CBD Edibles are any food or drink that have been infused with cannabinoids such as Cannabidiol (CBD). While many of us enjoy a nice edible from time to time, edible sales this year skyrocketed to their highest level ever — so much so that even The New York Times wrote a piece on it.
When faced with adversity we all have our own unique ways of coping…or so one would think.
This has been a challenging year. Faced with the prospect of a global pandemic and limited to staying in, people coped with their anxiety the best way they knew how: with edibles.
This data, then, begs the question: what about edibles makes them so great? We’ll dive into three of pros and cons of CBD edibles below.
Pros of CBD Edibles
Pro #1: They are fun and friendly
One promising cannabis metric that’s rapidly changed with time is the number of Americans who support legalization. 50% of Americans supported legalizing cannabis in 2011. Today that number has grown to 67% of Americans that support legalization.
In short: there are a lot of new canna-curious folks out there. People like your favorite nana who have probably never imagined using cannabis before are starting to think about it. Many of those people are doing so because they’re excited by CBD’s tremendous therapeutic potential.
Just because they’re curious, though, doesn’t mean they aren’t intimidated by the prospect. Your nana might want to try a CBD topical for her arthritis, but it doesn’t mean she feels comfortable lighting up a joint.
For groups like nana who are curious but slightly hesitant CBD edibles are a great, non-intimidating way to try cannabis. You can get CBD gummies, CBD skincare products or even use raw CBD oil to add to foods. You can even buy CBD protein powder to add to a smoothie. The possibilities are truly endless—and who could say no to a piece of candy?
Also Read: Does CBD have to taste like weed to work?
Pro #2: CBD Edibles are easily accessible
Edibles have been around since the dawn of cannabis, friend. Sold back in the day as brownies, today’s CBD edibles have gotten just a touch classier.
Part of the beauty of CBD edibles is they’re extremely accessible. You can buy them in many places beyond the dispensary, so if your nana isn’t comfortable taking a trip there she’s got options.
CBD edibles are available online, at dispensaries, in select CBD shops cropping up around the country; in grocery stores, drug stores and even select farmer’s markets. You can even get them delivered straight to your door thanks to a number of cannabis delivery services popping up across the country. And if you’re so inclined you can even make your own CBD edibles thanks to products like CBD honey sticks, hemp derived CBD sugars and CBD cooking oils.
Also Read: 10 Dietitian-Approved Tips for Starting (or Sticking to) a Plan-Based Diet
Pro #3: They store pretty well
My favorite type of CBD is CBD oil. Unfortunately while I think CBD oil is the bee’s knees it comes with some pretty serious consequences. The first is the inevitable smell in my purse that happens after I spill a bottle of oil in my bag.
Unlike CBD oil CBD edibles are usually shelf stable, making them far more easier to transport.
Also Read: Want a flavorless version of CBD? Try CBD powder.
Cons of CBD Edibles
Con #1: CBD Edibles have less potent effects
Tasty as they may be, when consumed orally CBD edibles may feel less potent than other forms like CBD oils or tinctures. Why’s that?
When taken correctly CBD oil is consumed sublingually, or under the tongue. The capillaries in your mouth begin absorbing it instantly.
Orally consumed CBD, however, works a little differently. It’s subject to something called first pass metabolism.
Consuming CBD orally—rather than sublingually—results in some of those cannabinoids being degraded before they can be absorbed. When that happens you may feel a less “potent” effect. This is known as reduced bioavailability, or how much of the drug your body ultimately absorbs. Oral bioavailability of CBD is estimated to be between 13-19%.
Looking to maximize the effects of CBD? You might want to stick to sublingual delivery.
Product Review: Beam CBD Dream Powder for Sleep
Con #2: They have a longer onset time
One of the most common cannabis experiences with edibles is taking them, waiting a half hour then exclaiming, “nothing is happening!!”
Well…there’s a reason behind that. As mentioned prior CBD edibles are subject to first pass metabolism. That not only results in reduced bioavailability, but it also means a longer onset time, or how long a substance takes to “kick in” before you feel its effects.
Your onset time depends on your unique body chemistry and metabolism, so results may vary. Some people can feel the effects of CBD edibles in as little as 30 minutes while others can take a full 2 hours to feel anything. Other groups, such as people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), may experience digestive issues that prevent CBD from being fully absorbed. They may not “feel anything” within a specific time frame, or they may not end up feeling effects at all.
These populations should strongly consider using an alternative form of CBD, such as CBD oil, so as to maximize bioavailability.
Con #3: CBD Edibles have volatility in their Quality
The type of CBD you consume has a huge impact on the nature of your experience. CBD isolate—chemically isolated CBD with no other cannabinoids or terpenes present—is limited in effectiveness. It only works up to a certain dosage.
Full spectrum cannabinoid extracts, on the other hand, don’t have those same limitations. They continue to exert greater therapeutic effect with a larger dose. So if you find yourself lamenting CBD not working, perhaps consider opting for a full spectrum product rather than an isolate.
It’s possible that one of the reasons why CBD isolate is less effective is due to terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found within cannabis and other plants which bestow their own unique effects. They’re also extremely volatile, which means they don’t last very long before degrading.
Full and broad spectrum extracts are more likely to be terpene-rich while isolates contain no terpenes. We suggest opting for terpene-rich edibles whenever possible since terpenes have their own therapeutic properties.
What’s your favorite way to use CBD? Let us know in the comments below.
Janelle Lassalle is a writer and content creator that specializes in cannabis. She’s also an insanely passionate advocate and expert in all things CBD. You can find her work featured in a variety of publications such as Healthline, The Huffington Post, Leafly, Forbes, and High Times. Check out her portfolio, or follow her on Instagram @jenkhari.