New ways of ingesting cannabis are being devised all the time as more users begin to look for healthier and more convenient alternatives to smoking. Some of the more recent innovations include vaping and dabbing. But there is still a lot to be said for one of the traditional methods of marijuana consumption: edibles.

The act of eating food infused by marijuana is nothing new, but there are more options today than ever before. Thanks to a number of states repealing outdated anti-marijuana legislation, companies can now sell CBD candy and a range of other edible products. For cannabis users, this creates a choice between making their own cannabis edibles or purchasing them from the store.

For cannabis users, this creates a choice between making their own cannabis edibles or purchasing them from the store from companies like Punch Edibles.

Each has its pluses and minuses, which we unpack below.

Making edibles

Making your own edibles is an appealing option for several reasons. First, it’s relatively inexpensive. Given the financial crunch imposed on millions of people by the coronavirus pandemic, this is a primary consideration. After sourcing some quality cannabis, all you need is standard cooking equipment and the relevant ingredients.

Which brings me to the second big advantage of DIY edibles, namely, their versatility. The possibilities really are endless here, and the best part is that you have complete control (no fretting over whether that cookie truly is vegan, gluten free, etc.). Simply add your cannabis to a basic ingredient like butter, shortening or canola oil; then get to work on one of your favorite recipes. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with a new one.

If there is a drawback to homemade edibles, it has to do with dosing. Unless you’re concocting your edibles in a lab, it’s just not possible to precisely or consistently measure your cannabinoid ratios. All you can do is make educated guesses and hope the end product contains approximately the intended amounts of THC and CBD.

As you’re probably aware, it’s not unusual for homemade edibles to have tremendously high concentrations of THC. This may or may not be a good thing.

Buying edibles

It’s remarkable how quickly the edibles market has expanded over the past few years. CBD shops and marijuana dispensaries stock all manner of edible cannabinoid products, from gummies and almonds to water and tea. And if your dog or cat suffers from anxiety or inflammation, they make CBD edibles for them too.

So while I cited versatility as an advantage of homemade edibles, it’s not as though store-bought edibles are lacking in that category. Both are very flexible.

Unlike DIY edibles, however, store-bought products are consistent with regard to their cannabinoid contents. These products are carefully manufactured and tested in labs so that they meet safety and quality standards. As long as you’re buying from a reputable brand, you can be certain of how much THC or CBD you are ingesting. Furthermore, store-purchased edibles are consistent in their flavor and texture.

The key term here is “reputable brand.” Regulations vary from state to state, and there will always be companies looking to exploit lax protocols to increase profits. This comes at the expense of quality, so it’s important that you do a little research before purchasing an edible product from the store.

If you can’t find clear information pertaining to ingredients, nutritional facts and expiration dates, don’t buy from that company.