As of June 2, edibles can be purchased in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market. Here at Substance, we decided it was high time to put out our own guide for this brand of cannabis consumption. Whether you are a first-time user or a veteran looking for a refresher, we hope you find this guide useful.
The new regulations allow for Oregonians over the age of 21 to purchase “one low-dose cannabinoid edible” a day. Low-dose here is defined as 15 mg of THC or less. Why so low? The answer is that edibles tend to have much stronger, longer lasting effects than smoking.
Your smoking tolerance may also be higher than your edible tolerance; it’s hard to know beforehand. Furthermore, once you have put the cannabis into your system, all you can do is wait for the effects to wear off. While not toxic for your body, consuming too much THC can be very unpleasant.
This is why first-time consumers are encouraged to start small and work their way up. Colorado has even initiated a ‘First Time 5’ campaign, encouraging those new to edibles to begin with just 5 mg of THC per serving.
Edibles have a stronger effect than smoking because of the way the THC enters your system. Once metabolized by the liver, the THC becomes more potent and bypasses the blood-brain barrier more quickly. This means that while edibles hit harder for longer, they also take longer to set in. On average, you can expect anywhere between 15 and 90 minutes to begin feeling the effects. Peak effects may not arrive for up to 2 hours, and can last for several more.
The THC in an edible is absorbed into the bloodstream one of two ways: sublingually or gastrointestinally. Those absorbed sublingually, or “under the tongue”, set in much faster, as they enter the bloodstream directly through tissues in the mouth. Sublingual edibles include tinctures, suckers, lozenges, and hard candy.
Gastrointestinal methods tend to take longer, as they must enter the intestinal tract before you feel the effects. Expect a longer turnaround time for brownies, cookies, baked goods, savory snacks, and drinks.
Ultimately, everyone is affected by edibles differently. So start low, go slow, and play it safe until you find what works for you.