From tinctures and capsules to gummies and drinks, you have a lot of options when it comes to literally consuming cannabis in edible form. While the sheer variety of cannabis concentrates have slowly begun to eclipse the selection that cannabis consumables have enjoyed, there’s still a lot of variety to choose from and depending on what type of edible you pick, it could have serious implications on the kind of high you’ll experience.
So what are the types of edibles that you can get and which one is best for your personalized cannabis experience?
Let’s go over the pros and cons of each type so you know exactly what’s best for you!
How do Edibles Work?
When someone smokes weed, the THC is first absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs and then circulated throughout the body.
When someone eats an edible, the THC enters the stomach and travels through the intestines instead. Once it enters the liver, the liver metabolizes the THC into a completely different compound known as 11–OH-THC, also known as 11 hydroxy metabolite.
This new compound is able to bypass the blood-brain barrier more efficiently and is capable of inducing more psychoactive effects. It has been theorized that 11-OH-THC could be up to 3 to 7 times as potent as THC!
It is for this reason that many medical patients prefer edibles. Their ease of use, high THC content and tasty flavors makes consumption easier than ever before. However, the types of edibles you consume will also have an effect on your experience.
Related Article: What are Edibles? Guide for Dosing and Making Marijuana Edibles
Types of Edibles
Gummies, Candies and Chocolates
These types of edibles are the quintessential cannabis consumable. They’ve been around for a long time, and for good reason. They’re tasty, incredibly easy to eat and just plain fun.
These types of edibles are usually made with cannabis butter and/or THC distillate by substituting regular oils/fats with the psychoactive substance. While they are definitely tasty, there are a few pros and cons when it comes to these types of edibles.
- Easy to eat
- Familiar and recognizable
- Strong cannabis taste, if cannabis butter is used
- Hard to dose, depending on the type of edible
- Other included ingredients may be unhealthy or undesirable
- Can take a while to activate (30 minutes to 2 hours)
Sometimes, you just want to medicate without eating empty calories or waiting a long time for the effects to kick in. While these types of edibles are definitely tasty, they do contain a lot of sugar, fats and sometimes even additives in order to keep them shelf stable. For non medical patients this might not be an issue, but it might be an area of concern if you’re taking cannabis medically.
Tinctures is a type of edible that suspends cannabis extract in an alcohol or similar solution. They utilize alcohol to strip away the cannabinoids (THC and CBD, among others) from the plant before refining the final tincture to remove things like chlorophyll, fats and wax from the plant.
These types of edibles are administered sublingually, which means they’re dosed underneath your tongue. Research has suggested that sublingual dosing can expedite the absorption process as the tissue beneath the tongue allows substances to enter the bloodstream extremely quickly.
Of course, this depends on a variety of factors as well but if you’re looking for something fast-acting, then tinctures are definitely the way to go.
- No additives/ fillers compared to gummies and candies
- Easy to dose – most tinctures have an included dropper
- Bitter – 2 ingredients can make it hard to swallow
- Alcohol based
- Can be expensive
If you’re a medical patient or someone who wants CBD, then you’re going to want to opt for a tincture instead of your run-of-the-mill gummy or chocolate. Skip the fat and sugar and get something that’s just THC and alcohol to properly medicate!
These types of edibles fall into a unique category because they’re not exactly gummies and candies but they’re not medicinal as tinctures yet they might just be the second most popular category of edibles coming after gummies and candies.
Capsules are usually THC or CBD oil or distillate that has been measured, dosed and securely placed inside a secure pill capsule. The oil or distillate is usually combined with a carrier oil to make absorption take place faster.
Similar to gummies, these types of edibles follow the same first-pass metabolism rule and will act upon your entire system after it has been processed by the liver.
If you’re a user who doesn’t want the sugar or calories from regular candy edibles yet is still apprehensive towards the bitter, alcoholic taste of a tincture – CBD and THC capsules will be right up your alley.
- Accurately dosed
- Easy and discreet to eat
- No bitter/strong taste
- No bitter/strong taste
It can feel a bit odd to eat an edible and not taste anything as it goes down. With that being said, when it comes to medicinal use these types of edibles really have no peer.
THC and CBD drinks are in vogue – especially during the hotter months of the year. Afterall, who doesn’t want a refreshing, medicated beverage while lounging around on a warm, sandy beach?
While a relatively new invention, these types of edibles are already available in a variety of flavours, concentrates and even forms!
You’ll be able to pick from a selection of instant beverage mixes, pre-prepared cocktails and even medicated teas!
- Faster than capsules and gummies
- Easy to consume
- No strong taste
- Tends to wear off faster than capsules and gummies
- Bitter/strong taste depending on the variety you get
- Hard to keep for long periods of time – poor shelf life
Some of these drinks can even reach up to 400mg of THC per bottle – talk about potent! Of course, not every cannabis drink is as strong. One company produces a hot chocolate mix that has 150mg of THC per package – a good amount even if you don’t plan on consuming the entire mix!
Commonly an ingredient in many edibles such as gummies and candies, cannabis distillate itself can actually be eaten as is for very similar effects and without the added sugar or filler ingredients that are so endemic in other types of edibles.
What is THC distillate? It’s one of the purest cannabis concentrates available on the market today. Approaching 80-95% levels of THC, distillate is a cannabis extract that has removed almost everything that is undesirable within the cannabis plant leaving only behind pure THC.
It’s flavourless, odourless and incredibly pure, making it a versatile ingredient to include in the manufacturing of edibles (as discussed above) and inclusion in everyday cooking!
Yes, you heard that right. Distillate can be added and infused into your cooking to make any meal into a medicated meal! Available in syringe form, a few drops of distillate is all it takes to infuse a bit of potency into sauces, soups and even drinks if you were so inclined.
- Difficult to properly dose (if cooking with it)
Types of Edibles – Concluding Thoughts
Didn’t think the world of edibles was so complicated, did you? With the knowledge that you’ve gleaned today, you’re ready to sail off with confidence knowing exactly what it is that you want out of your edibles experience and the types of edibles to look out for.
Not all edibles are made equal – it’s still important to
1. Purchase from a reputable dispensary
2. Start off with a low dosage before going up
3. Always wait for the first dose to kick in before consuming another
Different concentrations, manufacturing methods and concentrates used by vendors can make for an unstandardized experience so it’s best to experiment first before taking the plunge.
As always, happy trails!