Medical cannabis doesn’t have to be consumed through smoking. In fact, according to Health Canada, smoking is a major health hazard and should be avoided, even when it comes to cannabis.
Luckily, there are many creative ways to take your medical cannabis and find the relief you’re looking for. One of these ways is through cannabis beverages.
This article includes everything you need to know about getting started on your first edible beverage experience.
What Are Cannabis Drinks?
Cannabis drinks (sometimes called edible beverages or drinkables) get their name from their infusion with cannabis.
Drinkables are made with distilled cannabis when the oil diffuses into the (usually) flavored drink.
There are multiple types of cannabis-infused drinks: some have the psychoactive component THC and some are CBD dominant, which delivers a more relaxed, calming experience. You can find both THC and CBD-infused drinks in various percentage blends, depending on the experience you are seeking.
Cannabis-infused drinks can be seen as an alternative to alcohol, as most cannabis cocktails or liquids do not contain alcohol.
Types of Cannabis Drinks
CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient that is found in the cannabis plant. It can be put in drinks, juices, smoothies, coffee, tea, sodas, water, and even alcoholic beverages like beer and spirits.
CBD’s health advantages can include improvements in:
It may also potentially provide a natural alternative for pain and symptom treatment in cancer patients.
If you tend to feel nauseous and lose your appetite, THC beverages are your go-to. This psychoactive compound, which causes the “high” most often associated with cannabis, helps to increase appetite. It’s for this reason that cannabis is also used as an appetite stimulant.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the THC compound can help nausea and vomiting especially for cancer patients.
If you’re a beginner to cannabis, you’ll need to check THC levels on the packaging before consuming the beverage. Go slow to test out the dosage.
How do I dose cannabis drinks?
Before you start sipping, you may want to check what’s the best dosage for you. Still not sure what’s the best dosage for you? The chart below can help you on your cannabis journey.
Each edible dose depends on the individual, just like with alcohol. You have to account for your tolerance, weight, height and other factors. If you’re unsure how much THC you should be consuming for your conditions, consult a healthcare practitioner.
Shopping for Cannabis Drinks
The easiest way to get THC and CBD beverages is to purchase them from a licensed cultivator (LC).
You can always look at the LC’s menus and see if anything you like or might want to try is available. The great part about browsing online is that you can read reviews of different brands and what your experience might be like.
You may have some questions before you decide to commit to a specific drink, such as:
- What is the right dosage for me?
- What do they taste like?
- How long can I keep it for?
- How long is the effect?
Apart from just reading reviews, you can always contact Canadian Cannabis Clinics for support and get advice from a medical practitioner. Our specialized medical cannabis educators will advise which products you should be using and register you with an LC.
Can I Make THC and CBD-infused Drinks at Home?
If you want to get crafty and regulate your dosage more closely, try making your own cannabis beverages at home!
There are a variety of cannabis beverage recipes online that you can try, like our delicious and easy-to-make strawberry-banana cannabis smoothie recipe.
It is important to note that drinks bought from medical providers are more accessible and safe, since the drinks are made in state-of-the-art facilities and follow specific safety rules and regulations.
What Are Some Pro-tips for Drinking Cannabis?
- Know your dosage: Like alcohol, there may be unwanted side effects if you consume more than you bargained for. Explore with caution, and always leave some time to fully feel the effects – up to 2 hours. It is recommended to start off with smaller doses and increase slowly.
- Inquire or read packages carefully: The most common error beginners make is to skip reading the package. You need to know how much THC/CBD the drink contains. The amount of THC/CBD a drink contains is key information as to how you need to correlate your dosing.
- Be patient and know what to expect: Edibles differ from smoking cannabis. For instance, when you smoke cannabis, your lungs absorb it rapidly, and almost instantly, you can feel the euphoric effects. When you drink the beverage, the THC and CBD is absorbed through the blood. So it may take you some time to feel the full impact.
What If I Get Too High?
If you get too high, don’t panic. Remember that cannabis is not lethal, so you can never overdose unless you have underlying medical issues. Only then should you consult professional medical personnel.
If you do feel too high, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Detachment from what is going on around you
- Lost perception of time
Again, it is important to note that these symptoms are not lethal and are simply caused by an intake of too much THC.
If you get too high, drink plenty of water and then sleep. That’s all you can do. And most importantly, remember to remain calm and the effects will taper off.
Cannabis beverages are a great alternative for those who may not want to go the traditional route of inhaling cannabis. Alongside edibles, their usage is becoming increasingly popular. It is important to note that education is key prior to trying cannabis beverages.
If you have any other questions regarding the consumption of cannabis beverages, our medical cannabis educators are happy to help. Please email [email protected], call 1-888-256-7043 or book an appointment with our online booking tool.