Ingesting Cannabis Tainted Edibles



Another delivery option for cannabis  patient's to consider is edibles.  While smoking has a number of known risks associated with inhaling tar and carbon, there are no known long term side effects to ingesting cannabis.    Edible medications have the advantage of being discreet and odorless; they provide a much stronger, longer lasting effect as well. 
Commercially produced edibles come in many shapes and forms from cannabis infused butter, peanut butter and oils to candies, baked goods and drinks.  Edibles can be made at home as well by using cannabis infused butter or oil in food recipes.  Depending on  taste preferences, one can use either straight up bud or concentrates like keif, hash or oil.  Raw bud or leaf imparts the taste of vegetation and chlorophyll to food that is reminiscent of cooked spinach  whereas concentrates tend to have less impact on the  flavor of the food.


Cannabis laced foods are a great option for patients  who need long term therapeutic coverage and who do not wish to expose themselves to the risks of frequent smoking.  This might include patients with hypertension, and other cardio-vascular, or pulmonary conditions, who would be adversely affected by smoking.   Patients with sleep disorders or who suffer from a great degree of pain and don't want to medicate as frequently as smoking or vaping would demand.

The effects of consumed cannabis can linger for up to 10 hours, depending upon the strength of the product and cannabinoid profile of the concentrate or plant material used.   Potency can vary greatly according to product,  or if home made, the  strength or quality and amount of the cannabis, keif or hash used.  Generally these are infused into  butter or oil which is then used in preparation of whatever food is being laced.


The standard doseage for edibles  is about 5-10 mg. of pure THC per portion.  Since the average strain has about 10 percent THC, lets use that as a basis for estimating how much to add to a recipe.  If you start out with an eighth of cannabis, that would would be 3.5 grams.

Every 1 gram of cannabis bud has 1,000mg of dry weight. If a strain has about 10% THC, ten percent of 1,000mg would be 100mg. So for cooking or baking at home, it is safe to assume that a gram of cannabis contains at least 100mg THC..  Take the amount of ground cannabis or kief, convert it to milligrams and divide it by the recipe yield to determine a per-serving dose of THC. A starting dosage for beginners is 5 milligrams per serving, the average size for many cannabis-infused edibles is 10mg THC.


Lets start with just under an eighth of cannabis.  On average, three grams of ground cannabis will equal 300mg THC.  To determine dosage, divide that 300 mg. by the recipe yield.  An average cookie recipe usually makes about 60 cookies.  So in this case your home made edible will equal 5mg per cookie.

When consumed, cannabis' active ingredients are first delivered to the stomach,  they must travel through the digestive tract to eventually arrive at the liver.   Within the liver, cannabinoids are converted into forms usable by the body before they are finally absorbed into the bloodstream.  THC, for instance, is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, a much more potent molecule that induces a greater, longer lasting stoned effect then delta-9-THC.    This leads us to one of the drawbacks of edibles-- the onset of relief is not immediate.  It takes an average of45 minutes to 2 hours for ingested cannabis to make its way through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream.


The time factor involved in edibles can present a real challenge to patients who need immediate relief.  It also complicates finding the right dosage.  Many patients despair that they have not taken an adequate amount when they don't experience any relief in a timely manner.  A few will be tempted to take an additional dose.  This is generally a bad idea!  Often, the second dose hits right when the first does is at peak effect. Some patients will find such an intense and long lasting high to be too much.  If you find yourself in this situation, relax and remain calm.  Getting worked up about the intensity of your experience will just make things worse.  There are a list of suggestions at the top of this page<If You Think You Have Overdosed On Cannabis> to help you cope with  any moments of discomfort or paranoia.


Another draw back is that some patients feel nauseous after ingesting cannabis laced products. It often helps to make edibles with hash or keif rather than leaf or bud due to the taste factor. This might make edibles a poor choice for patients who already suffer from poor appetite or nausea. 

What does a cannabis "High" feel like"?       Can I overdose on Cannabis?       Why is it impossible to fatally overdose on Cannabis?       What can I do to counteract too large a dose of cannabis?        How long do cannabis' effects last?    What is "coming down" on cannabis like?       Isn't cannabis highly addictive?       Doesn't cannabis make people lazy and unmotivated?       Isn't cannabis a gateway to using other, harder drugs?         Why does cannabis cause "the munchies"?        My Dr. recommends medical cannabis, how do I determine the right dosage for me?       How should I "take" medical cannabis?:  Smoking      Vaporizing      Edibles     Tincture   COMING SOON:    Tea       Topical Applications: Balms     Poultices       Cannabis Nutrition:  Juicing Cannabis      Eating raw leaves      Eating Hempseed 




   Isn't Cannabis highly addictive?




No.  In spite of "War on Drugs" rhetoric that claims cannabis is just as addictive as heroin, this is a fallacy.  The fact is, there is very little real evidence to suggest cannabis  produces physical dependence and withdrawal in humans.  Immediate cessation of cannabis use after long periods of heavy use could make a person susceptible to mild psychological symptoms including nervousness, anxiety, moodiness,  irritability, diminished appetite, restlessness, and either insomnia OR an increased need for sleep. 

In one study aimed at proving it has addictive properties,, human subjects were administered daily oral doses of 180-210 mg of THC - the equivalent of 15-20 joints per day.  After a period of time they were abruptly cut off of cannabis.   Sudden cessation produced some adverse symptoms, including disturbed sleep, restlessness, decreased appetite, and in some cases, nausea and sweating. The researches noted the relatively mild nature of cannabis withdrawal and concluded that cannabis  is not physically addicting when consumed in typical doses and situations.  When subjects are allowed to control consumption, even high doses are not followed by adverse withdrawal symptoms.

As the body reacts to the absence of ecto-cannabinoids, it respond by will resuming internal production of endo-cannabinoids that were not needed while phyto-cannabinoids from the cannabis plant were present. As homeostasis is reached, any psychological symptoms will diminish.  If cannabis was used for medical purposes, disease symptoms are likely to recur once cannabis use is suspended however, unless the condition has been completely cured.  Serious physical withdrawal symptoms, such as those encountered when withdrawing from alcohol or opioid addictions, do not and can not occur when cannabis is abated. 

This is because cannabis actions in the body are reliant upon cannabinoids and are not  dependent upon alkaloids.  Alkaloids are the active compounds found in most other pharmaceutical and plant based medicines and represent their addictive constituents. For a more detailed analysis on the way the cannabis works please continue to our section on <How Cannabis Works>


           



                        Vaporizing Cannabis





Another effective means of medicating is vaporizing.  This method uses an electrode to heat cannabis until it releases its active components as a non-toxic gas.  Vaporization takes place at a lower temperature than combustion, the smokeless gas is then inhaled  in the same way as smoke.  As with smoking, vaporizing provides an immediate delivery of cannabinoids into the blood stream, the smokeless gas is inhaled in the same way as smoke.  This allows a patient the same easy ability  to instantly regulate dosage. 


Vaporizing cannabis is much safer than smoking it.  There is no flame or smoldering ash or cherry to contend with.  In addition, it is a much purer delivery method.  Because vaporized cannabis is not burned, it does not contain tar, carbon monoxide or any of the other harmful and carcinogenic components found in cannabis smoke.    The active components of cannabis, including the cannabinoids, are quite combustible;  when cannabis is smoked, many of its active components are consumed by combustion.  The smoke then carries the carbon from decarboxylization and waste products from burning, along with whatever cannabinoids remain un-burned, into your lungs.   But when cannabis is vaporized, the active components are preserved in the gas rather than burned away.  So, while 88% of cannabis smoke is made up of non-cannabinoids, vaporized gas consists of 95% cannabinoids and 5% plant terpenoids.  It can't get any purer!   On top of that, vaporizingalmost eliminates the tell tale odor associated with smoking cannabis.


Some people who try vaping  will continue to prefer smoking cannabis.  The nature of relief provided by vaporizing can be quite different from what experienced smokers are accustomed to.   One Trichome Lab's associate likened vaporizing to the effects of alcohol intoxication.  Too strong!   Some patients feel that smoking or eating cannabis better relieves their symptoms.  This is especially true among those who suffer from  nausea and lack of appetite.   Smoking, it seems, better relieves nausea plus it causes the munchies! 


A factor that may weigh heavily against the vaporizer is cost.  The apparatus needed to vaporize cannabis can be quite pricey, especially as compared to a pack of papers or pipe.  But if you suffer from pain or sleep deprivation the added effectiveness may justify the added expense. 


Finally, some patients have observed  that the affects of vaporizing don't last as long as those of smoking.   Frequency may be a consideration for patients in intractable pain or others  who need long term relief.  For some of these, cannabis edibles might be the answer.




     Doesn't cannabis make people lazy

                                                       and unmotivated? 






No. This fallacy is simply more "War on Drugs" rhetoric. The idea that cannabis users are lazy and unproductive began as part of the smear campaign against cannabis led by Harry Anslinger.  His contentions against cannabis were financially motivated and mostly based upon racist stereotypes.  Genuine research conducted in recent years, and aimed at proving the negative aspects of cannabis, use could find little evidence to support this contention. 


In one  study, it was found that college students who used cannabis  had higher grades than non-users.  In addition, cannabis users were equally likely to  complete their educations.  Another study found that collegiate cannabis users scored higher than non-users on standardized "achievement values" scales. Field studies conducted in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece also found no evidence of an amotivational syndrome among cannabis users.  In fact, in Jamaica, cannabis is often smoked during working hours as an aid to productivity.


In April of 2014, Huffington Post published a top 50 list of Successful Cannabis Users.  Names include the usual array of actors, athletes, and entertainers as well as a few physicians, politicians, as well as the current poster boy for successful cannabis users--  Bill Gates.






              Smoking Cannabis








Smoking dried cannabis buds or hash and other concentrates produced from cannabis is probably  the most popular form of medicating.    Smoke is a very simple and satisfying delivery method.  It surely doesn't hurt that many find cannabis smoke so delightfully flavorful!   Many strains are known as much for their pallatte of flavors, as for their spectrum of effect.


Smoke is a quick and effective carrier for delivering cannabis’ active ingredients into the bloodstream.   When cannabis is heated, the active ingredients are decarboxylated, meaning they loose a carbon atom, a processwhich makes the cannabinoids available for use by the body.   Because cannabinoids  reach the brain so rapidly when smoked, the patient may feel the effects almost immediately.    In most cases, this means instantaneous relief with full benefits to follow once therapeutic level is reached. 


Another big  advantage of smoking is dosage control.   Because the effects are felt so expediently,  the patient can easily discern when they've  had enough.  Once they stop smoking, there should be little or no increase in effect.   An exception is noted in some few strains, often described as "creepers", which may give a delay of 10 to 20 minutes before full effect is experienced.


On average, the effects of smoked cannabis will wear off within 2 to 3 hours. 

A joint, which is a hand rolled cannabis cigarette, is probably the most common and convenient delivery method. Joints are portable, easy to conceal, and no other apparatus is needed besides cannabis, rolling papers and a lighter.  (Though a roach clip is always nice.)  The two major drawbacks are the strong and distinctive smell of burning cannabis and the volume of cannabis wasted in runs and from the joint continuing to burn between hits. 

A blunt is basically a cigar containing with a mixture of tobacco and  cannabis with a cigar wrap used  rather than rolling papers.  Blunts burn longer than joints-- they are larger so more bud can be packed into it-- perfect for sharing!  But when medicating solo,   blunts are easily extinguished and re-lit, allowing for a longer medicating experience.  Unfortunately, the tobacco coupled with the greater volume of noxious smoke, make blunts harder on the lungs than other methods of smoking.  Like a joint, they also present the problem of excessive odor.


Smoking through a pipe or better yet, through a bong is a good way to get a lung filling hit that goes straight to the blood stream.  There are various advantages to both. A pipe is generally smaller, cheaper and more portable than a bong and doesn't include the risk of overturning and tainting  clothes, furniture or other nearby items with malordorous spilled bong water.   Some would find this a small risk considering that  smoke through a bong is filtered and cooled by water prior to inhalation,  allowing for a much cleaner and smoother hit. 


Reduction of impurities is an important consideration. Long term inhalation of cannabis smoke is associated with the same kinds of pulmonary risks as is cigarette smoke, though it has not proven to be as carcinogenic.  The tendency of some to use tobacco along with cannabis just magnifies the risk. 


This list is not all inclusive.  We've omitted lesser used methods of smoking such as hot-knifing that probably would not be part of a medical cannabis patients repertoire. 


Each smoking method its  advantages and disadvantages and responses can vary from patient to patient .  The choice of which delivery method to use is an individual decision best arrived at by discussion with the doctor and patient's personal preference.


  If you must smoke cannabis:

  • Avoid tobacco 
  • Use high potency cannabis - reduces the amount of smoke needed to relieve  symptoms.   
  • Use hash or other cannabis concentrates -  also reduces the amount of smoke needed to relieve symptoms.
  • Use a secondary method, such as edibles, to help with long-term relief.



  

   Is there anything I can do to counteract too large

        a dose of cannabis?





  There is NO antidote to cannabis intoxication.  In most cases you just have to ride it out.  There are, however, some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable until you "come down":  High CBD Capsules, for instance, can take the edge off of THC induced paranoia.  Other advice follows below.


Relax 

Splash your face with cold water

Get some fresh air 

Eat something 

Take High CBD Capsules to take the edge off your high.

Listen to music, watch a movie, doodle or do something else to distract yourself 

  Remove yourself from stressful situations 

Avoid large or boisterous crowds 

Interact with friends 

  If all else fails, try to sleep 


  Always Remember:

It Is Impossible to Fatally Overdose on Cannabis







 Why Is It Impossible To Fatally Overdose On Cannabis?

 


Unlike any other intoxicants, and even non-toxic substances such as water, which could be deadly if consumed in large amounts, it is impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis.  While it is true that some people may experience adverse  symptoms from large doses of cannabis, the consequences of excessive doses are merely unpleasant rather than dangerous.  Paranoia can lead to self induced breathing difficulties and other imagined symptoms. These may cause an inexperienced user to believe they are  going to die, this is especially true when cannabis concentrates are used or when cannabis is consumed rather than smoked or vaporized,  but this is a false perception and a toxic dose of cannabis is physiologically impossible.  

    There are two main factors that prevent the possibility of cannabis overdose.  First and most importantly,  there are NO cannabinoid receptors located in the medulla oblongata, the part of the brain stem responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions.  If there are no cellular receptors for THC to bind to, it is unable to exert any sort of influence on surrounding cells.  

    Secondly, cannabinoids, which are the active principles of the plant, are completely non-toxic.  This remains true whether cannabis is smoked, vaporized, eaten, condensed into concentrates, or formed into injectible solutions. Unlike most other plant or pharmacological substances, the actions of cannabis are based upon cannabinoids rather than plant alkaloids.  Alkaloids are toxic and adversely affect vital bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing, are difficult for the body to eliminate and have a tendency to accumulate over time, increasing their toxicity.

 




What does a cannabis  "High" feel like?


 




Cannabis is not intoxicating in the same way as alcohol is.  There is no real physical impairment.  It doesn't make one clumsy -- or loud, or wreckless, or violent, or any of the other characteristics of alcohol intoxication.  It is very difficult to explain the effects of cannabis to a non-user.  Its kind of like trying to explain the color yellow to a blind person.  There is only so much information that words can convey.  Unless you've experienced it, it is pretty much impossible to explain.   I can share some of the effects of cannabis to help you imagine what it might be like.  But no matter how much I explain, or how vividly you picture how it will be, no amount of description will be adequate.  Below is a list of some of the pleasurable effects of cannabis.  Its the best way I can think of to give you an idea of what its about.


Pleasant effects of Cannabis?


Peace * Calmness * Relaxation * Stress Reduction * Giddiness * Euphoria *Playfulness *  Sense of Well Being

 Meta-cognition * Increased appetite * Enhanced enjoyment of food tastes & aromas

Greater Aesthetic appreciation of Art and Music * Expanded creativity

Introspection * Deep Thinking * Abstract Thinking * Philosophizing *

Giddiness * Euphoria * Sense of well-being * Magnified response to humori *

Greater Sensuality * Increased awareness of sensation  * Increased Libido

Selective Enhanced Recollection (Episodic Memory)







   Isn't Cannabis a Gateway to using other, harder drugs?






The gateway theory is very popular with supporters of the war on drugs,   According to this popular anti-cannabis argument, users of hard drugs such as  heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines, all  began their careers of illicit drug use with cannabis.  They then subsequently progress to harder drugs while searching for a "better high".  Hence  implicating cannabis as the “gateway” to harder drug use.  Plausable as it may sound, unbiased research has found no evidence to support this contention.  What was revealed is that  people who smoke cannabis may go on to experiment with other substances, but they are no more likely to do so than others in the same demographic group.  Furthermore, cannabis is not the first substance tried by persons who progress on to other drugs--According to a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of School Health, alcohol and tobacco are the first drugs tried by persons who progress on to other, harder drugs!  While, studies have revealed that alcohol and tobacco are the true gateway drugs, they have also shown that cannabis may actually be the  "gateway out " of drug abuse.  Studies have shown that hard drug users who  begin using cannabis, subsequently have an easier time controlling their addictions to harder drugs. than acting as a gateway into hard drug use. , cannabis can become a pathway to freedom from addiction.  In fact, many studies have indicated cannabis is an effective tool the for the treatment of addictions--especially to cigarettes and opiates.

       cannabis

Questions

and answers

                


    

 

 


Can I over dose on Cannabis?







  Cannabis has no toxic threshold.  The World Health Organization has stated: “There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by users.”This means that no matter how much an individual smokes, vapes or eats, there is no risk of fatality.   However some individuals react to high levels of THC  with feelings of paranoia and discomfort.  This has often led inexperienced users to falsely fear they were going to die.  Other unpleasant   reactions  to higher doses might include:

Paranoia * Fear of Dying * Panic attack * Sweating * Chills

Increased heart rate * Reduced blood pressure * Dry mouth * Red eyes * Thirst * Hunger * 

Mild Ataxia * Hallucination * Distorted perception of Space and Time

Auditory or Visual illusions * Disruption of Linear Memory * Altered Body Image

Over thinking * Dissociative States * Depersonalization * Derealization

In Severe Cases

Difficulty speaking clearly *Difficulty thinking clearly * Dizziness * Loss of Balance


The effects of an uncustomairily LARGE DOSE can create discomfort and paranoia but

CANNABIS OVERDOSE IS NEVER FATAL!


  If you experience one or more of the above symptoms and also suffer from a medical condition where this symptoms is typical, don't automatically   conclude your discomfort is cannabis induced--check with your doctor! 






  Why does cannabis cause the "munchies"?





The voracious appetite associated with cannabis is a result of  THC's actions  upon CB1 receptors.      First, THC
binds to receptors in the brain's olfactory bulb, making food smell and taste more appealing.  Secondly, it stimulates receptors in the brain's  nucleus accumben to signal the release of dopamine, the "pleasure hormone, greatly enhancing the enjoyment of eating.  Finally,   THC suppresses the release of Leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone, without the influence of which, the body does not get the signal to sop eating.  


Cannabis Tea (coming soon)


Applying Cannabis Topically
Balms (coming soon)

Poultices (coming soon)

I don't like the way it feels to be "high" on cannabis.  Is there any way for me to gain the therapeutic benefits without experiencing the psychoactive affects?





Cannabis Tincture






A tincture is an alcohol based solution that has the active ingredients of a plant or herb extracted into it.  cannabinoids dissolved into it.  Tinctures are time a honored method of medication with cannabis.  Prior to cannabis prohibition, almost every pharmacy in the United States dispensed cannabis tincture as medication.

Tinctures are very easy to make. One need add high quality, cured bud to a jar, cover with alcohol and set it aside in a cool, dark place  for a month.  Gently inverting the jar once a day.  At the end of the prescribed time, cover a bowl with cheese cloth and strain the solid material out while capturing the alcohol in the bowl.  Squeeze the excess out of the material in the cheese cloth, strain a second time.  At this point, many patients will add keif, hash or hash oil to make a stronger product.  Transfer the alcohol solution into a dark glass dropper bottle and use as needed. 

To  administer, place a few drops of the tincture under your tongue and allow it to absorb directly into your blood stream through your buccal mucosa.  A therapeutic level dose taken in this manner will give almost immediate relief.  Cannabis tincture can also be added to food or swallowed with juice.  When swallowed, relief will be much slower in coming as it can not absorb into the bloodstream from the stomach, but rather must travel  through the digestive system to the liver before entering the bloodstream.

The dosage of tincture required will vary depend on several factors including the potency of the cannabis or concentrates it contains to the type and severity of pain or other condition you are treating.  It is best to start with the lowest possible dose recommended on the product label and working upward from there.  In the case of a homemade tincture, it is prudent to start with one or two drops to test the effects and then adjust dosage from there.

Some patients may be put-off by the taste of tinctures, or by the use of alcohol to extract the cannabinoids from the raw material.  But many others have found tinctures to be a perfect means of medicating.   A tincture can be discreetly transported, plus there is no tell-tale smell when medicating or associated health risks, as with smoking and no  caloric intake or delay of therapeutic benefit, as with eating .





How long do cannabis' effects last?



  On average, the peak effects of cannabis take hold within 10 to 30 minutes of smoking or vaporizing and almost immediately when dabbing.   Cannabis intoxication typically lasts up to two hours before tapering off.  According to some researchers, psycho-motor impairment may linger even after the perceived effects have stopped. 


When cannabis edibles are consumed, it takes considerably longer, perhaps up to two hours, before peak effect is felt.  The effects of edibles may be much stronger, and will last much longer than other delivery methods and have been reported to continue for four to six hours before completely diminishing.  


My Doctor has recommended medical cannabis  but I'm not sure how to use it.  How should I "take" cannabis?


There are several different delivery methods for cannabis.  We have listed the most popular ones below, along with a little information on each method.


 


My Dr. recommends medical cannabis, how do I determine

the correct dosage of Cannabis for me?



Whenever starting a new therapy its important to start slow.  Finding the right therapeutic dose when smoking or vaping cannabis dosage is fairly easy.   Just smoke a small amount (1-2 "hits"), wait 5-15 minutes to assess the affects and then  repeat as desired.  The average size hit from a pipe can deliver up to 1/20th of a gram of cannabinoids. (Erowid).   A water filtered hit (through a bong or water pipe) can deliver more.  With high potency Cannabis , just one or two hits may be enough.  Lower potency cannabis may require more.  For medicinal purposes its is best to avoid lower potency strains.  The more you have to smoke to reach therapeutic levels, the more potential risk of lung damage.


Arriving at the correct dosage when ingesting cannabis is a bit trickier.  A typical dose of oral THC is 5 mg (3x daily).   Read the packaging of commercially prepared edibles carefully.  The typical dose delivered in many edibles is 10 mg., meaning that just half that brownie or candy bar is a full dose.  If you don't achieve the desired effect from 5 mg., It can take up to 2 hours to begin to feel an effect from eaten cannabis so don't mistakenly think nothing is going to happen and eat more.  If you haven't felt any changes after two hours, eat some fatty snack and see if that doesn't enable the effect.  Fatty and protein rich foods also extend the effects of cannabis.


On the other hand, if you think you have gotten too big a dose, eat something sweet.  Sugary foods shorten the effects of cannabis.


Cannabis As Nutrition

Juicing Cannabis (coming soon)
Eating raw leaves (coming soon)
Eating Hempseed
(coming soon)

 

What is "coming down" from cannabis  like?



  "Coming down" after cannabis consumption is typically a smooth transition back into typical, normal reality without any hang-over or other lingering ill affects as is often experienced following use of other intoxicants.


What does a cannabis "High" feel like"?       Can I overdose on Cannabis?       Why is it impossible to fatally overdose on Cannabis?       What can I do to counteract too large a dose of cannabis?        How long do cannabis' effects last?    What is "coming down" on cannabis like?       Isn't cannabis highly addictive?       Doesn't cannabis make people lazy and unmotivated?       Isn't cannabis a gateway to using other, harder drugs?         Why does cannabis cause "the munchies"?        My Dr. recommends medical cannabis, how do I determine the right dosage for me?       How should I "take" medical cannabis?:  Smoking      Vaporizing      Edibles     Tincture   COMING SOON:    Tea       Topical Applications: Balms     Poultices       Cannabis Nutrition:  Juicing Cannabis      Eating raw leaves      Eating Hempseed