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How to Use Medical Marijuana Edibles

There’s no question that patients entering their first medical marijuana dispensary will immediately notice the wide range of available products. Simply learning the difference between common varieties of flowers takes time, but becomes a rewarding journey once their benefits are discovered. Similarly, marijuana infused edibles open up a world of possibilities for patients with particular needs. In this article, we’ll explore how cannabis edibles work and discuss tips on using them safely and properly.

What Are Edibles?

Medical marijuana edibles include a broad range of orally-administered products including baked goods, drinks, candies, lozenges, capsules, tinctures, and more. Each product contains a specified quantity of medical marijuana which is digested in the stomach or absorbed into the gums, depending on the product type. Although many varieties exist, almost all edibles are made using a process called decarboxylation, which is required in order to activate the medicinal properties of the plant material. Some benefits of edibles include:

  • Convenience: Most edible products are easy to carry and administer when the patient requires medication.
  • Discretion: Edibles offer an easy way of medicating without attracting attention or producing the aromas associated with smoking or vaporization.
  • Symptom Relief: Edibles provide long-lasting symptom relief resulting from gradual digestion.
  • Value: Edibles are a medicinally efficient way of administering cannabinoids, meaning that strong effects can be achieved at a reasonable cost to the patient.

How Do They Work?

Unlike inhaled cannabis, edible products allow cannbinoid content to enter the bloodstream through digestion in the gastro-intestinal tract. This process is much slower than inhalation, but produces very strong effects. The experience after consuming edibles can be very different than that of smoking or vaporizing cannabis, so patients are encouraged to exercise caution to avoid becoming overmedicated.

Tips for Consuming Edibles

Proper Dosage: One 10 mg dose is a commonly recommended starting point. This is the most you should consider consuming if you’re new to edible products. Make note of the potency listed on the packaging and be advised that many edible products contain more than one dose.

Patience: Edible products will usually require at least 30-60 minutes to take effect. Make absolutely sure you’ve given the product time to digest and begin taking effect before deciding whether or not to consume more. Since you likely won’t experience the full effect for at least an hour, additional consumption during that window of time can easily lead to overmedication.

Tolerance: Patients who are experienced with smoked or vaporized cannabis don’t always build up a strong tolerance for edible products. Don’t assume that you’ll require a large dose simply because you use other products frequently.

Effects: Edibles are metabolized differently than inhaled cannabis products and produce a different effect. Benefits such as improved mood, appetite, and pain relief are still likely to occur, but the physicial sensation may be slightly different that what you’re accustomed to. Do not plan on driving or engaging in other behaviors in which impairment could compromise your safety. The effect of an edible dose can often be felt for several hours. This can be very beneficial for patients seeking long-term symptom relief, but it can be inconvenient if you haven’t planned and prepared for the experience.

Eat First: Like other medications, consuming edibles on an empty stomach may intensify the effect and cause discomfort. It’s best to take edibles along with other non-medicated foods.

Ask questions: Staff at the dispensary are available to provide specific information on available products. Potency may vary from one manufactuerer to the next, so don’t hesitate to inquire before sampling a product that’s new to you.

Product Types: Be aware that some edible products work differently than others. For example, products such as baked goods that are digested in the stomach will require more time to take effect than products like tinctures that are absorbed under the gums.

Ingredients: Be mindful of the ingredients listed on the package and be sure to doublecheck all products before consuming if you have food allergies.

Storage: Be sure to check the product label for storage and expiration information. Edibles should be stored properly and safely out of reach from anyone who is not intended to consume the product.

Adverse Reactions: If too large a dose is consumed, the patient may experience discomfort including upset stomach, anxiety, and disorientation. Overmedication can be unpleasant, but the effects will wear off and do not cause lasting harm. If you find that you’re experiencing symptoms of overmedication, the best thing to do is relax and remember that the effect will begin to subside within a few hours. Medical assistance should be contacted in the event of a serious reaction.

Conclusion

The popularity of marijuana infused edibles demonstrates the diverse options available to patients with a wide range of individual treatment needs. When used properly, these products offer strong symptom relief with long-lasting effects and provide many patients in pain with the solution they’ve sought for so long. We’re committed to curating a selection of the finest edible products in Massachusetts and our staff is always available to help you choose the right product for your needs.

How to Use Medical Marijuana Edibles There’s no question that patients entering their first medical marijuana dispensary will immediately notice the wide range of available products. Simply

Now available in N.J.: Cherry or grape cannabis lozenges

The first cannabis-infused lozenges approved for sale in New Jersey were offered to registered medical marijuana patients Tuesday at a dispensary in Camden County, one year after it opened.

The Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center in Bellmawr announced it would sell a bottle of 30 grape- or cherry-flavored lozenges for $75, or $60 if patients qualify for financial assistance, according to a notice sent to patients this week.

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Peter Rosenfeld, a patient from Collingswood, said there were 10 people waiting to buy them at the dispensary Wednesday. “The cherry ones were selling faster, 3-1,” said Rosenfeld, a retired aerospace engineer who has severe cervical spinal degradation.

The launch came one month after the dispensary began selling to patients the state’s first manufactured cannabis products – a marijuana-infused oil and jars of cannabis cocoa butter lotion.

“We will be placing a temporary one lozenge/unit limit to start as we work on building our supply. We hope to lift this as soon as possible,” the dispensary said on its Facebook page. “I would also like to thank CSATC’s Laboratory team for all their hard work in the weeks leading up to this launch!”

The dispensary manager could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

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Of the five dispensaries operating in New Jersey, only Compassionate Sciences is approved to sell the new products.

The notice sent to patients said each lozenge would contain 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The lozenges were described as “soft tablets (troches) formulated to dissolve slowly in your mouth.” The dose would be one lozenge.

“The medicinal effects should take place 10-30 minutes from being dissolved in the mouth,” the notice said, recommending patients start with one and “go slow.”

The dispensary also sells raw cannabis buds that can be smoked, vaped, or baked.

The cannabis oils that went on sale last month are recommended to be used as a topical, applied to the skin and absorbed, though some patients reported they were able to use it in a vaporizer.

The label on the oils, which were dispensed in a dosing syringe, said it contained 50 percent THC, and 5 percent CBD, a cannabinoid that helps with seizures and pain. The price for the oils at the time was $75 for 300 milligrams, the equivalent of an eighth of an ounce.

Raw cannabis buds go for about $60 for an eighth of an ounce, or about $480 an ounce, but are less concentrated.

The medical marijuana program in New Jersey was approved six years ago and about 9,000 patients have registered. To qualify they must have one of about a dozen ailments, including cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in the spring and is planning to begin implementing its program in 2018. Unlike New Jersey, Pennsylvania will allow the sale of cannabis oils, pills, and lotions, but will ban raw cannabis.

The new products in New Jersey came three years after medical marijuana dispensaries began seeking state approval to manufacture a variety of products. The state Health Department had to approve the manufacturing protocols and products before they could be sold.

The first cannabis-infused lozenges approved for sale in New Jersey were offered to registered medical marijuana patients Tuesday at a dispensary in Camden County, one year after it opened.