CBD Edibles: A Definitive Guide

Cannabis comes in many forms.  Tinctures, lotions, vape pens, and buds are all commonly found in dispensaries around the country.  

Out of all these forms, edibles are one of the most sought after cannabis products.  You don’t have to learn how to vape or deal with sticky syringes to enjoy edibles, and they are simple to use.  Also many of them are delicious and fun to take.  

If we break the edible word down to it’s basic definition, it is simply something that is good for human consumption.   

Any edible product is something that can be ingested orally and interacts safely with the body.  A tincture could also be considered an edible for this reason, but most people associate cannabis edibles with common food items.  

A cookie, beverages, gummies, and hard candy are all examples of common edibles.  Fresh prepared food such as soups and salads would also be considered edibles, but these are more rare in the cannabis industry.  

As laws change and new ideas start to flourish, creative business owners are expanding into new territory, so be sure to check stores to see if they carry your favorite foods infused with cannabis.  

Cannabis Edibles 

A cannabis edible is human grade consumable product that includes some form of the cannabis plant.  The parts of the plant including the stems, leaves, and buds are all incorporated around the world.   Most edibles are infused with cannabis concentrate from the denser oil areas of the plants.   

The buds for instance usually contain higher levels of cannabinoids than other parts so some labs just focus on extracting from the buds. 

 In certain grow operations, the hemp seeds from the cannabis plant are crushed and pushed through extractors to collect the oil. This oil is then refined to just isolate the CBD.

Edibles in the cannabis industry usually have high levels of THC or CBD.  In the recreational marijuana sections of our country, edibles are found at almost every place marijuana is sold.  

In Oregon for example, companies like Wyld focus on edible gummies and candies.  Other companies such as Gaia, make chocolates and candy bars.  

Dosing Edibles

We always say, start low and slow when it comes to any sort of first time cannabis experimentation.  

THC infused edibles can be very potent, especially if you have not experienced the feeling of being high in a long time. 

Edibles can have a longer onset due to the way your body absorbs the cannabinoids. The stomach slowly absorbs nutrients and cannabinoids and can release these over a few hours. 

Usually when one smokes hemp or marijuana, the high starts much faster. Also the high typically peaks within an hour and then goes down from there.  

Edibles can take a long time to hit the system.  Sometimes it takes over an hour just for an edible to start taking effect.  

For THC and CBD edibles, most people start with less than 5 milligrams.  This small amount will help gauge how many milligrams you need.

Remember don’t feel pressured into taking to much cannabis infused products.  A good night could easily turn into a bad one if too much THC is in your body. You might not like the way you feel because it can have a strong mental stimulation.  

For normal to high doses you can take more than 5 milligrams, but be sure you are comfortable taking this much.  You may find that THC and CBD does not hit you for a long time.  

The mental effects can be amplified when traveling by car or plane, so make sure you have enough time for the medication to leave your system before heading out on any big adventures for the first time.  

Personally for my anxiety, I take a large amount of CBD oil.  Well larger than the average dose. Typically people start with 5-10 milligrams and take this same amount every day.  I personally like the anxiety reduction when I take 40 milligrams or more at one time.  

Usually I can feel the CBD the next morning or even the next couple of days, so I do not keep taking the oil every day.  This helps save me time as well as money.  

Cannabis Edibles; How They’re Made

For many years, home growers and average cannabis users were creating different edible products at home using buds of the cannabis plant as well as oils.  

The THC, CBD and other compounds found in the cannabis plant, bond with solvents used in extraction such as cooking oil and butter.

People creating edibles would then take the butter or oil they created and run it through some sort of filter.  

A metal coffee filter for example is one commonly used for cannabis oils.  A regular paper filter may work, but this could slow down the process significantly.  

If the resin on the cannabis is too much, the filters can clog and or soak up some of the useful cannabinoids.   Too big of a filter, such as those used for pasta and noodles could actually let too much plant matter through.  

Check the holes on the outside of the filter to make sure they are very very small.  Anything bigger than a pinhead may be too large.

After filtering out the plant matter from the oil or butter, people would typically combine the butter in their favorite recipes.  

Brownies, cookies, and candies are all easily made using cannabis extracted butter and oil.  When using fresh buds at home, you will generally notice the cannabis flavor in the foods you prepare with cannabis infused butters.  

Drinks can also be made at home, but these require a little more care and patience.  Cannabis oil is difficult to dissolve in water.  

This creates problems when making beverages at home without specialized equipment.  The oil containing THC and CBD for instance may float to the top of the bottle. This could give the user too much oil at once. 

 Also the oil can actually stick to the sides of the container.  Warm beverages seem to alleviate this problem, but if you are making cold drinks such as iced teas and sodas, you may find it difficult to get your cannabis oil to emulsify correctly.  

At Uphempo, we recommend trying in very small batches at first if you are making a beverage for the first time.  

It may take some trial and error to get the oil to go into your drink, but once you succeed you may find yourself with a great refreshing cannabis beverage!

CBD Edibles; Defining the Difference

CBD edibles are just what you would think; a food or beverage product that is infused in one way or another with CBD.  Since CBD can be isolated from other cannabinoids, products with CBD in them can be sold over the counter.  

CBD edibles are popping up all over the country.  You can find gummies that look just like gummy bears or Sour Patch Kids.  You can find chocolates, fruit bars, and even honey mixed with CBD.  

Some cannabis infused products that are sold over the counter legally in the US are full spectrum.  

Full spectrum cannabis products not only have CBD in them, but they also can contain other cannabinoids such as THC.  Just because high THC products are currently illegal to sell doesn’t mean products can have small amounts of THC.

Sometimes manufactures will call their products broad spectrum.   Broad spectrum usually contain other cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, CBC, and so on, but broad spectrum has all of the THC removed completely.  

Some people may like these other options because their job may allow CBD but not allow THC when it comes to employee drug screening.  

Always be careful to read your labels very carefully and call the manufacturer to make sure there is absolutely no THC in any of their testing results.  Even a tiny amount of THC could interfere with tests.

THC-Free edibles are also available.  These edibles have no THC in them but they do contain CBD and possibly other cannabinoids.  

CBD Gummies

One of the most popular questions we get at Uphempo is ‘what are CBD gummies?’.  To put it plainly a CBD gummy or a THC gummy, is a typical gummy edible infused with cannabis oil.  

A gummy bear is one of the most popular forms.  Gummies are formed by using some sort of gelatinous material to make the gummy squish and move the way it does.  

Have your kids ever made slime at home?  The slime created by adding household glue with saline solution creates a jelly-like consistency.  

Gummies work in the same fashion.  The gelatin bonds with the water molecules and sugar to create a jelly that can then be molded into different shapes.  The shapes then hold at room temperature and can be safely consumed by humans.   

A common form of gelatin is made from the bones of animals.  For this reason, many gummies are not vegetarian or vegan.  

If you are vegetarian, make sure you closely check the label on the back of the gummy bag as you will find most contain animal products.  Some companies are now making vegan certified gummies so be sure to check back often.

Using CBD Gummies for Pain and Anxiety 

It’s tough to say whether or not CBD gummies are right for your condition.   More severe issues require some trial and error.  Severe pain for instance can be very difficult to combat. 

Pain relief comes in many forms, yet many over the counter drugs and pharmaceuticals have powerful negative side effects.  

For people with very serious pain, CBD gummies could be a good starting option.  At first, the person with pain could try a little CBD gummy sample to see if there is any affect at that milligram level. 

Once, the person finds how much CBD they need, they could then switch to a bigger jar of gummies.  

For people with anxiety, CBD gummies could potentially help dose out the right amount of CBD you need as well.  Anxiety can be triggered by a variety of things and sometimes the sugar in gummies can interact with heart rate and energy.  

It may be a safer option to try purer forms such as tinctures for anxiety in order to help better isolate the issue.  

That is not to say CBD gummies cannot help out people with anxiety.  Some patients we’ve met really love the CBD gummies for coping with their day to day issues.  

CBD Gummies for Sleep

Just as CBD gummies can help with other issues such as pain, many people have reported to us that CBD gummies have helped them fall asleep at night.  

Sleep is another very delicate issue.  Staying awake all night can have traumatic accents on our day to day activities.  A night without sleep can lead to an unproductive day at work or a bad grade on a test.  

Some CBD gummies are actually designed for sleep.  Whether or not they will work for everyone is tough to say, but I have personally met people who love to take them at night.  

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Certain companies actually put other additives in the gummy to help induce a good night’s rest.  Melatonin for instance is added to some of the more popular sleep gummies.  

Other brands like to use natural herbs found in tea blends to help people fall asleep.  

One thing to note is that almost all gummies contain some sort of sugar.  Even organic vegan gummies have sugars and syrups derived from plants in their base ingredient.  

Because gummies are typically very sweet, they usually contain a higher sugar content than many foods.  Sugar can be very stimulating on the system.  

Some people cannot have any sugar at night.  Be sure to make note of the sugar content of the CBD gummy you are taking to make sure that it does not keep you awake at night.    

Taking CBD Gummies Every Day 

Taking CBD every day in gummy form may not be right for everyone.  For very large doses, we probably would suggest going with a tincture or some sort of concentrated oil eventually.  

These forms will save you a bunch of money in the long run since there is usually an upcharge on the gummy boxes.  Packaging and food regulations require more regulated packaging and therefore costs the manufacturer more to make.

Just like other forms of edibles, gummies have been very popular amongst cannabis patients around the country.  

The simplicity of the dose really helps to regulate how much product you are taking.  Plus CBD gummies are usually very easy to eat. They have a good flavor, so people usually don’t associate them with cannabis.  

So if you like the idea of eating gummies already and want something that is easy to take, we recommend considering CBD gummies.  

You can find a single gummy sample pack in most places that sell CBD oil and products.  Health store and even popular grocery stores are now carrying CBD gummies.  

Because cannabis regulations are changing every day, we recommend calling into the store in advance to make sure they have the products you need on shelves.  

Some stores are able to order products for you even if they don’t have them in stock regularly, so be sure to check with the manager.  

CBD Edibles; How Do They Taste?

Depending on the company, CBD edibles have a wide array of flavors.  The strain and the specific terpenes that are extracted can range from sour to sweet.  Some notice a strong grassy flavor in their edible product. This can be the type of oil used.  

RSO for example usually has a strong cannabis flavor.  This is because during the extraction process, much of the plant is allowed to break down into the solution.  

When you allow cannabis to sit for a long time in ethanol, as they do with RSO, the cannabis flavor is brought out in a strong way.    

Cannabis Edibles with no Plant-Like Taste

If you are looking for a cannabis infused edible that does not taste like cannabis, it’s important to stay away from certain types of oil used such as RSO.  A water distillation is probably more of the type of extraction would be your best bet.  

Usually with water extraction the flavor of the plant is left behind.  In Oregon and many states when this process first began, budtenders would call this product ‘clear’.  

Clear is both a physical description of the clear glass like solution that is left behind and a description of the compounds used in the process.  

Essentially the clear is clear from contaminants commonly left behind with other solvents.  Because water is used in the process as the main solvent, the ending product should be mostly pure cannabinoids.  

Clear products strip out the flavors and essential oils of the plants.  Smoking clear for instances yields almost no terpenes flavors, such as the strong grape flavors found in many indica strains.  Once clear is added to an edible product, usually the person can taste no difference from the original product without cannabis.  

CBD Edibles and Drug Tests 

The US government does allow for some edibles to contain both CBD, THC and other compounds.  The THC like we said early is less than %.3 percent, but this is still enough to show up on common drug tests.  

It’s difficult to say whether or not your companies drug test will test for cannabinoids.  In our experience selling at dispensaries across the country, most people attest that CBD did not show up when having to take a drug test.  

THC-Free edibles are probably the safest ones to take if you are worried about THC showing up on a drug test but not CBD.  

Not every employer allows CBD to show up in an employee’s system.  The military does not allow any sort of cannabinoid to show up in the system unless the person under certain medical situations.  

We try to keep this information about the military up to date the best we can.   Laws are changing so rapidly, the stance the government has also has the potential to change at any moment.  Please stay tuned to your local news source and government officials to find out what the current laws are.  

People come from a variety of  jobs which may test for cannabinoids.  If you are in the Army or navy in the US, make sure you check the ingredients on your food very carefully.  

Currently the US military does not trust the testing and validity of CBD, so they could potentially test for this and punish those who test positive.

Many large grocery stores are now selling an array of CBD infused foods.  A candy bar with CBD oil in it could easily look just like a candy bar you commonly like without CBD.  

Placed next to each other on a shelf in Whole Foods amongst hundreds of other products, one could grab a cannabis infused product without even knowing it.

Cannabis Edibles Pricing

Since cannabis oil can be very expensive and package regulations are also expensive, edibles with cannabis oil in them are usually much more costly than comparative products without oil in them.  

Chocolates and gummies on the shelves of popular convenience stores like Whole Foods are reasonably priced and can be found around the $2 mark.  

Typically CBD infused candies would fetch a far higher price.  Most of the low end samples are priced around $5 for entry level single doses.   Low multi-day doses usually range from $10-$20.

If you are looking for a good long term option, edibles would probably cost you much more than if you were to just buy the tincture.  CBD infused edibles are great, but they have so many variables because of the ingredients.  

Other ingredients in the edibles may interact with how the medicine affects you.  This makes it difficult to isolate whether the CBD or other compounds in the edibles could be interfering with your system.

Final Thoughts

All over the country cannabis edibles are appearing on the shelves.  Now the average person has access to thousands of different edible options!  Cannabis edibles are any sort of food or beverage that contain cannabis.  

Cannabis can be infused inside of a food product in many ways.  Different forms of oil have different flavors. Some forms such as clear oils and distillates typically have no flavor at all.  This is because the terpenes or essential oils of the plant are removed in the extraction process.  

Other oils such as RSO have a strong cannabis flavor.  Making oil at home with fresh hemp buds will also result in heavy amounts of cannabis terpenes being released.  This will give you a very potent product to mix with favorite foods.    

CBD products have the potential to show up on drug tests.  THC and other cannabinoids can be found in CBD edible products as well.  Be sure to check with your employer to make sure any CBD product you are taking is clear to take.  

Even a tiny amount of THC can show up on a standard test.  Some organizations such as the Navy have stressed not taking CBD products in order to be safe from scrutiny.  

If you want to try over the counter products, look for CBD edibles. CBD gummies, chocolates, and beverages are popping up everywhere you find food.  Large chains now offer small amount of CBD edibles for those to sample.  

You can test a small amount to see if the CBD interacts well with your body.  Edibles can be a good starting option for those looking for an easy to understand solution that can taste great!

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