It’s almost that time of year again! Soon we’ll be lighting up, with the familiar scents of pine and baked goodies in the air, and a festive cheer hanging about the room in tendrils of holiday smoke… Wait, did you think we were talking about Christmas? We meant the time for cozying up with your favorite buds, the most weedful time of the year, when all the greenery is hung up on the chimney with THC-glee… the Holidaze Season! Many Canadians are whipping up their best batch of pot cookies in preparation for Santa, and all that wholesome comfort food and baking is probably making you wish it was Christmas Eve already.
Maybe this is your first holidays trying cannabis edibles and you’re not sure where to get started? Now that cannabis edibles are legal across Canada, it’s sure to be a Holidaze you’ll never forget (or you probably will, on account of all the marijuana edibles you’re going to be snacking on!). Whether you’re a greenhorn or a greenthumb, we’ve got you covered for the do’s and dont’s for this upcoming season’s holiday baking – specifically, marijuana edible goodies.
If you’ve eaten your fair share of marijuana edibles, you probably already know what to avoid, where to start and why certain edibles are more suitable than others. Just like we all have individual preferences for tastes, textures and aromas of our food, cannabis can affect us at an individual level – especially when you dabble with cannabis in food or beverages. Cannabis consumables – namely, edibles, drinkables, topicals and other ingestible products like oils or concentrates – are shaping up to be the next big cannabis boom in Canada. The Cannabis Act & Regulations 2.0 (recently legalized as of October 17, 2019) addressed the glaring hole in the original Cannabis Act’s legislation: where are all the edibles and concentrates?! Many Canadians were disappointed to see in October 2018 that only cannabis flowers and some cannabis oils were approved for sale, leading to a massive “hurry up and wait” scenario for the cannabis industry and its consumers. Many cannabis enthusiasts don’t like to smoke, preferring to pop a potent weed gummy or apply a soothing THC/CBD cream when they felt the need for relaxation or pain-relief, respectively.
What kind of cannabis product, and the potency you need, depends on why you’re consuming it in the first place. Do you need help getting to sleep or staying asleep? Has your arthritis started acting up again now that the weather’s getting colder? Or maybe you’re just looking for some relaxing, anti-stress and anxiety-quelling chill in your life (we’re sure everyone could use some of THAT during the hectic build-up to the holidays). There’s no shortage of reasons to consume cannabis, and we think that edibles are one of the best ways you can get your high, without smoking it too. Cannabis is so customizable, so there’s no need to focus or worry about how you consume it, just make sure that you do. Not a fan of eating sweets? Then drop some marijuana oil in your coffee or tea in the morning. Are you looking to cut down on smoking but still crave that smooth inhale-and-exhale ritual? Try some cannabis concentrates in a vaporizer or dab rig. Lastly, but surely not least, if you don’t want to smoke anything but you definitely could use some chill-inducing ganja, cooking with cannabis or baking some edibles or shopping online for marijuana edibles is a fantastic (and delicious!) way to reap the medical benefits from this one-of-a-kind plant.
How much do edibles cost? How much should I buy? Where can I get them? Can I make them myself? These are all common questions when you’re new to the cannabis edibles game, but don’t fret because we’ve got answers to these questions and more. When you want to eat marijuana edibles, there’s a lot to understand before you even start shopping or making them at home; so where to begin? Let’s start with the basics of cannabis and try to understand what kind suits you, how much and why you should include it in your daily routine.
1. HOW DOES CANNABIS AFFECT YOU?
Cannabis has numerous cannabinoids, but the two most well-known are THC and CBD. THC, short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active compound in cannabis that is largely responsible for the “high” you feel. In addition to these psychoactive effects, THC has many benefits to your health – easing pain or inflammation, improving sleep, stimulating appetite, soothing nausea and even reducing anxiety. Cannabidiol, otherwise referred to as CBD, shares many of the same health benefits with THC but without any of the psychoactive effects; CBD provides all the health without any of the high. Both cannabinoids have their distinct advantages, but when taken together you can experiences the combined benefits of the “entourage effect” – whereby the medical benefits of individual cannabinoids are heightened when taken together, enhancing one another beyond what they could affect on their own.
A general rule of thumb to consider when consuming either cannabinoid is to start with a low dose, and consume cannabis slow. Understanding your own tolerances is crucial to experiencing the best parts of cannabis edibles, and not the jaw-dropping, head-spinning effects when you take too much of a too-high potency product. You may think that THC is what your after, but perhaps CBD is better suited to your lifestyle? As the holidays approach, it’s important to experiment with different kinds of cannabis edibles in small doses so that when the holidays come around you’re not “greening out”. Festive cheer is one thing, but over-doing it with THC can lead to an Xmas you’re sure to forget. So prepare for this year’s fun with family and friends ahead of time, and if you don’t already know your tolerance levels for THC then make sure you test the waters with some homemade edibles or cannabis edibles from Haute.
So, which kinds of edibles are for you? THC or CBD? Sometimes the answers is: both. For others, identifying the kinds of cannabinoid profiles that work best for them might mean trying a bunch of other cannabis products first and narrowing down the ideal strains or THC levels.
Sampling different varieties of cannabis species or strains – like Sativas, Indicas, Hybrids and the many different strains among them – can seem like a full-time job. If you’re not into smoking many kinds of cannabis to see which one affects you and how, our friends at Leafly have devised a very sophisticated terpene profiling system that can help you determine the flavors, aromas and effects that might be best for you. Once you’ve narrowed down what kinds of THC or CBD potencies suit you, or the terpenes profiles that give you the best cannabis experiences, it’s time to identify your delivery method of choice. Are you a lover of sweets? Is your favorite food more of a savory type? Maybe you like to munch on salty snacks throughout the day? Let’s look at the popular ways you can eat cannabis in the many forms of edibles available today.
2. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF EDIBLE?
Your edible of choice doesn’t have to fit into any popular category – like candies, gummies, chocolate, baked goodies or food-on-the-go – but it’s important to know what kinds of products are already out there just waiting for you to take a bite. Making edibles at home can be fun and an affordable way to get your cannabis fix, but it can also be complicated for someone new to marijuana in general. Modern cannabis edibles come in just about every popular form you can imagine. In the realm of sweets, there’s many purveyors of hard candy, chewy/gummy sweets, lozenges, cookies, cakes, pastries, and chocolates (just to name a few). For the active, on-the-go type many of these sweets are a great kind of edible because they are easy to bring with you, can be eaten anywhere and on-demand (like candies, lozenges, mints, chocolates, etc).
If you don’t have a sweet tooth or you’re looking to cut back on the treats, you can rely on THC or CBD infused beverages instead. Hemp CBD water, THC iced teas or juice mixes, or a combination of these primary cannabinoids as tinctures or isolate powders can be added to any cup of coffee or smoothie. Cannabis infused beverages are one of the fastest growing consumable products in the marijuana industry, because athletes, fitness enthusiasts and people of all walks of life are beginning to rely on the pain-easing, anti-inflammatory powers of this unique plant. Drinkable cannabis products are easily introduced into the system, and are much more efficiently delivered – they don’t need to be digested/broken down before being absorbed by the body like with food (edibles). THC or CBD drinks also have the advantage of usually being engineered for quick absorption and faster results through nanotechnology (making the molecule sizes smaller and therefore more efficiently introduced to our system). The more direct the delivery method, the faster you’ll notice the results (without sacrificing duration of effects), so cannabis-infused beverages are sure to continue to grow in popularity as the technology becomes even more efficient from extraction to infusion.
There are a whole host of marijuana edible products online and in stores that don’t fit either of these major categories – cannabis crackers, canna-jerky, and even cannabis-infused sauces or spreads. You can pretty much find any food or treat with cannabis in it online, but the popularity or effectiveness of some of these products is as a novelty at best. No matter how you choose to consume your cannabis, the point is it is up to you. The aspect of choice, taste and convenience are the major contributing factors to what kind of edible you choose to eat/drink. Do you have consistent access to a fridge? Do you have any dietary restrictions or allergies? Do you need an edible that can be broken up into smaller doses? These questions all pertain to your lifestyle and how edibles can not only support your daily routine, but how they can enhance it.
3. THE BENEFITS OF EDIBLE CANNABIS
There’s a lot of heated debate about what is the best way to consume cannabis for it’s medical benefits. Is it better for you, health-wise, to consume edible cannabis instead of smoking marijuana? Edibles vs smoking is an ages-old debate, and it’s pretty simple to resolve. According to Health Canada (and common sense), there’s no way to claim that smoking anything – let alone something that doesn’t have medical benefits, like tobacco – is good for you. Even though smoking marijuana can induce positive health effects for pain, inflammation, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, sleep or anxiety there’s still that lingering conundrum of “you’re using your lungs to ingest something”. Our lungs were not meant to inhale vast amounts of fumes – their literal job is to filter out the particulates and toxins in the air we breathe. So, even though our lungs can absorb cannabis smoke and in-turn process the cannabinoids contained within, this is a flawed delivery system. At it’s core, smoking has negative influences on our health (sometimes fatally so!). So if you’re going to argue between the safety and effectiveness of Edible vs. Smoked cannabis, it’s essentially not valid to say that smoking or vaping is ultimately good for your health.
This isn’t to say that only edibles are a good way to consume cannabis for medical benefits. Applying THC or CBD topicals to the skin can be a great way to feel some soothing pain relief, or to calm muscle spasms, is an excellent way to experience the benefits of cannabis. Prefer a more “direct to the system” approach? Taking some cannabis oil from a tincture under the tongue is one of the best ways to provide total body & brain support; the cannabinoids are absorbed through the sublingual glands under the tongue and introduced very quickly and directly to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). For the more serious medical cannabis users – those suffering from debilitating ailments – there are many pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products under development, such as dissolvable THC tabs, CBD asthma inhalers or high-potency cannabis suppositories. There’s even CBD or THC infused wellness products making their way to shelves all over the country. Cannabis shampoos, lotions, bath balms and even toothpaste are steadily growing in popularity, leading many people to rely on the positive health effects of marijuana throughout their day in just about a hundred different ways.
All of these options sound interesting and innovative, but there’s still something to be said about ingesting cannabis in edible form and how it can have long-lasting, very potent effects. Cannabis edibles can take a long time to kick in (in some cases, 1-2 hours) but once they do you can experience a potent THC-high or calming-CBD for hours on end (sometimes 6-8 or more hours of effect). This is due to your body’s digestive tract breaking down the edible material over time, releasing the cannabinoids into your system in a consistent, steady pace. So, no matter what kind of edible you prefer or why you turn to edibles over the other cannabis product types, you know you’ll be getting a potent, consistent high every time.
4. HOW TO CONSUME CANNABIS EDIBLES
What you choose to make or eat or drink is a matter or taste, but how should you get your edibles? Shopping for cannabis edibles in-stores isn’t really a great customer experience right now – edibles were only recently legalized in October 2019, so many retailers haven’t received their first shipments of edibles yet. It will be several months before we’ll find edibles on the shelves of retail stores, so where else can one find some? Buying edibles online in Canada is definitely the way to go. Marijuana edibles come in many kinds of products, at many different prices and in a variety of potencies. Ordering cannabis edibles online in Canada is the cheapest, most convenient and provides the best variety – so if you’ve got a specific hankering for a certain kind of edible, check out online marijuana dispensaries like Haute Health for all your edibles needs.
Speaking of convenience, how you consume edibles, where, and how often are major factors in making your choice of edibles. Need some pain relief on-the-go? Weed gummies, candies or mints are a great kind of edible that you can take with you anywhere. Candies, gummies or mints also have the benefit of being able to be dose-controlled (squares or pieces that have measured doses per item). Got more time to sit down, relax and enjoy a sweet or savory treats? Obviously, chocolate cake, brownies, pastries, or cookies are some of the most popular favorites, but these kinds of edibles can also be eaten on-the-go just not as easily as gummies or candies. Cannabis-infused beverage mixes are also a top choice because they can travel with you, be customized in terms of potency and/or mixed in with other drinks (such as smoothies or tea).
Convenience isn’t the end-all, be-all for cannabis edibles but it’s definitely a major determining factor for many people’s choice of product. Another important factor? Price.
5. WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
Like with most things in life, we can talk about quality or variety all day but in the end what matters most to many people is cost. Money talks, and cannabis edibles are no exception. Cannabis edibles can be pricey, but they don’t have to be because you don’t have to just rely on buying them in expensive retail stores. Shopping online for cannabis edibles is a great way to find the best prices and selection, and usually with free shipping across all of Canada. Haute.health offers all the edibles you’ll need to have a holly, jolly holidaze – and at a price that puts the rosiness in Old St. Nick’s chubby cheeks. When you buy marijuana edibles online at Haute, you’re getting the best selection of potent cannabis sweets that you could need.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to include a little extra “festive spirit” in your holiday baking this year, get truly “baked” and make your own cannabis edibles. Making edibles is a great way to learn what kinds of cannabis you like, and you can stretch your dollars by making them in bulk. Not to mention, you’re going to enjoy fresh-out-of-the-oven weed goodies! For some tips on how to make some delectable pot cookies sure to impress any in-laws, check out our previous articles on the best cannabis edibles and how to make them.
6. THINGS TO BE CAUTIOUS OF
We’ve all heard of the stories about getting too high from cannabis edibles – maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself. “Greening out” or feeling nauseous because you ate too much cannabis edibles is never fun, and it’s an all-too-common occurrence for many people’s first encounter with edible marijuana. On the flip side, some people consume cannabis edibles and expect certain effects – a longer lasting high, more potent psychoactive effects, a deep sleep or relief from their aches & pains – and get too little. Edibles are difficult to predict because everyone’s tolerance, metabolism and digestive systems are unique; no two people are truly alike, so when it comes to expecting results from cannabis edibles it can be tough to ascertain the what/where/when/how. How can you avoid this issue of taking too much, or eating too little cannabis edibles? As always, start low, start slow, and consistently increase your dose as you get used to the effects.
Understanding your tolerance can be tricky, as we can have consistent effects most of the time but as our bodies go through physiological changes so does our ability to interact with cannabinoids. Fluctuations in your fitness, metabolism, appetite, sleep patterns, diets, supplements or medications can all affect how you experience the effects you’re seeking from cannabis. Because you can’t always know how you’re going to feel, it’s important to pay close attention to what your body is telling you. Edibles can be a very effective way to reduce pain, improve sleep, quell anxiety or treat health conditions but in order to optimize the benefits you get from cannabis you need to constantly evaluate and adjust. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep relying on edibles, just be careful of how much you’re taking whenever you need to change it up and try a new kind of edible, or when you’re upping your dose or frequency.
Something else to be aware of is the chance of getting inconsistent edibles. Sometimes an edible can be listed as “THC Free” if it’s a high-CBD product, or that the dose is pre-measured – such as with gummy worms, a 15 mg of THC/gummy ratio. It’s not always the fault of the manufacturer, but inconsistencies can happen during production – pockets of concentrated cannabinoids in part of the product, less or more THC or CBD per edible, etc. There’s been instances of someone eating just half of an edible but all of the sudden feeling the full force of the active compounds. This definitely poses problems for people who rely on consistent, predictable effects from their edibles and no one should have to guess when you’re seeking certain results. That being said, it’s necessary to remember these freak occurrences can happen, so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you’re in a safe place you can relax in if you feel the effects of THC overcoming your tolerance.
This time of year can be full of cheer and merriment, just make sure that you’re paying attention to how much edibles you’re having – you’d hate to ruin a holidays by being “too jolly” and greening out in front of your relatives. Marijuana edibles can change the way you experience the benefits of cannabis, and they’re a great way to share your love of this wonderful weed with friends and family. Cut down on smoking or avoid it all together and make cannabis edibles at home, or shop the excellent selection of weedibles at Haute.health.