For medical marijuana patients who do not want to inhale their medication, there are a variety of other vehicles for intake available, and new methods of use are developed constantly. Not every patient is adventurous when it comes to new medications and new ways of using it, especially when their health is at stake. For those who don't want to stray too far from the more traditional methods of intake, the second most traditional method following inhalation would most likely be ingestion through the form of edibles. That being said, many patients find the relief they receive from edibles both inconsistent and unpredictable. Whaxy offers an explanation as to why that might be the case.
Regulations have emerged in growing markets requiring edible producers to determine doses or servings, but because a whole edible product contains multiple servings, it is difficult to measure out and easy to over-consume. In addition, because patients are often using edibles to treat severe illnesses and symptoms, medical-grade edibles are much more potent. As always, the effect a medication will have, including medical marijuana in the form of edibles, also partly depends on a patient's own physical characteristics and bodily makeup.
Edibles also deliver unpredictable highs in terms of when the relief kicks in, how effective it is, and how long it lasts. Consuming cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBG is less efficient than inhaling them, which causes the effect to kick in slowly and gradually, but also causing the effect to last longer. Whaxy says when decarboxylation, which occurs when heat is applied to cannabis, takes place through a slow event like cooking, it can produce "skewed results in terms of medical efficacy, potency, and high type." In addition, when cannabinoids are ingested, it takes longer for the molecules to enter the bloodstream and reach the CB1 receptors in the brain. Some leading researchers and neuroscientists suggest "the gastrointestinal path of edibles means those cannabinoids that are present are digested and chemically altered in ways that are sometimes dramatically different from more rapid onset methods, including tinctures."
Whaxy claims edibles have become the method of choice for those desiring to try medical marijuana for the first time. For a patient to experience a specific type of relief, he or she should seek out reliable and legal edibles that have been tested and labeled with their major cannabinoid and terpenoid content. Read more about how edibles vary in their article here.