THC Drinks vs. Edibles: Should You Drink or Eat Your High?

Sep 07, 2022The nama Team

For those choosing to consume CBD and THC edibles instead of smoking cannabis, you may know the surge of canna-infused drinks is becoming more mainstream, too. If you’reexploring your options for adding cannabis into your life without smoking it, it’s important to know there’s more to it than just weed drinks and Delta 9 THC gummies. Cannabis technology has come a long way.

THC Drinks vs. Edibles: Should You Drink or Eat Your High?

Drinks and edibles affect the mind and body differently. Edibles and cannabis beverages have a later onset time than smoking, but the full effects have a longer peak and length. While ingesting cannabis is the healthier, smoke-free alternative to inhaling the carcinogens that form when smoking or vaping, you should still be informed about things like: 

  • the basics of THC drinks vs. edibles 
  • the benefits of ingesting cannabis 
  • the concerns about canna-infused products
  • the insight to choosing the best option for you

Let’s uncover these issues together. 

The Basics of THC Drinks vs. Edibles

A cannabis drink and an edible are both terrific, non-carcinogenic ways to get your daily microdose of THC. Each offers some slight advantages over the other.

How Do Cannabis Edibles and Drinks Differ? 

There are a few important differences to be aware of between traditional edibles and cannabis drinks.

Ingestible cannabis does not break down the same in the body. 

Basically, a cannabis cookie and a cannabis cocktail are not the same just because they’re both ingested. When you consume cannabis in the form of an edible, the THC from the cannabis oil is absorbed by your stomach and intestine. It goes through a digestion process before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. 

If you’re drinking THC-infused water, the cannabinoids in the oil dissolve and pass through your digestive system and quickly enter your bloodstream once it hits the lining of the stomach. Much like an alcoholic beverage, the effects of cannabis in a drink elevate quicker because they don’t need the digestive breakdown process that edibles do. 

Canna-infused drinks and edibles have different dosing needs.

Even though both are effective, if you eat too much of either type it will give you some aversions. Beverages infused with THC or CBD have a quicker uptake than other edibles, but the potency of edibles is more pronounced. This means your dosage of the two should not be the same. 

There is a difference between having a few canna-infused drinks with friends (whether alcoholic or not) and eating a proper dosage of THC gummies. Fast acting effects faster are convenient, but need to be properly regulated to avoid overconsumption. 

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Are the effects of THC edibles and drinks the same as smoking?

Eating edibles and drinking cannabis infused beverages have a different effect than smoking. 

Despite feeling the effects of smoking marijuana quickest out of all consumption options, the effects do not last as long. Inhaling cannabis smoke causes a reaction in the body within seconds, passing through the lungs, into the bloodstream, and onto your brain. But as mentioned earlier, when you’re ingesting an edible, it travels through your digestive tract where it takes a bit longer to break down. 

Think of it this way, if you’re infusing 2.5 mg of THC, that’s the equivalent of 100 mg of cannabis flower if it's smoked. The upside to edibles and infused beverages is that the effects last almost double the amount of time.

The Benefits of Using Edibles and Infused Drinks

There are many layers to the benefits of THC and CBD edibles and drinks–and that’s a good thing. Because of the toxic chemicals that impact lung health when smoking or vaping marijuana, it’s no surprise that people are switching from smoking to eating and drinking cannabis. Not only is it the healthier mode of cannabis consumption, but it’s also: 

  • much more discreet–it hardly leaves a trace and requires no tools
  • the more potent and longer-lasting option
  • more precise to properly regulating dosages

But depending on why you’re consuming a cannabis product, different formulated blends of edibles can benefit you in various influential ways. 

Health Benefits of THC Drinks and Edibles 

THC drinks and edibles seem to offer health benefits, at least to some users. Reported benefits range from better mental health to pain relief.

Anxiety Relief

According to a 2019 study done by PubMed Central, a database from the National Institutes of Health, almost 80% of people who used CBD for anxiety experienced a decrease in symptoms. Another study they did noted that THC was known to cause a sense of relaxation and euphoria in participants, including teenagers. 

Pain Management 

In an article published by the National Library of Medicine, in studies done on marijuana and pain, it was suggested that cannabinoids can suppress pain in multiple ways. Cannabis edibles provide medical marijuana patients the opportunity to alleviate things like chronic pain, muscle spasms, and managing inflammations caused by diseases like arthritis. 

High in Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber

Most people do not realize that hemp seeds are highly nutritional. Medical News Today reported that vitamin E, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and potassium are just some of the vitamins and minerals found in hemp. The fiber found in help has been known to promote gut health, with antioxidants that protect your body from many diseases like cancer. 

Reducing Nausea and Helping Appetite

Medical marijuana has been clinically proven to help symptoms of nausea and increase one’s loss of appetite. In a recent Forbes article about cannabis and nausea relief, they noted that the University of New Mexico did a study with the Releaf App where they tracked 866 users, they found that 96% of participants had symptoms of nausea relief within five minutes, increasing over time. 

Improved Sleep

THC has long been associated with improved sleep and is often a targeted reason for consumption. A report by the Sleep Foundation found that nearly 70% of casual consumers report using THC to help them sleep. Studies suggest the sedative properties of THC drinks and edibles can make it easier for those with insomnia to sleep.  Additionally, some early evidence suggests THC may improve breathing and reduce dreaming which is beneficial for those combating PTSD (although more research is needed).  Sleep gummies are more commonly used for sleep, given their slower digestion and the typical inclusion of other sleep promoting compounds such as melatonin and CBN. CBN, THC and CBD together have been shown to have a more potent sleep effect than any single compound on its own.

Avoid Cannabis Overconsumption

There are an array of options for consumers to find the right edibles and drinks that appeal to them. The problem is because the amount of THC in edibles varies too, it can be challenging for users to be aware of how much they’re consuming and what’s best for them. Running the risk of unintentionally taking too high of a dose raises concern. 

That’s why it’s important for users to do their research about the products they’re consuming, so they’re consistently dosing correctly and avoiding delayed intoxication. Use a brand you trust. Edible products like nama are lab tested, 100% USA Hemp derived plant-based gummies that promise reliable dosing tailored to a variety of needs. 

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Choosing the best THC Drinks and Edibles For You

Choosing the best products and dosages is nonlinear, and depends on a number of key factors. Before choosing your path, you want to consider such things as: 

  • Cannabis tolerance and consumption rate
  • Genetics and diet
  • Previous health issues
  • Your goals for ingesting them 

Be mindful of where you are with riding the canna-train straight to bliss town. While your version of what you want out of the experience is possible, without understanding your body’s limitations, you must proceed with caution. 

Decide whether you are canna-curious or a full-on canna-enthusiast. 

If you’re canna-curious, meaning you’re new to the exploration, start with low doses and take it easy. To give you perspective, 2.5-5 mg is considered THC microdosing. This is a great starting point for THC drinks and edibles. 

If you’re a canna-enthusiast, meaning you’ve been using cannabis regularly for a period of time, learn your limits and work within them. 20+ mg of THC is a higher dose of cannabis, providing you with a more potent psychoactive result. A high dose like this should be reserved for experienced users of THC.

You might be looking for a good night's sleep or an energy boost to be the life of the party. Whether drinking your weed or eating it, get knowledgeable about what you’re putting in your body and the effects it could have. Look for products with clean ingredients and don’t be afraid to discuss this with your physician before taking the leap. 

Which THC Drinks Should I Try?

There are so many cannabis drinks on the market, with more appearing all the time. Feel free to try as many as you like. And, if you want to make your own THC infused sparkling beverage, our Liquid THC Buzz Drops allow you to craft your own delectable concoctions at home!

Drinks vs Edibles FAQ

After consuming an infused cannabis beverage, it typically takes a half hour to 2 hours for the consumer to begin feeling the effects of a cannabis beverage, with some fast acting beverages causing onset within 15 to 30 minutes.  The effects once consumed typically last 4 to 6 hours with some feeling effects up to 12 hours following consumption.

A common universal starting dose for cannabis beverages is 2.5mg of THC.  As with any first timer, the key is starting low and going slow - as one can always increase their serving size to reach the desired effects, but cannot eliminate what has already been consumed.  Given the potential 2 hour onset delay, it is very important to remain patient when consuming a THC drink.

A THC beverage is a standard drink with the addition of cannabis oil.  This cannabis oil has undergone processing to turn it from an oil to a water soluble format, allowing it’s particles to be uniformly infused throughout the beverage.  Common THC beverages consist of seltzers, sodas, teas and non-alcoholic wine and beer.  With so many beverage formats existing, the weed drinks industry is ripe with potential.

THC drinks tend to work faster than edibles, given that absorption of cannabis beverages begins immediately upon consumption compared to edibles which typically need to be digested before onset begins.  However, individuals looking for a fast-acting edibles can choose to thoroughly chew their edibles, breaking down the gummy as much as possible before swallowing, therefore, expediting the body's digestion.

Delta 9 THC is the primary compound in the marijuana and hemp plants which causes psychoactive effects when consumed in high doses.  THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.  Delta-9 THC can be found in both the hemp and marijuana plant and is commonly extracted and infused into THC Drinks, edibles, lotions and other consumer products.

Delta-9 THC derived from hemp is federally legal and legal in most states when concentrations remain below 0.3% based on dry weight (all nama CBD Delta 9 THC edibles are Farm Bill compliant and therefore legal on a federal level).  Meanwhile, Delta-9 THC derived from marijuana is federally illegal, but is legal at the state level in some capacity in 37 states as of the writing of this article.

Delta 9 THC is more potent than Delta 8, while Delta 8 is considered a more mellow form of THC.

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