When consuming marijuana edibles, patience pays

By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Tumbleweed Dispensary

Smoking marijuana produces instintaneous effects, allowing users to determine whether they’ve reached their desired high or if they’d like to continue smoking.

Edible cannabis products, however, can take as long as an hour or more before the user feels its effects. This could lead user to falsely believe the edible isn’t working.

“You have to wait at least 45 minutes to an hour and a half to feel the effects. For some people, it can take up to two hours — it’s different for every person,” said Mo Daly, a budtender at Tumbleweed Dispensary, which has seven locations from Frisco to De Beque. “Know how your body will react and don’t eat too much.”

A simpler alternative

For those who struggle with smoking marijuana due to asthma or coughing, edibles are an attractive alternative. You simply eat a 10 mg dose — the THC content in a single edible serving in Colorado — and wait for the high to kick in.

While the onset of effects is slower, many users report a longer, stronger high, said Dani Rodrigues, a budtender at Tumbleweed Dispensary.

Drinkable edibles kick in faster than food edibles such as candies, brownies and other products, but users are getting creative with these products to make even more delicious things.

Dutch Girl Waffles, for example, are great to use for ice cream sandwiches, Mo Daly said. CannaPunch is another product that uses whole cannabis flowers to make an elixir that’s emulsified into the drink.

“CannaPunch is delicious and has a quicker onset of effects,” said Edwin Ledezma, marijuana consultant at Tumbleweed Dispensary.

So which method of marijuana consumption is right for you? It really just comes down to personal preference, according to Tumbleweed Dispensary budtenders. It’s important to ask your budtenders the questions you have about edibles. Don’t believe the myths (see below).

State laws

The state of Colorado has altered its labeling rules for marijuana edibles since recreational marijuana became legal in 2014. In 2017, Colorado adopted new rules that said marijuana edibles could no longer be shaped like animals (such as gummy bears), humans, fruits or cartoons so as not to confuse them with regular candy.

Pot-related poison control calls were up after legalization in Colorado and Washington, due to everything from accidental ingestion to overconsumption. Child-proof containers, potency testing and dosing restrictions were some of the measures Colorado implemented to prevent edible concerns. But it wasn’t enough, so the regulations continue to adapt.

“With the new universal symbol, people can more easily identify marijuana products, monitor their intake by serving size and avoid eating too much,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “And by making marijuana labels less appealing to children, we hope to keep them from accidentally eating THC and suffering the consequences.”

Myths vs. Facts

There are many myths about edibles, which is why you should, talk to your budtender about the facts. Here’s some useful knowledge from the staff at Tumbleweed Dispensary:

  • Tolerance is not related to how much marijuana you smoke.

  • Don’t consume edibles on an empty stomach.

  • If you don’t feel it, give it more time. It can take as long as two hours for some people to feel the effects of an edible.

  • Follow the recommended dosage for your first use to determine how your body reacts to edibles.

  • Don’t eat too much!

Photos by Hugh Carey.