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Answers To: -Why are Edibles Inconsistent? -Why are Edibles Expensive? -Why do Edibles Taste Bad? -Do Edibles Cause Digestive or Health Issues? -Why Don’t Edibles Get Me High? Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is extracted from hemp or marijuana plants. People mostly take CBD oil for medicinal purposes because it does not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Although there's not…

The 5 Problems with Edibles

Edible cannabis products are known for their strong effects and long experience durations – however, they do have their drawbacks.

The most common complaints about edibles are around inconsistent effects, expensive pricing, bad taste, worries about negative health effects, and the all too common question:” Why don’t edibles get me high?”

There are some explanations behind these issues that can help consumers better understand how edibles work – and why edibles might not be the best consumption method for everyone.

In this article we will give some insight on the pros and cons of edibles, in hopes that consumers can make the best informed decision on if edibles are the right method for them.

Below are the 5 Biggest Problems people report with edibles.

Why are Edibles Inconsistent?

This is one of the major problems with edibles; why are the effects so unpredictable?

Before the rise of lab testing, edibles were incredibly difficult to accurately dose during production and consumption. Due to the uneven infusion of compounds, separate doses from the same batch of edibles could produce extremely different effects.

Additionally, not knowing the starting cannabis material & infusion type of an edible makes predicting effects almost impossible. Thankfully, edible companies in legal state cannabis markets are making strides at addressing these issues.

State required lab testing is the most effective advancement in producing consistent edibles. This happens at multiple stages of the production process, making it much easier to know the overall dose and serving size of an edible.

Another step that edible companies are taking to ensure consistency in their products is the use of uniform starting materials, establishing relationships with suppliers that maintain a reliable source of quality cannabis for production.

Some companies even create strain-specific infusions to add another layer of consistency. This allows consumers to estimate the type of effects they can experience based on their reaction to the strain itself.

Lastly, many edible producers are becoming aware of the impact of the Entourage Effect on cannabis experiences, planning their recipes with these interactions in mind.

If you’re not familiar with the Entourage Effect, it is the principle that the full matrixes of compounds in cannabis (like cannabinoids, Terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) interact with each other in unique ways to produce different, nuanced effects when consumed together.

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By maintaining the natural ratios of THC, CBD, minor cannabinoids like CBG and THCV, and the Terpenes that give the cannabis its scent/flavor, edible produces can keep those specific effects produced by that cannabis type more consistent in their edible product.

Producers can also add in additional Terpenes to try to control the nuance of the effects experienced, such as adding Myrcene to create a more relaxed feeling or Pinene for a more energizing effect.

While Terpenes can affect people in different ways, many of them provide more predictable effects for most consumers. Paying attention to the Terpenes types and concentrations in edibles can help you find a consistent edible with repeatable effects.

Why are Edibles Expensive?

Why are edibles so much more expensive than cannabis flower? There are several factors to consider when explaining the higher price of edibles.

The biggest reason edibles are priced so high is because of the amount of processing required to create them.

Not only must the starting cannabis be purchased from grower, it must then be infused into the ingredients of a manufactured food product to create the edible, and also be packaged and branded for sale by the edible company. All while receiving lab testing during the production process.

Each of these processing steps can add several additional costs to the bottom line of creating that edible.

Another explanation behind the increased price of edibles is the amount of specialization & expertise required to produce quality edibles.

Crafting a high-quality edible requires in-depth recipe research & development, sourcing quality ingredients, and formulating an infusion method that will deliver multiple important factors such as taste, potency, etc.

So while the price for an edible might be a bit higher than a similar quantity of flower, what you’re really getting is a high-quality, dose verified cannabis product made by food artisans with your best experience in mind.

Additionally, edibles give you much longer experience durations and even stronger effects than an equal amount of cannabis flower. So, not only is the edible a tested infused food product, it actually provides cannabis benefits beyond what flower can offer.

Why do Edibles Taste Bad?

While some consumers love the earthy flavor of cannabis edibles, other consumers can be completely turned off by the slightest taste of plant flavor.

The strong flavor of cannabis edibles can be explained pretty easily.

The most obvious reason would be the plant material used to create edibles, especially in whole-plant infusions. This can lead to some of the Chlorophyll and other plant matter winding up in the final product. A high-quality edible will have refined infusions to reduce the amount of plant matter, although even this can’t remove every trace of cannabis taste from an edible.

This is especially true for Terpenes-rich edibles, as Terpenes are the essential oils responsible for the strong, distinctive smell of cannabis.

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Edibles made with a isolate or distillate are likely the best choice for consumers who don’t favor the taste of cannabis. The lack of plant material in the starting cannabis product will produce less earthy flavor in the final product. Just keep in mind that when you lose the whole-plant starting material, you are also losing the full spectrum of cannabis compounds, which will impact the effects you experience.

Do Edibles Cause Digestive or Health Issues?

While there are no majorly dangerous side effects to consuming cannabis, there can still be some uncomfortable physical sensations from eating edibles that lead many to wonder what health risks may be associated with cannabis.

Aside from accidental THC over-consumption which can lead to nausea and other symptoms, some consumers may experience digestive discomfort from cannabis edibles.

This is an effect that will likely not be the experience of most consumers, and is usually reported in consumers that are more sensitive to cannabis and its effects.

More research is needed in this area, but early studies suggest some people might be allergic to cannabis. In which case, ingesting plant matter will most likely cause discomfort.

Always remember to take note of your experiences with cannabis in any form, and always take personal precautions. For example, try not to eat an edible on an empty stomach, as the digestion of the plant material can increase the chances of stomach pain and gas.

Consuming an edible on an empty stomach can also increase the chances of heartburn, so eating a fatty snack just before or along with your edible can help you metabolize the cannabis more effectively.

Always make sure you are hydrated before and during your edible experience, as dehydration can lead to negative effects such as light-headedness, stomach upset, constipation, and others. These effects can be heightened by the cannabis in your system if you don’t stay adequately hydrated.

Cannabis use in general, especially an extra large dose of THC, can cause a temporary impact on heart rate. This is because THC is a vasodilator, which means it increases your blood vessel size, and can result in an increased heart rate to maintain constant blood flow.

The good news is, there has never been a reported case of heart failure, heart disease, or prolonged arrhythmia directly cause by cannabis use. However, if you are someone with an existing heart condition, you will want to take extra precaution when experimenting with cannabis edibles.

If you do begin to feel your heart racing during cannabis consumption, slow or pause your consumption, drink plenty of water, and sit in a calm quiet place if possible to regain control of your situation and work to slow your heart rate. Remembering that these symptoms are only temporary and not serious can often help you take charge of the situation and dissolve the negative effects you are experiencing.

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Lastly, research has been moving forward to determine whether or not CBD can potentially damage your liver. Through these studies, scientists have discovered that liver damage may only occur when excessively large levels of cannabinoids have been detected in the system, typically far beyond what a person could ever reasonably consume.

Standard dose ranges of CBD did not appear to present any negative outcomes, in fact separate research has suggested that many cannabinoids may even be able to help protect the liver from cellular damage and prevent certain liver diseases.

So while digestive discomfort may occur while using cannabis edibles, any chance of experiencing real liver damage or acute health risks is highly unlikely.

How to Take CBD Oil for Stomach Pain

This article was co-authored by Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH. Dr. Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH is the founder and Medical Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. Dr. Corroon is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and clinical researcher. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Corroon advises dietary supplement and cannabis companies regarding science, regulation, and product development. He is well published in the peer-review literature, with recent publications that investigate the clinical and public health implications of the broadening acceptance of cannabis in society. He earned a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. He also earned a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Bastyr University, subsequently completed two years of residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and is a former adjunct professor at Bastyr University California.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is extracted from hemp or marijuana plants. People mostly take CBD oil for medicinal purposes because it does not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Although there’s not much research available yet, it appears that CBD oil might be helpful for easing stomach pain. Talk with your doctor first to determine the cause of your stomach pain and let them know that you’re considering taking CBD oil. If they give you the green light, find a type and dose that works for you and make sure to follow up with your doctor if the pain continues, worsens, or if you develop any new symptoms.

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