Which is Better: Making Your Own Edibles, or Buying Them at a Dispensary?
West Virginia opened its first dispensary in November, 2021, and patients have been applying for medical marijuana in West Virginia by the thousands. Because the medical marijuana program is just now getting off the ground, product availability is currently small, although expected to increase substantially over the coming months and years.
Since edibles were not approved for sale at West Virginia cannabis dispensaries until after the medical marijuana program was established, it may be a while before they are available for purchase anywhere in the state. With no edibles for sale in West Virginia for the time being, some patients are wondering what the differences between homemade edibles and edibles you can buy at dispensaries are. In this article, we’ll cover exactly that!
DIY Edibles vs Dispensary Edibles
One of the best things about medical cannabis is the freedom you have to use your medication the right way for you.
As opposed to pharmaceuticals, whose concoctions include a wide array of ingredients that are unavailable to the public, many at home bakers, enthusiasts, and experimenters can make a variety of different cannabis products right from the comfort of their own home!
There are certainly advantages (and disadvantages) to doing this, and some know-how is required to end up with a product that is worth consuming. But it can be a fun and enjoyable way to spend a weekend in the kitchen cooking with cannabis.
Alternatively, dispensary grade edibles offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and although there aren’t any edibles available at West Virginia dispensaries just yet, they’re expected to arrive soon.
In the next few months the number of products available at WV dispensaries should increase drastically, and you’ll likely see a plethora of edibles available for purchase.
Benefits of DIY Edibles
More Choices With Homemade Edibles
There are many reasons why many patients choose to bake their own edibles as opposed to purchasing edibles from dispensaries. Some of those reasons may include a lower overall price, stronger dosages, infusing meals or drinks, or to avoid allergies or dietary complications.
And of course, it’s quite fun. Spending a weekend with friends or loved ones baking up a fresh batch of cannabis brownies can be a wonderful experience, and even if you prefer to buy your edibles at a dispensary, you should probably try it at least once.
DIY edibles offer a much larger variety for food choices than packaged edibles at dispensaries. Typically, dispensaries offer only limited food products that go through stringent testing, such as gummies, lozenges, and hard candies.
DIY edibles have no limitations whatsoever!
You can make brownies, cakes, five course meals, drinks, coffee, nearly anything can be infused with cannabis.
Negatives of DIY Edibles
The Challenge of Getting the Dosage Right
As with everything, there are certainly negatives to making your own edibles. One of the primary concerns for making your own edibles is with dosage – it’s very difficult to measure accurate dosages.
When measuring out the amount of cannabis required for the amount of food, getting precise dosages is tricky if not impossible without proper equipment.
This may leave you with a batch of brownies where 5 out of 10 of the brownies have a small dose, 2/10 have a medium dose, and 3 brownies may have a dosage that will send you to the moon and back.
There are products that accurately measure cannabis oil for infusing in food, but they can be pricey and typically the DIY approach is a much more lackluster “throw it at the wall” type of approach.
When cooking with cannabis, typically infusions are done with large volumes, for example, introducing a large amount of cannabis infused oil to a meal such as brownies or cookies.
Getting the Flavor Right
Another problem with do-it-yourself edibles is, ironically, flavor.
While you can introduce your own strains with specific terpenes into specific dishes to create the perfect complimentary flavors, quite frankly this is difficult to do without detailed research or significant knowledge.
Nearly everyone who has made edibles at home knows that in the beginning, the flavor of cannabis infusions is quite strong, and can easily overwhelm the flavors of other ingredients.
Benefits of Dispensary Edibles
Precise Dosage for Medical Marijuana Patients
There are many reasons to buy dispensary edibles as opposed to making them at home. The main benefit in purchasing edibles from a dispensary is that you know your precise dosage per edible. THC content is always advertised on packaging, and you can accurately determine how much THC is in a single edible with dispensary grade edibles.
Another main benefit (which could go either way) is price. When making your edibles at home, you may find that you’ll need to purchase bulk plant materials or bulk extracts, which can get quite pricey just for a single batch of edibles.
Tested and Trusted Products Give You Peace of Mind
Alternatively, edibles that can be purchased at a dispensary are done through larger scale manufacturing, which brings down the cost of individual edibles significantly.
You’ll also have the benefit of heavy testing and analysis, and you’ll be able to confidently know that the edibles that you are purchasing have been held to very high production standards.
Negatives of Dispensary Edibles
Less Variety With Store Bought Edibles
Dispensary grade edibles do have downsides, though most downsides will be relevant to the cultivation and production of edibles. For one, there is typically a lack of variety in edible products that you can purchase at dispensaries.
Excluding extremely expansive states like California or Colorado, states with newer medical marijuana programs often have very strict laws and regulations concerning the types of edibles that can be produced.
For example, many states prohibit cannabis drinks, and a large majority of MMJ states have specific laws prohibiting the creation of products that could be attractive to children.
That means it’s unlikely you’ll find products that are popular in recreational states like Nerds Rope, cannabis beers, chocolate tacos (personal favorite), or products that have enjoyable sweet flavors.
High Tolerance Might Mean Taking Higher Doses
Another downside to dispensary edibles is in dosage. Although you can get precise and accurate dosages from dispensary edibles, for those with extremely high tolerances, they may be lacking in potency.
Typically, dosages are limited to ~10mg/edible, and for someone with a very high tolerance, they may require 500+ mg for an effective dosage.
While this would be considered an extremely high dosage for someone new to cannabis or with a low tolerance, for those who require high amounts of THC to work effectively, this can be extremely costly.
Should I Make My Own Edibles or Buy Them at a Dispensary?
Whether you should buy or bake your own edibles is entirely up to you.
Fortunately, West Virginia medical marijuana can be consumed and used in a multitude of ways, and as a registered medical marijuana patient you are free to use your medication as you see fit.
While you may find that there are advantages or disadvantages that apply to your specific situation, you have total freedom to use your cannabis in a way that is appropriate for you.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia
West Virginia opened its first dispensary recently, and soon you’ll be able to shop for a large variety of products in the Mountain State.
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve
wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.
Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for
our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.