There are many options available for CBD consumption, including flower, oils, vapes, and edibles. There is a very good chance you’ve heard about cannabis edibles in some form or another. People have known about “pot brownies” for decades, but there has to be more to edibles, right? In this article we’re going to explore what edibles really are and what benefits they bring, beyond what has become common in popular culture.
On the most basic level, CBD edibles are simply an ingestible form of cannabis that requires no combustion — or fire — to activate its chemical compounds. Many cannabis fans prefer edibles for health reasons, as there is no smoke to inhale or to fill up the environment around them. If you’re a person who just hates the smell of smoke or vape, edibles are an easy alternative to make sure your body and home stay smoke-free.
Throughout modern history we’ve typically seen edibles take the form of edible marijuana products, meaning they include the psychoactive compound THC. As many know, the addition of the THC cannabinoid means many of the edibles people are familiar with also come with an intoxicated or “high” feeling. However, CBD does not cause the user to feel high, leaving only the therapeutic benefits after ingestion. As CBD gains worldwide popularity, in part because of its ability to provide relief without intoxication, manufacturers are working hard to create edible cannabis products that contain only CBD. This means even more opportunities and products available where users can get necessary therapeutic benefits without risk of intoxication.
Benefits of CBD Edibles
There are many benefits to edible CBD, but the most powerful is the complete lack of smoke entering the lungs or the air. This is especially important for those who suffer from chronic lung conditions and would benefit from the use of CBD products, perhaps even to treat that same condition. The smallest amount of smoke or vape can irritate sensitive lungs, even if it’s just second-hand, but edibles avoid that issue completely while still providing a balanced and effective dose to help those suffering.
Some also choose edibles as a more discreet option of cannabis consumption. Even though cannabis products are quickly becoming mainstream and more accepted in all varieties of social circles, there is still a long way to go and often people will feel judged if they are the first to explore cannabis out of their peers. Edibles are unobtrusive and easy to take for those looking for a more subtle option, or those looking for a simple way to become familiar with the world of cannabis and the therapeutic benefits it provides.
Another benefit of edibles is the simple fact that they last longer than other methods. Because a single dose of an edible can last much longer than a similar dose of a smoked CBD product, the user can ultimately eliminate the need for frequent dosing throughout the day. It also makes edibles especially effective for those using them for conditions that require sustained treatment over many hours, like for pain, anxiety, or sleep disorders . Edibles also tend to provide a more sedative effect, which is especially useful for those suffering from issues related to sleep or relaxation.
Lastly, most people will find edibles to be a more affordable option when compared to pure CBD flower or oil. Most often edibles will cost less per item than other CBD options, making them the best option for those looking for the best bang for their buck. Many fans of edible CBD products have even taken to making their own, combining their love of cannabis and cooking into one relaxing hobby.
How CBD Edibles Are Made
You’ll usually see edible CBD available in three different styles and it’s very important to know the difference between each, especially if you’re sensitive to THC or live in a state where marijuana is still illegal.
The three main varieties of CBD are as follows:
- Full spectrum CBD: This product contains all cannabinoids, terpenes, and other molecular compounds found within the cannabis plant, including THC. Usually the THC found in full spectrum CBD products is only present in very small amounts, but it can be significant enough to deem it illegal in certain states. When purchasing full spectrum CBD make sure to carefully check the label if THC is something you’re trying to avoid or minimize, or if it’s not legal in your state.
- Broad spectrum CBD: Products labeled broad spectrum will contain all the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in full spectrum CBD, with the exception of THC. Manufacturers of broad spectrum CBD will remove the THC from these products, making them completely safe for anyone sensitive to THC and legal in states where marijuana is not.
- Isolate CBD: Isolate products contain only CBD and nothing else. There are no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or miscellaneous compounds found within. Isolate goes through a more intensive process to remove all extra components, leaving only pure, isolated CBD. This product will almost always come from a hemp plant and is therefore legal throughout the country.
An important phenomenon to note in regards to the various CBD styles is the entourage effect. This entourage effect is a process where all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils found in cannabis work together to increase the benefits of the whole. The entourage effect means hundreds of compounds in the plant all work together synergistically to amplify the combined therapeutic benefits more than any one compound could do on its own. Research has shown that removing even one of the compounds found in cannabis can reduce the effectiveness of the whole product , meaning that both full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD have the added benefit of the entourage effect, while unfortunately isolate CBD does not. By removing everything except CBD, isolate also removes the beneficial entourage effect process.
Which Are Best
Since edible products come in a large variety of options, including gummies, hard candies, chocolates, baked goods, and capsules, the choice about which of those is best will rely solely on which you personally prefer or what works better with your lifestyle. In regards to which CBD type will work best for you, take the time to determine what you do and do not want from the experience. If you’d prefer a treatment that also comes with a body high, finding a full spectrum CBD with a more balanced ratio of CBD to THC might be the best bet.
If the psychoactive properties aren’t appealing or important to you, a broad spectrum CBD will be your safest option. You’ll get all the benefits of full spectrum CBD without the risk of intoxication. With the legalization of hemp in the United States, you will likely see many broad spectrum products with a THC level of less than 0.3%, which is a trace amount and not enough for anyone to feel the psychoactive effects.
If you’re absolutely only interested in the therapeutic properties of CBD and not interested in other cannabinoids or terpenes, or maybe you’re sensitive to them, CBD isolate is the product for you.
Are Edibles for Me?
The first thing you’ll need to know is whether or not all types of CBD products are legal in your state. Full spectrum products may not be legal if they contain more than 0.3% THC, the federal limit for hemp products. If there is more than that present, the product most likely comes from a marijuana plant and may be illegal in your state.
Edible CBD products can be an easy and effective way to try out the wonderful world of cannabis and specifically CBD products. While many other forms of CBD may be a little intimidating for someone new to the industry, there are few things more straightforward and simple than eating a gummy or snacking on a cookie.
If you think you would benefit from CBD in any way, take a trip to almost any store or online CBD manufacturer and pick out an edible that sounds enticing. Edibles are much easier to start slowly on than other CBD products, so ease yourself into it by only eating a small amount at first, waiting for at least an hour, and then increasing the amount a little bit after that. Soon you’ll discover what the best dose is for your needs. Beyond that, edibles are so easy to adjust, if you find yourself needing more or less on any given day, simply eating more or less of your edible product is a simple way to make those adjustments on the fly.