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Edibles 101: What every newbie needs to know

Maybe you smoked a joint or two in college but it’s been 20 years since you had cannabis. You unwind with a glass of wine or a craft beer but your friends keep talking about edibles and how great they are for sleep, relaxation and anxiety.

You’re curious – and you have questions. And cannabis is legal in Michigan, so what’s the harm? Should you forgo the vino and try one instead?

Sonya Kachinskaya, cultivation consultant at New Standard, says that edibles date back to even before written history, with many cultures using them for well-being, relaxation and more. According to this Psychology Today article, some of the first known uses of edibles dates back to 2000 to 1400 B.C. in India, when people consumed a mixture of cannabis, ghee, milk and herbs called Bhang.

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So, if you decide to try edibles, you are in good company – with thousands of years of history behind you, according to the book Liber 200:Cannabis, Magickal Herbs and the Occult.

Edibles gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1960s with pot brownies and other baked goods. Kachinskaya said while some people still consume cannabis that way, edibles and chocolates are more popular with the more modern cannabis crowd.

So, why edibles?

There are many reasons why edibles are a great way to consume cannabis. The high is often more mellow and calming and you avoid some of the potential risks from smoking cannabis. They are also more discreet (although, if you have young children in your home, be sure to keep them in a secure location). Kachinskaya said anyone can use edibles and it’s rare for anyone to have any side effects or issues (but you should consult with a medical professional if you have health questions or concerns, as you would before consuming any substance).

How do they work? It’s simple. Edibles contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that – in a word – gets you high. You can eat, smoke or apply THC to your skin to get its benefits but if you just chew a bud, you won’t get high. That’s because THC needs heat to be activated – but not too much heat or it degrades. Every edible that is made professionally, meaning every edible that we sell, contains THC that has already been heated just enough to get it activated.

THC is also a lipid and not water soluble, meaning it needs a fat to bind to, like butter, so your body can absorb it.