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Ultimate Guide To: Cannabis Edibles

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What is a cannabis edible?

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Any food or beverage that’s been infused with activated cannabis concentrate is considered a cannabis edible. Health Canada differentiates them by saying “edible cannabis solid” and “edible cannabis beverage.” 


In simpler terms: if you eat or drink it, and it contains cannabis, it’s an edible.

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How do cannabis edibles differ from other formats?

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Well first off...you eat them. Cannabis edibles offer an alternative to inhaling for anyone who wants to avoid it. Another thing that’s different is how the cannabis is activated. When you smoke or vape cannabis, you’re decarboxylating the active compounds (which means heating them up), and that’s what activates them. When you’re ingesting a cannabis edible, these compounds have already been activated, so all you need to do is pop it in your mouth and you’re well on your way.

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How does a cannabis edible work?

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Cannabis that’s been ingested is processed differently by your body than cannabis that’s been vaped or smoked. When you inhale cannabis, the active compounds are absorbed right into your bloodstream through the lungs, which is why effects could begin within seconds to minutes. On the other hand, ingested cannabis needs to travel through your digestive system and get processed by your gut and liver, so it takes a little longer to feel the effects (between 30 minutes and 2 hours).

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How is a cannabis edible made?

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Even though they’re easy to eat, cannabis edibles are pretty complex to make—especially if you want them to be good. Now, we can’t tell you everything about how we make our cannabis edibles (it’s kind of a secret), but we can take you through some of the basics. 

 

CO2 extraction

 

In order to infuse food or beverages with cannabis, you need to start with a cannabis extract—that’s what CO2 extraction is for. Liquid-state carbon dioxide is added to raw cannabis materials, and then together they’re put under immense pressure and heat...kind of like meeting your in-laws for the first time. Once that process is over, the CO2 is released as a gas and you’re left with a concentrated cannabis extract. Mission accomplished. 

 

Short-path distillation

 

Once the concentrated cannabis extract is created, it needs to be a little more refined. Instead of sending it to finishing school, it’s put through a process called short-path distillation. This process uses precise vacuum and heat control to turn the concentrated extract into a refined extract, or cannabis distillate, which is ready to be added to edible products. Yet another mission accomplished. We’re on a roll, here. 

 

Infusing the cannabis edibles

 

The newly-refined cannabis distillate is easily added to edible cannabis solids, but since it’s not water soluble, adding the distillate to beverages takes a little more effort. Because of the highly-regulated process, you can rest assured that cannabis distillate provides a measured dose of high-quality cannabinoids for all cannabis edibles.

 

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Different forms of cannabis edibles

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We’ve already gone over edible cannabis solids vs. edible cannabis beverages, but under each category, there are even more subcategories—kind of like one of those Russian nesting dolls. 

 

For edible cannabis solids, these are the most common forms:

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Three unwrapped Tweed chocolate displaying the artwork engraved in chocolate bars Three unwrapped Tweed chocolate displaying the artwork engraved in chocolate bars
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Chocolate

 

We’re excited to introduce our cannabis-infused milk chocolate, made right here in Smiths Falls. It would have been a waste not to take advantage of our home, which happens to be a formerly abandoned Hershey’s Factory. You’ll be able to get three of our iconic Tweed strains infused into milk chocolate. Get ready for Penelope, Houndstooth & Mocha, and Bakerstreet & Peppermint. Each bar will have four breakable pieces (perfect for sharing) containing 2.5 mg of THC per piece. Penelope will also have 7.5 mg of CBD per bar. 

 

Gummies

 

For those of you who aren’t interested in chocolate (not sure why that would be), there are also cannabis-infused gummies. They’re similar to cannabis-infused chocolate in that they’re carefully measured and made with cannabis distillate. They’re not similar to cannabis-infused chocolate in that they are gummies...not chocolate.

 

Oil and butter

 

If you want to try your hand at making your own cannabis edibles, you don’t have to know how to do CO2 extraction and short-path distillation (but if you do...that’s pretty cool). You can make your own cannabis-infused butter or cannabis-infused oil at home, even though it might be a little finicky.

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Various ingredients for Tweed chocolate recipes displayed on a rustic stone table Various ingredients for Tweed chocolate recipes displayed on a rustic stone table
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Recipes

 

Once you’ve got your butter or oil all set to go, give one of these recipes a shot. 

 

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What are the regulations around cannabis edibles?

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How much THC can a cannabis edible contain? 

 

Each package of cannabis edibles cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC. Currently, there’s no limit on how much CBD they can contain. 

 

Where can I buy cannabis edibles?

 

Wherever you can legally buy cannabis right now, that’s where you’ll be able to get cannabis edibles. They’ll start rolling into stores in mid-December of 2019, but it’ll all depend on where you live, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out. 

 

Where can I consume cannabis edibles?

 

Right now, there aren’t any specific regulations on where you can publicly consume cannabis edibles, but each province sets its own public consumption laws…so make sure you look into those before consuming cannabis edibles publicly. Cannabis should not be consumed if you’re driving or in the workplace. 

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How do you consume cannabis edibles responsibly?

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Chocolate obviously tastes good, but you need to make sure that you’re not overdoing it when it comes to the cannabis edibles you consume. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to responsible consumption around cannabis edibles. 

 

Onset of effects

 

Because cannabis edibles are processed through your gut and liver, it takes a little longer for their effects to kick in. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for you to feel the effects of a cannabis edible, which is why it’s so important to start low and go slow. 

 

Duration of effects

 

Once you start feeling the effects of a cannabis edible, they can last up to 12 hours. In some cases, the effects can last as long as 24 hours, so make sure you’ve got enough time set aside to ride out whatever effects come your way. 

 

How much can I possess at a time?

 

The carry limit is still 30 g of dried cannabis or the equivalent in other formats. Every cannabis edible label must indicate the equivalent of that product to dried cannabis. Use this when calculating your limit. 

 

Store away from kids and pets

 

Chocolate is appealing to everyone, but cannabis-infused chocolate and all other cannabis edibles are ONLY for adults. Make sure your cannabis edibles are kept locked up and out of the reach of kids and pets. 

 

Illicit market

 

Cannabis edibles aren’t necessarily a new thing...people have been making them for years. But here’s the thing: cannabis edibles purchased on the illicit market have nowhere near the amount of safety regulations as those purchased legally. There’s no consistency in terms of how much THC or CBD is in each product, not to mention other nasty additives they might throw in there. Purchasing cannabis edibles from the legal market is the only way to go. 

 

Don’t drive high 

 

This is crucial. Do not drive high. Ever.

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Hungry?

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All this talk of cannabis edibles has got our tummies rumbling. While we go and get a snack, you should check out our guides to flower or drinks.

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