Edible extracts refers to any of the cannabis concentrates or infused-products that are used to make marijuana edibles. In other words, edible extracts are any cannabis concentrates that can be consumed orally, whether that be by candies, food, beverages, or pill (gel cap) form.
Cannabis edible extracts are available as oils, cannabutters, sauces, canna milk, cannaflour, and even liqueurs that can be added to a variety of recipes to create baked goods, candies, breads, and drinks. Hashish is also a common cannabis extract that is used in making edibles.
Edible extracts contain varying levels of THC, CBD, and terpenes. In order for cannabis to be effective when added to food, it must undergo an extraction method that exposes it to heat. The process is called decarboxylation. Without decarboxylation, the cannabinoids such as delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) will not convert into tetrahydrocannabinol THC or cannabidiol (CBD). THCA offers no psychoactive qualities until it is exposed to heat and debarbs into THC.
Ingesting edible extracts does not produce the familiar high quickly like smoking the cannabis. It typically takes a couple of hours before the user starts to feel any psychoactive effects. However, the high tends to last longer with cannabis edibles than other methods. It often lasts for six hours. Ingesting edible extracts is favored by users who are looking to avoid smoking, especially seniors and children, due to health reasons or personal preference.
An alternative to edible extracts are smokeable extracts, which are smoked/inhaled with joints, pipes, bongs, and vaporizers, etc. Smokeable extracts include things like hash, butane hash oil (BHO), trim run, nug run, rosin, wax, keef, shatter, budder, crumble, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), dry sift, full melt, and many others.
Some edible extracts can also be smoked, and some smokeable extracts are edible. There is a lot of crossover in these product categories; however, edible extracts are usually added to a larger recipe, whereas smokeable extracts are consumed pure. In some cases, edible extracts are taken on their own in gel cap form. Such gel caps are readily available from health food stores and help a person bypass the often strong taste of cannabis extracts.