with my cannabis? Read on…
Raw cannabis contains only carboxylic acid forms of cannabinoids. For example, in the raw cannabis plant, there is no THC; only THCA is present. While THCA has many health benefits, it will not induce the high or euphoria of THC. In order to turn THCA into THC decarboxylation must happen.
Time and temperature are the most common catalysts for decarboxylation. As cannabis flowers dry, decarboxylation occurs slowly. We accelerate this process by adding heat: the more heat you add, the faster the reaction takes place. When you smoke or vaporize cannabis, you are rapidly decarboxylating your cannabis. Further, when you ingest edibles, the cannabis concentrate or extract used to make the edible has also been decarboxylated.
When heating cannabis during the decarboxylation process, not only is THCA converted to THC but THC is also converted into CBN. THC converts to CBN rapidly when heat is applied. CBN makes your cannabis more sedative. Therefore, optimal decarboxylation involves exposing your cannabis to a limited amount of heat over a specific amount of time to activate the most THC and minimize the amount of THC converted into CBN. Thankfully, there is a body of research to find just the right process. For more information on decarboxylation, check out the blog “Understanding Decarboxylation: How to Fine Tune your Smoking or Vaping Experience.”

1. Grind up cannabis flowers and/or trim.

2. Spread out cannabis on cookie sheet or baking pan in an even, thin layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

4. Once pre-heated, place baking sheet of cannabis in oven and bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes, open the oven door and turn off the oven. Leave the cannabis in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Citric acid can be used to make a citric acid extraction, where the citric acid decarboxylates the cannabis. See the link below for more information.

When juicing raw cannabis a higher concentration of raw cannabinoid acids are available. This means that most people can consume more cannabinoids without the side effects or with a minimal side effects of the psychoactive experience. All the potential health benefits associated with consuming cannabinoids apply to juicing raw cannabis. In addition to that, it is possible that raw cannabis juice is also high in antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals.

You can juice either the leaves or the fresh buds of the cannabis plant. If you use the fresh buds, cannabinoid levels will be much higher in your juice. Make sure if you use the fresh buds, and don’t desire a psychoactive THC experience that the buds are literally just picked off the plant, and that you do not use any citrus fruit in your juice. Conversely, if you desire a psychoactive experience from your juice, use buds and add them to citrus fruit.

In order to juice cannabis and not activate the cannabinoids you must use a masticating juicer.