Curious about why edibles are so popular? Interested in experimenting? Ever wonder why some people prefer eating weed over smoking? Spacey, the official mascot of cannabis brand District Edibles is ready to answer these questions and more in this ultimate guide to exploring edibles in Oregon.
Spacey: “Are you ready to experience the difference of edibles? Before you take off and end up in space, there are a few things you should understand about how edibles affect the body, what to expect when you take an edible, and how edibles are sold in Oregon.”
What is an edible?
Edibles are food products infused with cannabis oils, also referred to as cannabis concentrates.
Edibles are often thought of as brownies or other baked goods, but with cannabis legalization more candy like confections, such as gummies and chocolates, have taken off. Even beverages like coffees and sparkling waters are gaining momentum. Cannabis infused oils and butters are another option that offer an easy way to turn any meal into an “edible.” From high-brow to just plain high, there’s an edible for everyone’s taste.
But how does eating an edible differ from other forms of consuming cannabis? What are the rules for edibles in Oregon? How can you ensure a positive experience if you’re trying an edible for the first time? Keep reading for these answers!
Spacey: “Of course I have to list my employer...I mean, they are delicious and I do get an out of this world high...but this wouldn’t be the ultimate guide to edibles without sharing options. That’s one of the cool things about edibles: there’s something for everyone! What will you choose?”
- District Edibles -- a wide assortment of flavors, individually sealed, scratch made, affordable, gluten free, hands-free, contactless production
- Lunchbox Alchemy -- vegan pectin based edibles, all-natural fruit juices, single serves and high dose (100mg) medical edible options, award-winning, an original Oregon edible brand since 2014
- Wana -- vegan and gluten free
- Wyld -- natural and unique fruit flavors, based in Portland
- Grön --artisanal flavors, small batch recipes
- Baked Goods
- She Don’t Know -- tasty, lightly dosed, gluten free, CBD only options
- Happy Kitchen -- high terpene, rich flavors
- Magic Number -- dose options, all-natural ingredients
- Mirth Provisions -- variety of great flavors, all-natural, wellness minded options
- Tablets & Tinctures
- Dirty Arm Farm -- single source, nanotechnology for high absorption
- Sun God Meds -- medicinal herb blends and THC only options
- Mama Lou’s -- full spectrum, ayurvedic blends
And the most popular edible award goes to…
Curious about what’s the most popular edible in Oregon? Here’s a breakdown of the different edible types. Source: Data taken from Business Dynamic Statistics (BDS), census.gov.
- >63% Candies such as gummies and sours are by far the most popular edibles in Oregon. Convenient, options for any dietary restriction, effective, and not to mention tasty!
- >16% Chocolates come in as a distant second, but have been growing in popularity, especially unique and elevated flavors. While most prefer other candy types, chocolates are moving on up for those who want to indulge a little.
- >14% “Infused foods” are things like butter and oil infused with cannabis. Infused foods are also becoming more popular, in large part due to their versatility.
- >5% Beverages are relatively new to Oregeon’s cannabis lineup. Recent legislature has banned alcoholic beverages from being infused with any cannabis derivative, including CBD. While this restriction limits the possibilities, other beverages such as cold brew coffee and craft kombucha are inciting more people to give beverages a go.
- <2% Culinary or prepared foods (such as baked goods), pills, and other edibles are the least popular, ...
Eating Edibles in Oregon
Did you know that Oregon is a leader in the United States’ cannabis movement? In 1973, Oregon was the first state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, then in 1998 became among the first states to legalize medical use. Now general and recreational users, and medical patients can all enjoy cannabis products, including edibles. Since both recreational and medical cannabis consumption is legal, edible products are being for both groups. However there are distinctions in how each of these groups can consume edibles.
*Blurb: Oregon regulates edibles differently for general, recreational users and registered medical patients.*
Oregon makes a distinction between general (or recreational) edible eaters and patients. General, recreational users are limited to edibles with 50 mg of THC at a time, while medical patients can buy edibles infused with up to 100 mg of cannabis. Why the difference? Since ingested THC takes longer to enter the body’s system and to feel the effects, Oregon regulators decided to limit the amount of THC in edibles to prevent overconsumption. Reducing THC potency also helps protect children who may accidentally consume edibles.
The ability to precisely and consistently dose edibles with THC has been one of the major advancements in modern edibles from the days of ‘homemade pot brownies.’ In addition to more control over the amount of THC consumed, micro-dosing options continue to gain popularity in edibles.
Eating Weed--How Exactly Does It Work?
How exactly does eating an edible affect the body? When you eat an edible, cannabinoids like THC are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and digestive system. This means a different experience from smoking or vaporizing which the THC is absorbed through the lungs.
*Blurb: Because your body is absorbing the THC through your digestive system rather than your lungs, there are some noticeable differences in effects.*
Image: Infographic of THC %, onset time, duration
THC mg Limits[a]
Up to 4 hours
Since the body has to go through additional steps to process and absorb edibles, such as, breaking down any fats and sugars, it takes longer to enter your system and be felt. Typical effects are felt within 30 minutes to an hour. Ingested THC also enters and interacts with your body (aka the endocannabinoid system, link to blog) differently, intensifying certain effects.
Edibles are a popular form of ingesting cannabis for several reasons:
- Discretion. Since edibles take longer to affect the body, they allow the user to consume ahead of time and offer more discretion than smoking.
- Effects. Everyone is different, and some simply prefer the way edibles make them feel. Edible eaters report more effects in the body than smoking, often causing a stronger relaxation feeling.
- Taste. When something is highly delicious and deliciously high...edibles are loved simply for being tasty.
- Health. Smoking isn’t an option for everyone, and edibles allow people with even respiratory conditions to enjoy the health benefits of cannabis.
Box: To Eat or Not to Eat: Pros & Cons of Edibles
- Typically stronger and longer lasting effects.
- Stronger feeling of relaxation in the body.
- Tasty, familiar flavors.
- No irritation for lungs.
- Can be easier to overconsume.
Spacey: “Now that you know the science-y basics, let’s explore more about Oregon’s edibles. Our first stop is how edibles are made.”
How Are Edibles Made?
How edibles are made can be as diverse as any recipe, but most commonly cannabis oil is extracted, heated enough to activate the THC and other cannabinoids (decarboxylation), and then added to a food product being manufactured in a kitchen.
Box: How District Edibles Are Made
- Pure cannabis oil is extracted from locally sourced cannabis, then activated for full effects (converted from THCa to delta-9 THC via a process called decarboxylation).
- The cannabis oil is then mixed into our scratch made edible recipes available in 7 tasty flavors in Oregon.
- Measured doses of 5mg are then dispensed into individual trefoil blister packs to ensure consistent doses, free of weed taste.
- District Edibles are made, sealed, and packaged without ever touching human hands, for the most sanitary product possible.
- Blistered packed and vacuum sealed for freshness and convenience.
Oregon’s Department of Health oversees production of cannabis infused food products to help ensure consumer safety. However, some companies choose to enforce even higher standards than required to make a quality product.
For example, most cannabis candies and gummies are hand poured into molds, hand removed from molds, and packaged by hand. District Edibles, however, uses automated technology so that hands never contact the product. As current health events highlight the value of contact-free production, such high standards of sanitation serves to protect the community’s health.
Spacey: “Okay, now you’ve got everything you need to start trying edibles. The first step is finding the right dose.”
Finding the Right Edible Dose
The most common mistake made by beginner edible eaters is overconsumption. In Oregon, the state recommended serving size is 5mg. Edibles take longer to be felt by the body, so consumers may think they did not consume enough and add a little more to their system. Suddenly, all the ingested cannabis enters the system and the effects become too much, causing some unpleasant side effects.
Generally, eating too much is just that: unpleasant, but almost never dangerous. More often than not, a humorous anecdote will also result. (For a good laugh, read about Toronto cops making this rookie edible mistake and getting so high they had to call for “backup” on themselves…)
Microdosing is an easy way to avoid a negative edible experience. Microdosing edibles range from 1mg - 5mg THC per serving. Such small doses are perfect for beginners, since it’s virtually impossible to over consume. Those new to edibles often start with microdosing until they can gauge their tolerance and the time it takes for them to feel the effects. Edible potency can be slowly increased as needed to find the perfect dose.
Box: First Bites: A Beginner’s Guide to Edibles
- Take it slow. Start with small doses and give plenty of time to digest (at least 90 minutes) before consuming more. Remember that it can take as long as three hours before you can feel an edible to activate.
- Experiment in a safe place. Consider trying with a friend or in a relaxing environment. However you do it, just make sure you’re not driving soon.
- Just in case...Be ready in case you accidentally over consume by having a high CBD product on hand (CBD tempers the effects of THC). If you do “overeat,” drink plenty of water. It's also suggested to add some fresh lemon juice since citrus also helps relieve the unpleasant effects of being too high.
Many edible consumers stick with microdosing, not because they are newbies, but because small and consistent amounts are what works best for them. These are people who find that they function best on edibles with small amounts of THC; enough to feel desired effects and get the health benefits, without interfering with life’s activities.
But how is dose determined in edibles? Edibles are sold in dosed pieces that are independently lab tested and verified. How that dose might affect you can vary from edible to edible depending on the other non-cannabis ingredients, such as fats, terpenes, and other ingredients.
How to Make Your Own Edibles
Feeling like baking your own bake? You’re not alone. Making edibles at home has grown in popularity, with enough cannabis recipe books on the shelf to keep any chef busy for a while.
Cannabis connoisseur and edible maker Jaime Cruz gives a simple recipe for delicious (and easy!) Cannabis Caramel Candies.
Jaime Cruz is a medical marijuana patient in Florida. With 25 years in the medical field, both in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian, Cruz uses her personal experience and medical knowledge to educate and support the cannabis community.
“Edibles are the only way I can feel THC in my body. Since they weren’t legal to buy I decided to figure out how to make my own.” - Jaime Cruz
In treating her own health conditions, Jaime discovered that edibles were the only method that truly brought relief to her body. The downside is that edibles were not (and still are not) yet legal in Florida. So Jaime set out to develop her own recipes for relief. After some trial and error, she developed an entire recipe book of tasty options, which she shares along with helpful instructional videos. Read her story and explore more free recipes by visiting her site: 420rx.co
While it can be fun to make edibles at home, for many it isn’t a convenient option. Fortunately, Oregon offers a wide variety of edibles for purchase.
Where to Buy Edibles in Oregon
*Link to interactive map of dispensaries by the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission)*
Is it possible to embed this into the blog post (like an HTML box) so that readers can use the map without leaving the blog and website?
Spacey: “You can also find District Edibles throughout Oregon by using this awesome interstellar navigational portal…” *District Edible Finder*
What Makes a Good Edible?
Once you’ve found the dose of THC that's right for you in edible format, you may be wondering how to pick the right product. It's really up to personal preference - edibles come in all types and flavors.
Here’s the 7 things you need to consider when edible shopping: Icons for each bullet
Spacey: “Hmmm...the only thing I consider is how much I can fit into my cargo space…”
- Do you like puckering up with sour candy, want to sip something, or in the mood for a rich and chocolatey treat? Or maybe you are more interested in a wellness boosting blend as a supplement? The first step is deciding what type of edible you want.
- Ingredients & Nutritional Content.
- Edibles offer a lot of options, so even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy a good high. Always check the label if you have any food allergies. Nutritional facts such as calorie count, fat and sugar content may also play a role in picking an edible (especially for those with a high THC tolerance who plan to eat a bit more).
- The amount of fat in an edible plays an important role in effects. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are fat soluble, so some fat eaten with cannabis is needed to make the cannabinoids available to the body. THC is also stored in the body’s fatty tissues, sometimes for even 30 days or more. Over time, the THC is gradually released back into the bloodstream, used, and expelled. This is why it’s possible to test positive for THC even though it’s been some time since an edible has been eaten.
- Cannabinoid Formulation.
- Are you wanting to chill out on the sofa after a long workday? Get an energy and creativity boost? Or enjoy some good times with friends? Not all weed is the same, and cannabinoid formulation and ratios are the key to achieving the experience you want.
- At first, one may not think of this as an important factor, but it actually plays a pretty big role. Secure packaging is important to prevent children from accidentally consuming THC.
- Also, products that are not individually sealed can easily melt and/or fuse together, making it difficult to eat and even harder to measure your dose. Look for products that are both individually packaged and resealable, so one can get the right dose without wasting any.
- Kitchen Quality.
- As mentioned earlier, sanitation protocols and implementation of best practices also influence the quality (and safety) of edibles. How an edible kitchen is operated should be transparent to consumers so they can make the best choice.
- Price point is most often the other consideration. As with most things, “you get what you pay for,” however with a little research and experimentation, one can find a quality edible that’s affordable.
- What determines the price of edibles? Quality of cannabis extract, the amount of cannabis oil in the edible serving, the quality of ingredients, and how the edibles are made all are factors in price. As with all manufactured products, branding and marketing can influence how much a person will pay for a product. Oregon taxes also influence price, with up to 17% rate plus additional 2% and 3% under certain circumstances.
So you’ve figured out what edible you want, how much you should eat, picked a dispensary, bought the edibles, and had an amazing experience...now you plan on going somewhere. Or maybe you’re visiting Oregon and are tempted to take some edibles home with you. What are the dos and don’ts of traveling with cannabis?
Since cannabis products are legal only in certain states, and not federally, it would be against federal law to travel with edibles. Even if one is flying from one legal state to another, the feds have jurisdiction. According to TSA, their main focus is to prevent potentially dangerous items from making it inflight, but they are also required to report any federally illegal activity or possession. Since marijuana products are illegal in the eyes of the federal government, TSA would be obliged to report any cannabis products (including edibles).
*Blurb: To put it bluntly (pun intended), it’s probably not worth the risk.*
What will happen if caught with marijuana at the airport? It depends on where you are and where you’re going. Oregon law enforcement has allowed users to fly if their final destination was also in the state, but that’s no guarantee. Other states may immediately place one under arrest. Still others, California for example, allow the traveler to return the cannabis to their car or to another person, without having to dispose of the cannabis or face arrest.
The same principle applies to mailing edibles to or from Oregon. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal statute, it is illegal to mail edibles (even if using a non-government, private shipping service such as FedEx or UPS). To put it bluntly (pun intended), it’s probably not worth the risk. Better to explore the world of edibles while enjoying all the beautiful and fun things Oregon has to offer!
Spacey: “Well, that’s the end of this guided tour. You’re now ready to lift off and fly high. Have fun! Oh, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out (social links).”
[a]Add mg to graph.