b.Blunt – Access to edible marijuana is increasing nationwide. New users may wonder how the edible experience compares to a more familiar mood-altering substance, like alcohol. Depending on the scenario in which you will be using edibles, you may want to take some of these factors into consideration.
Sociability: Marijuana edibles are available as an indica, sativa, or as a hybrid of the two. A sativa high tends to elevate one’s mood, while an indica high tends to induce sleepiness or deep relaxation. Many people report feeling anxiety after ingesting marijuana of either strain, though this is likely a reaction to their own feelings of anxiousness surrounding the plant’s stigma and relatively recent accessibility. With this in mind, it is unlikely one will feel like a social butterfly while using the substance. Conversely, alcohol reduces inhibitions and lends itself well to social interactions with new people (in the proper quantities). If you are on your way to a singles mixer or an office Christmas party, you may be more talkative and sociable with a cocktail in your hand than with a brownie in your mouth.
Predictability: Ingesting the proper dose of an edible is not an exact science. Dispensaries are required to measure and label the precise quantity of THC in each edible. The goal is to provide a consistent high with each dose. Unfortunately, every person has a unique reaction to THC and may metabolize it faster or slower than other users. When smoking THC the effect is immediate, but when THC is ingested the high is often not felt for several hours. This delay can lead to over-consumption as people worry they are not “feeling the effects” and ingest more. Further, each person will react to different quantities of THC differently, with some people able to eat larger amounts than others to obtain the same high. The same is true of alcohol. People have varying tolerance levels and what is ample for one person may have little affect on another. Alcohol also takes time to break down in the body and imbibing too much may lead to nausea or alcohol poisoning. A beer will have a more predictable buzz than an edible, at least until you are familiar with the high and know how your body will metabolize the substance.
Morning After: This is arguably one of the most prominent advantages to choosing edibles over alcohol. Consuming alcohol in excess in order to become “drunk” often results in dehydration and excess sugar absorption resulting in a generally awful feeling the next morning. A high from edible consumption generally leads to an excess intake of junk food, but seldom results in a hung-over feeling the following day. Though some edible users do report feeling sluggish the next morning, it is typically to a much lesser extent than with alcohol.
Alcohol and marijuana edibles are mood-altering substances that when ingested can have very different results. Alcohol lends itself well to social situations; edibles are better for low stress scenarios. The most important thing to remember when using either one is to start with a low dose, ingest it slowly, and consider the environment in which you will be enjoying the substance before consuming it.
Patricia Miller is a freelance writer who specializes in culture and travel. As an anthropologist and adventurer she has a unique perspective she hopes to share with her readers. Connect with Trish on Twitter @FMAdventureClub.