There’s a pretty wide range of ways to enjoy cannabis outside of smoking it. If lighting up a joint isn’t your thing because you don’t like the sensation of smoking or the strong, distinctive aroma of the leaves, you can choose to consume your cannabis in the form of edibles instead.
You may already know of shops that sell cannabis edibles like cannabutter, gummies, brownies, and cookies. But just within reach is the growing market of cannabis-infused drinks like sodas, iced teas, seltzers, and lemonades—all of which are infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis’s well-known psychoactive ingredient.
Knowing just how many appealing choices you have, should you stick with edibles for your next herb delivery, or should you give cannabis-infused drinks a chance? Here’s a guide for cannabis connoisseurs who are open to trying new consumables.
Edibles vs. Cannabis-Infused Beverages: A Quick Comparison
Cannabis-infused drinks and edibles share one obvious quality: they’re meant to be ingested so that one can feel their effects. But beyond that, these two types of products are very different. From their formulation to the amount of time a user needs before the THC kicks in, here are some important points of comparison between edibles and cannabis-infused drinks:
Duration of Cannabis’s High
There’s a pretty big difference between cannabis-infused beverages and edibles with regard to how fast the THC can set in and how long the signature THC high can last. Those who’ve tried edibles before know that it can take an hour or two before they kick in because they need to be fully digested first.
After the THC has metabolized through the liver, the high can last for several hours.
In contrast, cannabis-infused drinks can sometimes hit as fast as a smoked weed. Cannabis-infused beverages typically have a quicker uptake than edibles because they’re formulated using nanoemulsion, which means that the tiny molecules in your drink can quickly break down and enter your bloodstream through your saliva.
As a result, you may be able to feel the THC in your system in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, and it will take between 45 minutes to an hour before the high depletes.
This is an important issue for cannabis users to consider because some may want a longer high while others may want to sober up quickly. You can choose your method of consumption based on what you prefer.
Potency of Cannabis’s Effects
Another point of comparison to pay attention to is the potency of cannabis’s effects, whether you ingest it in the form of an edible or an infused drink. Edibles are known for pretty strong highs because they release 11-hydroxy-THC, a very potent form of THC, once they’re metabolized.
On the other hand, while cannabis drinks can induce quick highs, most manufacturers formulate them to yield much milder experiences so that they can be enjoyed as gradually as a cocktail.
For both consumable forms of cannabis, the strength of the high you experience depends on just how much you take. A good rule of thumb to follow for both edibles and cannabis-infused beverages is to measure out and be very exact about your initial doses.
Start small, for example, with a 5 mg cannabis gummy or with a single can of cannabis-infused seltzer that contains 2.5mg of THC and 2.5 of cannabidiol (CBD). Wait for either product to take effect, then decide how much more it would be safe for you to take without getting overwhelmed or uncomfortable.
Taste and Ability to Mesh with Non-Cannabis Ingredients
As far as taste goes, both edibles and cannabis-infused drinks have come a long way. The latter used to get a bad rap because the lipophilic cannabis oil initially used in beverage formulations didn’t emulsify well enough, resulting in unpleasant tastes and textures.
Modern cannabis-infused drinks, which rely on nanoemulsion technology, are known for their precise dosing and even dispersal in their liquid solutions. That helps them retain their potency as well as their delicious taste, which is comparable to ordinary refreshments or alcoholic drinks.
Cannabis edibles, which incorporate cannabis oil just like how baked goods would incorporate butter or shortening, remain tasty because of ingredients like sugar. The popularity of classic edible treats like brownies or cookies is testament enough to cannabis oil’s compatibility with non-cannabis ingredients.
That said, some edibles can still leave a trace of that distinctive cannabis aftertaste. Whether that’s a turnoff or an added point of appeal depends on the consumer.
In summary, both cannabis edibles and cannabis-infused drinks have their merits. They afford cannabis consumption experiences that are more subtle and discreet than smoking weed, and they’re both very enjoyable in social situations.
Your choice of cannabis product ultimately boils down to your personal preferences and threshold for THC. Choose according to what you think you can handle and what resonates closest to your idea of a good time.