The Growing Popularity of Edibles

These cannabis-infused food or drinks provide a popular alternative to those who want to indulge in cannabis with an alternative to smoking or vaping.

by Dessy Pavlova · April 12, 2022

The Growing Popularity of Edibles

Weed has been legalized for recreational use in over 18 states and the number of dispensaries has been rapidly growing across the country. In mature cannabis markets such as Denver and Portland, marijuana retailers have surpassed the number of Starbucks by close to double. As the popularity of dispensaries continues to expand there’s something else that’s also growing in popularity—edibles. These cannabis-infused food or drinks provide a popular alternative to those who want to indulge in cannabis with an alternative to smoking or vaping.

The Science Behind Edibles

Is there a big difference between smoking and ingesting cannabis? Edibles are ingestible food products infused with cannabinoids and can either contain THC, CBD, or both. THC is known as the main component of cannabis which makes the user feel “high” while CBD is more linked to feelings of well-being such as the treatment for anxiety and depression and is non-psychoactive.

Smoking or vaping cannabis delivers THC into your lungs where it passes directly into your bloodstream and then your brain while edible cannabis travels first to your stomach and then your liver before reaching the bloodstream and brain. The liver converts THC into a stronger form, and this combined with the THC from the original product adds intensity of the high.

The bottom line is: smoking and ingesting cannabis can produce two very different outcomes and experiences.

How long do the effects of edibles last?

The main difference between smoking cannabis and ingesting it is how long the effects take to kick in and how long these effects last. Of course, the effects and duration of the high can vary from person to person, but edibles have longer-lasting effects than smoking. With smoking cannabis, the effects can be felt almost instantly and the full effects can peak within 30 minutes, lasting anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. With ingesting cannabis, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the full effects which can peak within 2-4 hours and can last up to 12 hours after use.

The Evolution of Edibles

The realm of edible cannabis has undergone a complete makeover over the years. From the days when edibles only consisted of homemade weed brownies and cookies to a mass-produced phenomenon, edibles are flying off the shelves across the country. The edible market has changed considerably in the endless varieties offered through dispensaries and online purchases. Of course, there are the tried and true OG edibles like brownies, but there are also much more obscure novelty edibles such as beef jerky and potato chips.

Edibles appeal to longtime cannabis consumers but are also attracting new cannabis clientele curious to consume cannabis without smoking or vaping. There are numerous types of edibles including CBD, THC, and ones that include both. There are also fast-acting edibles that take the guesswork out of how long it will take for the effects to hit and Delta-8 edibles which won’t give users the same high as regular THC but will give users the benefits of sleep, relaxation, and pain relief, among others. As the trend of edibles continues to grow, there are also options to suit any dietary restrictions such as vegan, gluten-free, keto, and kosher. Curious about the types of edibles available in the cannabis market? Check out our article on the most popular types of edibles, and let’s satisfy as well as fuel the munchies.