When you walk into a marijuana dispensary, there is a huge variety of marijuana products to choose from. You can get edibles, flower, or oils to name just a few. It’s important to know the effects of marijuana use that are associated with each type of product so that you can make informed decisions about what is best for you and your body.
The Effects of Edibles
Edibles represent a broad category of marijuana products. Maybe you immediately think of pot brownies when you hear the word edibles. The category of edibles includes anything that is infused with cannabis that you can eat or drink.
Edibles must go through the entire digestive tract in order to get into your bloodstream. That means that you will not feel the effects immediately. For most people, it takes at least half an hour, and up to two hours, to feel the effects of your marijuana use. Once you begin to feel it, the effects will strengthen for a period of time.
Benefits of Edibles
Marijuana products that are considered edibles can contain THC – a psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD – a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, or a combination of both. Additionally, there are different strains of THC. Each strain may have different effects. The benefits of any particular edible, then, will depend on the specific combination of THC and CBD and the strains of THC that are present.
One major benefit of edibles is that they are not smoked so they do not have any effect on the lungs. For those who are concerned about smoking, edibles are a great alternative.
Some marijuana products can help people with anxiety and insomnia. CBD edibles are used by some people for that specific purpose. A study that was done in 2019 on the effects of CBD reported a significant reduction of anxiety in the vast majority of study participants. CBD edibles are also used by patients for pain management and seizure control. Edibles containing CBD can be a safe and effective way to relieve anxiety, aid in sleep, and manage pain and seizures.
Many people use edibles with a combination of THC and CBD for a sense of relaxation or euphoria. For those who are looking for marijuana products that do not need to be smoked, edibles offer people the positive effects of marijuana use without the potential harm of smoking. Edibles are also a great way to more dependably measure the amount of CBD or THC you are taking in. Smoking, on the other hand, is more difficult to keep track of.
Potential Side Effects of Edibles
Because edibles take longer to enter the system, the effects of using edibles are often not seen for 1-3 hours after ingestion. Using edibles requires patience. Those that do not wait long enough to see the full effects before ingesting more run the risk of overdosing on the marijuana in the edibles.
Overdosing on edibles, like overdosing with any marijuana products, can lead to paranoia, panic attacks, and nausea. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe. It is important to dose slowly and know exactly how your body reacts before increasing the dose.
The Effects of Smoking
Another popular marijuana product is marijuana flower. Flower is the smokable part of the marijuana plant. When you smoke marijuana, you will notice the effects of marijuana use much more quickly than you will with edibles. Inhaling the cannabinoids delivers the drug to your system rapidly. Most people experience a high within minutes of smoking, and the high can last a few hours.
Benefits of Flower
Since smoking delivers the THC and CBD from cannabis more rapidly, it is easier to know how the dosing affects your body. The dangers of overdose that exist with edibles are lessened when you smoke the flower.
Smoking various marijuana products can give you many of the same benefits as ingesting edibles. Smoking pure CBD can ease anxiety, help with sleep, and aid in pain management. For many, smoking THC brings feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Because of the rapid delivery system, these effects of marijuana use manifest themselves more quickly, bringing much-needed relief to some.
Potential Side Effects of Flower
When you smoke marijuana, you inhale the active ingredients straight into your lungs. If you do this too quickly, you may begin to feel lightheaded. Taking a few minutes to breathe fresh air will often help with the lightheaded feeling.
The long-term effects of marijuana products that are smoked may be more dangerous. Many believe that smoking causes damage to the lungs much the same way that cigarette smoking does. However, the evidence is not conclusive.
Because the marijuana is inhaled directly into the lungs, one of the effects of marijuana use for smokers is potential inflammation in the lungs. However, a study has also shown an increase in lung capacity among marijuana smokers. No clear association between smoking marijuana products and lung cancer has been established the way smoking cigarettes has been linked to lung cancer. Clearly, further study needs to be done to establish the full effect of smoking on the lungs.
The Effects of Cannabis Oils
One marijuana product that is becoming more popular is cannabis oil. Cannabis oils are made by extracting THC and CBD from the cannabis plant, either by a chemical process or by using carbon dioxide. These oils can be taken sublingually, by placing a dose under the tongue, or by mixing them in with another liquid and drinking them.
When taken sublingually, oils reach the bloodstream quickly. The cannabinoids do not need to go through the entire system before they are bioavailable. When mixed with another liquid and ingested, the delivery system is slowed down, much like with edibles.
Benefits of Cannabis Oils
CBD oil is a popular marijuana product. Just like CBD edibles and flower, the benefits range from pain relief to help with anxiety and insomnia. Oils that combine THC and CBD offer relaxation and euphoria along with potential relief of anxiety and pain.
Oils that are made by carbon dioxide extraction are typically very pure, offering these benefits without extra chemicals. This is important for people who want the effects of marijuana use without taking in other substances.
Potential Side Effects of Cannabis Oil
As with edibles, dosing is important. When cannabis oil is mixed in a beverage, it takes time to get through the digestive system and enter the bloodstream. While the process does not take as long as it does with an edible, it is still important to know that the effects of these marijuana products will not be immediate. The delayed onset of the cannabis effect can lead people to overdose if they are not patient. Signs of overdose, as with edibles, are nausea, panic attacks, and paranoia.
As the cannabis industry continues to grow and innovate, more marijuana products are becoming available all of the time. While these products all contain the same basic cannabinoids, the different delivery systems create different effects in the body. It is important to understand these results and make the best choice so that you can enjoy the beneficial effects of marijuana use.