Delicious! An introduction to cannabis infused edibles
Throughout Missouri and other states, the legalization of marijuana for medical use is capturing the attention of many people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in cannabis. Since July of 2021, Missouri has seen an increase of nearly 70,000 patients registered with the state. With over 187,000 active patients now in the state, I find new patients in the dispensary are often interested in making edibles their primary consumption method thanks to the controllable dosing and discreet qualities edibles bring to the table. Edibles are an effective route for patients looking to solve their medical needs and are extremely easy to fit into a patient’s daily routine.
When first looking into edibles, the different milligrams and doses can be daunting for first-time patients. I always like to recommend for patients to start low and slow when starting edibles of any sort, this way the patient can find their true therapeutic dose to fit their medical needs. The therapeutic dose is when someone consumes just the right amount of product to help with their desired symptoms, but not so much as to interfere with the patient’s functional level throughout the rest of the day. I often recommend edibles to patients suffering from insomnia, body aches, and pains, and even those who are new to the Missouri medical market.
For beginners, I always like to recommend any edibles coming in the 1:1 THC-CBD form. The presence of CBD and THC in 1:1 products can be extremely beneficial for pain management. CBD and THC provide the best benefits for patients when both cannabinoids are present, creating something called the “entourage effect.” CBD brings many benefits to the patient’s life similar to THC, without the psychoactive effects that cause the patient to get “high.” Benefits of CBD can include decreased inflammation and pain, decreased anxiety, and help in sleeping due to insomnia. Also, CBD is known for lessening the severity of the high that THC causes, ideally leaving the patient with a more functional state of mind and pain-free day.
One of my favorite products to recommend is the 60% Dark Chocolate Salted Brownie Batter Chocolate bar, a 1:1 THC-CBD edible coming from Honeybee Edibles. The bitter notes from the dark chocolate are perfectly paired with the sea salt pieces throughout, turning this chocolate bar into one of my favorite go-to’s at the dispensary. One of the most intriguing and unique things about Honeybee edibles, is that their chocolates and gummies are sectioned into 5 mg pieces, whereas most edible brands serve their product to patients in 10mg pieces. This feature is helpful for dosing purposes, as 10 mg is usually too strong of a product for true beginners to ease into.
If chocolates are not quite your thing, KC Cannabis also has a wide variety of gummies available in different strengths and flavors. Again, Honeybee finds success in this department as well, especially with the Sour Watermelon Passionfruit gumdrops. This is another 1:1 THC-CBD product, offering the same pain and anxiety benefits as described with the chocolate bar. Each gumdrop contains 5 mg of THC and CBD, again capitalizing on ease of use and controlled doses for new patients. The Sour Watermelon gumdrop reminded me somewhat of a sour patch kid in taste, with the consistency being a crumbly sugar that dissolves into the mouth beautifully.
Now, let’s talk about doses! Dosing can truly be the make or break for new patients especially, so I find it important to discuss this topic with patients to ensure their experience is positive. While some products do contain THC and CBD as shown above, THC is going to be the cannabinoid where often less is more. THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects cannabis has been historically known for, and often the compound that new patients are already somewhat familiar with also. When starting from ground zero tolerance, I would recommend patients to start with a 2.5mg to 5 mg dose. As seen on the chocolate bar, 2.5 mg would be represented by taking one-half of the triangle, as each triangle possesses 5 mg of THC and CBD respectively. When starting with a low dose, patients can peacefully ease into the experience knowing they’ve taken a controlled amount. Also if the experience wasn’t enough the first time, patients can always adjust their dose accordingly the next time they medicate. For example, if 2.5 mg didn’t quite do enough for pain levels for my patient, I might recommend they try 5 mg the next time. Also important to note, that your body can and will adjust to your doses. While 2.5 mg might be a perfect daily amount for one week, the next week you might feel as if you need to take 5 mg to achieve the same effect. This is okay and should be expected as your tolerance increases.
While edibles can be extremely beneficial, there are some things that need to be noted when diving into the edible world. Patients should understand that most doses will take anywhere from one to two hours to feel effects, and these effects typically last anywhere from 4-6 hours, and even up to 12 hours for some patients. This trait makes edibles a great option for patients suffering with sleep issues, as the effects not only help the patient to comfortably fall asleep, but also last long enough to keep the patient asleep throughout the night. The big mistake here to avoid is taking another piece before the first dose really sets in, which can create an experience that is uncomfortable for the user. Patience is key here. In a scenario in which you do take too many edibles, an experience most budtenders have gone through, a powerful tool is knowing how to power through. Personally, my tricks for this scenario include watching my favorite movies, phoning a friend or even sniffing some fresh ground pepper. Having pure CBD products around always helps too, as a dose of CBD can help bring the patient back to a more comfortable high by lessening the psychoactive effects of the THC within the body. The point of alarming the patient of these side effects is never to steer them away from trying a new consumption method, but to further educate and prepare the patient for every possible scenario they might experience through cannabis.
With more and more Missourians becoming aware of the benefits of cannabis, it’s important that we provide these new consumers with the information needed to set them up for success. I would strongly recommend edibles for anyone venturing into the cannabis world, especially those who haven’t used before and want to see if it could be beneficial for them. The potential benefits include decreased anxiety, decreased inflammation, and better overall sleep. No matter how comfortable you might become with edibles, low and slow should become a repetitive thought in your mind when dosing throughout your adventures. Whether you’re a rookie starting with 5 mg or a seasoned veteran buying high potency gummies, edibles can be a great addition to any medical patient’s daily routine. Stay stoned Missouri, and come check out our edible selection at any of our four Kansas City Cannabis locations!
Dustin Alexander brings years of pharmaceutical experience to the cannabis field and his role as a Budtender at Kansas City Cannabis. Dustin strives to help patients meet their medical needs, combining his experience with his growing passion for cannabis. Dustin’s work is dedicated to giving back to an industry that he knows and loves while helping Kansas City Metro patients to maximize their daily quality of life through cannabis.