If you love chocolate and cannabis, this blog is for you… 😉
The information presented here will explain how these two plants have the ability to procure feelings of joy. It will give you a road map and set of tools to understand how they work together with your body, and how you can effectively use them to promote wellness and balance.
First, let’s tackle the biggest elephant in the room: cannabis edibles.
EATING YOUR GREEN
There are so many ways to consume cannabis, but are you eating it properly? I probably don’t have to explain why edibles have gained so much traction in the legal market. Beyond being delicious, they are a discrete and portable way to consume your ideal dose and the effects last much longer than any other form of consumption.
However when most of us think of edibles, it is still the classic pot brownie that comes to mind…that was my first edible after all. But my experience with it isn’t one I wish to go through again. Why? Because I did not know exactly what I was getting and how it would make me feel. You could say I went into the experience blindfolded and ignorant.
Do not fear! After reading this short blog, you will be on your way to being an educated, confident & mindful cannabis edibles consumer.
It is not uncommon for people to shy away from edibles all together despite enjoying other forms of cannabis consumption.
To have a good experience, there are a few factors that must be taken into consideration. The most important and often overlooked is dosage. Most edibles (especially on the black market or homemade) don’t indicate (or worse; inaccurately indicate) how much THC or other cannabinoids are present in the portion you are eating.
Then there is tolerance. Building up a tolerance to edibles happens quickly when you consume regularly. But if you are eating an edible for the first time in a month or a year, chances are your tolerance is very low and it won’t take much THC to send you to the moon!
Finally, it’s important to understand how your body processes the cannabis once ingested. It is very different from inhalation and the effects are much more psychoactive. The effects also take longer to kick in and last for several hours.
Cannabis edibles are the most potent way of consuming the herb. Doing so changes the structure of THC and drastically amplifies the potency of the molecule.
For beginners, as little as 1-2mg of THC might be enough to start with, while a more experienced user goes for the 50-100mg dose and higher. Then there are edibles with combinations of cannabinoids, all with unique effects. If you are trying to find the ideal dose for you, read this article by Leafly: Edibles dosing: How strong is your weed edible?
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
It was through researching cannabis in the 80’s and 90’s that scientists discovered a system in our bodies they named the endocannabinoid system. This system is composed of three parts:
- Endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body)
- Receptors (found throughout our nervous system and body with which cannabinoids and endocannabinoids bond with)
- Enzymes (helping to break down cannabinoids and endocannabinoids)
The main function of this system is to maintain homeostasis in your body. Homeostasis is your body’s efforts to keep everything running smoothly. It regulates things like your appetite, hormones, temperature, immune function, mood, memory, pain, energy and much more. When you are feeling off-balance, your endocannabinoid system activates and corrects it by letting you know to eat, sleep, cool off, etc.
EXOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS VS ENDOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS
(IF YOU REALLY WANT TO NERD OUT ABOUT THIS!)
Endogenous cannabinoids are produced by the body. The most prominent of these was discovered in 1992, and is called anandamide (nicknamed the ‘bliss’ molecule). Anandamide manipulates and regulates the endocannabinoid system and is produced by our bodies naturally. It is also found in different foods, like chocolate! In fact, chocolate is the main food source for this molecule which would explain how good you feel when you eat it.
Exogenous cannabinoids are found externally. The most common are derived from the cannabis plant: THC, CBD, CBG & CBN. These bond with the cannabinoid receptors found throughout our bodies, and help to regulate. When the body is not in need of supplemental cannabinoids it will use the enzymes to effectively break down and dispose of them.
Sometimes, your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids to regulate properly which can lead to a number of ailments. This is when consuming supplementary (endo)cannabinoids could be beneficial in restoring balance, or homeostasis.
But what exactly happens when you consume external (endo)cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, or anandamide?
We’ve seen an increase in research on this topic, thanks to emerging legal cannabis markets, with focus on potential treatments of conditions that extend beyond endocannabinoid deficiency. Cannabinoids like CBD are already being used to treat conditions like pediatric epilepsy, pain, inflammation, acne, asthma and more.
Cannabis specifically has the unique opportunity to specialize in individualized medicine far more than any other medicine that we know.
However an effective balance must be achieved to drive the desired physiological function. The best practice is consuming as little as possible while achieving the desired outcome. It reduces the risk of adverse effects (like getting too high) and is also economically efficient. Start slow with low amounts of cannabinoids, and in a controlled fashion, work your way up to your ideal dose.
CHOCOLATE & THE BLISS MOLECULE: ANANDAMIDE
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that plays a role in appetite, sleep, memory and pain relief. Like we learned in the section above, the endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator to keep the brain and body in a state of balance.
It is known that low levels of anandamide in your body can lead to unhappiness, increase in fear & anxiety and rob you of the ability to cope with stress.
Anandamide, like other neurotransmitters, is broken down quickly. However chocolate contains a compound that slows its breakdown. This makes it much more effective and provides longer lasting effects. Could chocolate get any better?
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Finally, let’s talk about consuming both cannabinoids from cannabis and endocannabinoids from chocolate.
We discovered that eating cannabis causes the psychoactive effects to be much stronger and last longer. We discovered that anandamide in chocolate is broken down slowly with longer-lasting effects as well. Could we then say that a cannabis infused chocolate has the most holistic, beneficial & long lasting effect? Honestly, sign me up!
I can’t actually make any claims as too little research has been done to drive any conclusions on this complex phenomenon. However, I am a strong believer that both these plants have the potential to work into your wellness routine and restore balance where it is lacking.
Be mindful of how you consume it. Listen to your body and your mind when trying out chocolate edibles and ultimately; find the routine that works for you!
How do you incorporate cannabis and/or chocolate into your lifestyle? Let us in the comments!
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Disclaimer: We would like to put a disclaimer that the content that we share is purely for educational purposes. We educate people about cannabis, CBD, and other health and wellness insights. The decision to solely rely on the information provided is exclusively a personal decision and we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. We source our information from research, interviews and customer comments, and we do not guarantee validity or accuracy. Relying on these contents or using them is at your own risk, and the author of this post and Rosie’s Confections shall not be held responsiblefor the damages you incur.