Everything You Should Know About Medical Marijuana Edibles
Finding the right type of medical marijuana edibles can be a challenge. The edibles industry is evolving fast as more and more people move away from smoking. The choices for non-smoking methods of medical marijuana seem to be increasing every year, and currently include:
For this article, we’re focusing on edible medical marijuana. Edibles are preferred to smoking for medical patients. Smoking can aggravate the lungs and esophagus negating some of the sedative effects of the CBD.
A couple of the chemicals you inhale when smoking the flower may be carcinogenic. Even with a small risk, many people are turning to other methods of taking their medical marijuana.
Cannbinoids & Types of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana contains between 70 and 85 different types of cannabinoids. Those are the chemicals that bind to receptors in your body that block pain and deliver a high. Most medical benefits come from CBD, whereas THC is more interesting to recreational users.
THC – Chemically known as tetrahydrocannabinol, this chemical provides the mind high. The higher concentrations of THC in a product, the more intense the high.
CBD – Called Cannabidiol, this cannabinoid binds with your CB-2 receptors to create the body high.
When choosing between various strains of cannabis, most medical patients find that higher amounts of CBD help more. However, THC can also be useful depending on the condition you’re treating.
Choosing the Right Type of Medical Marijuana Edibles
Each state has its own regulations when it comes to medical marijuana edibles.
These regulations can vary dramatically between states. Most states have information available online, but your local dispensary can also tell you the laws. California recently put in new regulations for a medical marijuana card.
The critical point to keep in mind when trying new edibles is that they affect everyone differently. They can take anywhere from a half hour to two hours to kick in, depending on the person. Some edibles might also prove too strong. Starting out with half doses on a new product can prevent the discomfort of being too high.
Medical marijuana edibles also tend to last longer than smoking the flower or an oil. Some products even claim to last 8 hours. This might be something to consider if you’re looking for long-lasting pain relief. The budtenders at your local dispensary should be able to point you toward those products.
The Difference Between Sativa and Indica
When you enter a dispensary, you will see most of the products labeled as either sativa, indica, or hybrid. Cannabis is actually the genus name. So every plant falls into one of the two categories or a hybrid of both.
- Cannabis sativa
- Cannabis indica
Worldwide, there are hundreds of variations of marijuana strains. Sativa strains tend to be higher in THC. Conversely, indica tends toward higher amounts of CBD. Hybrids run all over the spectrum.
Our favorite mnemonic for remembering the difference is “indica, in da couch.” (With indica’s higher CBD concentrations, it’s often more of a body high.)
A Quick Warning for Pregnant Women & Adults Under 21
Many experts suggest pregnant women should avoid medical marijuana altogether. There have never been human studies of marijuana’s effects on pregnancy, so it is a complete unknown.
Brain development (to the mind of many scientists) is not entirely complete before age 21. Some studies suggest that both psychological and physiological harm can occur.
Talk to your doctor about using medical marijuana.
Types of Medical Marijuana Edibles
Most medical marijuana patients focus on higher CBD products. (Although some ailments causing lack of appetite can benefit from munchie-inducing high THC products.) This is where testing and keeping notes of what you try and its effects can help.
In states that have overcome prohibition, there seems to be more and more types of edibles available every month. Some of the most common ones include:
- Candy bars
- Hard candies
- and (most renowned) gummies
The important cannabinoids in cannabis are fat soluble, meaning they stick to anything with fat in it. Since there is fat is just about everything, this opens up a million plus opportunities to try new things.
The quality and taste of these products vary significantly. We recommend trying several things in small amounts to see what works best. It’s almost like having a chef friend who wants you to try their new creations because there are always new edibles available.
Medical Marijuana Edibles Dosage
If your doctor doesn’t tell you how much to take when writing your prescription, it can be a long process of trial and error.
New patients who consume too much can experience feelings of anxiety or paranoia. Even without those side effects, consuming too much sometimes results in a mental discomfort where nothing is wrong, but you struggle to do much other than lay on the couch. This too high feeling usually fades within 30 minutes to an hour.
When trying new edibles for the first time, make sure you don’t have anything pressing coming up in case you accidentally take too much. Keeping a log of what you take, how much, and how long it typically lasts can help you make educated guesses when trying new products within the same type of edible.
Medical experts suggest that new patients should not exceed 5 to 10 milligrams of the active cannabinoids in the product. This includes both the CBD and THC. If you’re unsure how you react, start with a 5 mg dose.
Another good reason to start with a low dosage is a minuscule percent of people are allergic to cannabis. However, you have better odds of being struck by lightning than being allergic to marijuana.
Also, keep in mind that driving under the influence of any cannabis product (including medical marijuana edibles) can result in a DUI. Some states name their marijuana DUIs differently, but the penalties are the same as alcohol-related DUIs.
State Regulations on THC Concentration in Medical Marijuana Edibles
Some states regulate the dose concentration of THC in edible product servings. They also regulate how much you can buy at once.
California limits the maximum dosage amount for edible servings sold to recreational users. The California limit is 10mg. Any edible products sold must be within the dose limit.
Colorado and Washington have also set the THC limits in edibles to 10mg. Oregon limits their edibles to 5mg per serving.
If a candy bar contains a total of 10 mg of cannabinoids, you can try cutting it in half for a 5 mg dose.
Remember that it can take up to an hour (sometimes 2) before you begin to feel the effects. They come on gradually too. So you may start to feel it after half an hour, but then you’ll feel the effects strengthen over the next 10 to 15 minutes.
Edibles introduce the cannabinoids into your system slowly because it takes time to digest them.
Different edibles digest faster than others.
Another point to keep in mind at the dispensary is the THC and CBD concentrations in the products. Those can vary depending on the strain used in manufacturing.
States are also still experimenting with the regulation process. So please be cautious if you have severe nut, gluten, or lactose allergies. The packages do not always have the helpful labels saying it was produced somewhere that also manufactures products containing these allergens.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana Edibles for Treating Medical Conditions
Some of the most common medical conditions that benefit from treatment with cannabis include:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle inflammation and spasms
- Autoimmune disorder
- Joint inflammation
- Nervous system disorders
- Low appetite
- Crohn’s Disease
Studies show that medical marijuana can provide relief for these conditions. Anecdotal evidence is available for even more conditions, but studies take years and are difficult to do.
Types of Medical Marijuana and Life Insurance
The first thing to know about medical marijuana and life insurance is that companies will not rate you on the use of medical marijuana. They focus on the condition you are using it to treat.
However, the way you take medical marijuana can affect your application. Some companies worry that smoking the product can cause lung and esophagus damage. Edibles are one of the safest ways to take this type of medication, and many companies will not try to charge you smoker rates for them.
Smoker rates usually double (sometimes triple) standard premiums. Applying with a company who is marijuana friendly is key to making sure you don’t need to pay more than you must for life insurance.
Example of Smoker vs. Non-Smoker Life Insurance Rates
You can check these rates yourself for your age and health using the Instant Quotes tool on the left. (Top if you’re on mobile.) As an example, consider the following age and policy.
- 20-year term life insurance policy for $500,000 in coverage
- 30 year old male residing in California
- Seeking a Regular Plus rating due to minor health issues
This man would pay $33 monthly or $383 annually for a non-smoker policy.
The same man with a smoker rating would end up paying $93 each month or $1,079 annually for the same policy.
That’s a difference of $696 each year. Over 20 years, he would pay $13,920 more as a smoker than if he got a non-smoker rating.
Life Insurance for Medical Conditions
Each life insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines. Companies offer many different products to suit people in many different circumstances. However, if you have a condition they rate poorly, you’re out of luck.
That’s why shopping the market is especially important with health conditions. One company may charge more for autoimmune disorders. Another may not charge as much for those but will increase premiums for nervous system problems.
The most efficient way to make sure you aren’t paying a dollar more than you have to is to have an independent agent shop the market for you. They can work with dozens of different companies and find the best few for you.
Captive agents (the ones with big signs for one particular insurance company over their office door) can only sell the products of one company. That means if that company charges extra for your medical condition, that’s just too bad.
Start by looking at the top 12 marijuana-friendly life insurance companies. That’s the best place to start exploring your options for life insurance as a medical marijuana patient.
How Marcan Insurance Can Help
We specialize in connecting both recreational smokers and medical marijuana patients with life insurance companies who don’t penalize people just for consuming cannabis. Your privacy is protected by law.
If you have any questions about which companies are best for your medical condition and how you treat it, give us a call at (888) 987-8447 today. Our friendly agents are standing by to answer your questions, and there is never any obligation to buy.