What You Should Know About Cannabis Edibles in Florida
Smoking remains the top way most consume marijuana, but that doesn’t mean everyone prefers it. In fact, many people who can benefit the most from medicinal cannabis don’t enjoy smoking or vaping cannabis, whether due to personal preference, a lung condition, or other underlying health issues. For these reasons and more, some Florida cannabis patients prefer edible options.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of edible products on the market, including a wide variety of medicinal cannabis edibles available here in Florida. The forms and flavors are seemingly endless, and patients who like to cook can even make their own edibles in their home kitchens with products like cannabutter and cannabis-infused oil. If you’re new to cannabis edibles or just looking to learn more about them, we’ve compiled this guide containing all the important facts about marijuana edibles in Florida.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Laws Regarding Edibles
Edibles and flower were the two most highly anticipated options for Florida medical cannabis patients.
In 2017, Florida law established criteria that dictate what a legal edible marijuana product can contain, but it wasn’t until 2020 that edible marijuana became legal in Florida. Florida law now permits the dispensation of legal edibles by state-recognized medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs), but only to qualified patients with an eligible medical condition who are issued a Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry card from a certified physician.
Legal edibles are defined as only cannabis products that are produced commercially as food items. Legal edibles may contain cannabis oil only and may not contain other cannabis products, such as flower powder. These food items may only be produced and dispensed by a state-recognized MMTC.
Marijuana edibles can be more simply described as drinks and food items that are infused with cannabis. Still, Florida state law dictates the types of edible marijuana products allowed for legal dispensation within the state. State law allows edibles to be sold only in the form of soft chews, baked goods, chocolates, and drink powders. Thus, in Florida, edibles are available in the form of chocolates, hard candies, oils, dessert items like brownies and other baked goods that fit within the parameters of state law, as well as soft chew gummies.
Who Can Purchase Medical Marijuana Edibles?
Florida remains a medical-only use state. Thus, to purchase edibles in Florida or any other cannabis products, patients must apply for and be issued a Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry card. Only patients diagnosed with one or more qualifying conditions on a pre-approved list may apply for the Florida MMUR card.
The conditions that may qualify a patient for the use of medical marijuana in Florida are listed below:
- ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Crohn's disease
- Chronic pain not related to cancer
- MS (Multiple sclerosis)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other terminal illnesses
Medical conditions comparable to those above or conditions in the class or of the same kind may also qualify a patient for the use of medical marijuana. All diagnoses must be made by a qualifying Florida physician.
More Florida Cannabis Edible Laws
Most laws regarding cannabis in Florida pertain to the marketing and sales campaigns pursued by cannabis companies. Overall, these laws are generally meant to protect minors from either unknowingly consuming cannabis due to attractive packaging or becoming subjected to the commercialization of marijuana. There are also a few distinct regulations regarding edibles specifically and the forms in which they can be made available.
Below is a summary of the laws in Florida that pertain to the appearance of cannabis edible products and packaging.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in edibles cannot exceed 10mg per serving or 200mg in multi-serving packages.
- Edibles (or their marketing materials) cannot resemble any non-cannabis candy or product that is commercially available.
- Edibles cannot be produced in the shape or likeness of animals, humans, or cartoons and cannot contain bright or primary color additives.
- Edibles must be individually sealed and wrapped in plain, white, opaque packaging (exception: mints and soft chews).
- There can be no images or depictions of the marijuana product on the packaging other than the treatment center’s department-approved logo and the universal medical marijuana symbol.
Cannabis Edible Labels
In addition, edibles must be labeled according to strict state guidelines that meet the criteria for labeling of edibles dispensed as medical marijuana. The label must include the following information:
- All ingredients in the product
- Handling and storage directions of the product
- Expiration date of product
- A warning prominently displayed to keep product away from minors and pets
- A warning that the product is not approved or produced in accordance with federal food safety laws
Cannabis products must also be labeled to include the following information, whether edible or non-edible:
- Amount/concentration of THC and CBD
- Name of the treatment center where the product originates
- Batch number, harvest number, and date dispensed
- Patient name
- Name of issuing physician
- Product name, dosage form, recommended dose
- Warning that transfer or use by another person is illegal
- Universal marijuana symbol
Additionally, each package of cannabis products dispensed in Florida must have an insert with information about the specific product, including the following details:
- Clinical pharmacology
- Use and indications
- Dosage and how to administer the product
- Dosage strength and forms
- Contraindications of the product; precautions; warnings; adverse reactions
The Uniquely Experienced and Remarkably Potent Effects of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles deliver the benefits of cannabis to patients in a slightly different fashion than most other methods. The way edibles are consumed and reach the bloodstream – via the digestive tract rather than inhalation – significantly affects the way the patient feels the cannabis effects, the timeframe it takes for the patient to feel the effects, and the length of time the effects last. Because eating anything requires digestion and metabolization, the body also processes THC in a different manner when edibles are consumed.
The advantages of eating cannabis are significant. Digesting cannabis products in edible forms equates to a more powerful effect that lasts much longer than when cannabis is smoked or vaped. Even psychoactive effects like euphoria and mental focus are increased and prolonged in addition to the therapeutic benefits such as relaxation and pain relief. This enhanced experience is due to the body’s metabolization of THC.
The digestive system breaks THC down into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a psychoactive cannabinoid byproduct that produces effects that can be five times as potent as when THC is consumed in other manners. It’s important to always start low and go slow with edibles for this very reason.
Timeframe of THC Absorption
If you choose edibles, it’s important to understand takes THC longer to be absorbed by the bloodstream via digestion than other methods of consumption. For example, when medical marijuana is smoked or inhaled, the THC is absorbed directly into the blood via tiny capillaries in the lungs. When tinctures are held under the tongue, the THC can be absorbed directly into the blood vessels there.
When edibles are consumed, the cannabis-infused treat must be digested first before it can pass through the lining of the GI tract and into the bloodstream for distribution. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half for THC to enter the bloodstream through digestion, which means it takes longer for you to feel the effects of the treatment.
What This All Means for You
Due to the time it takes to digest and metabolize THC, it's important to keep in mind that it is a gradual and slow absorption process that you may not notice at first. But, as more THC enters the bloodstream, you may start feeling the effects. As the edible moves through the digestion and metabolization process and levels of THC and 11-hydroxy-THC reach their maximum amount, the effects can be stronger and last longer than you might expect. Yes, this means that edible “highs” last longer.
What’s important to note here is that the effects of marijuana edibles can come on slowly, and when they do come on, they can come on strong. This means the effects can creep up on you, particularly if you re-dose because you don’t feel you’ve consumed enough cannabis. Take care to start slow and avoid overconsuming edible products because you don’t think they are working or you didn’t take enough. Read on for more information about dosing edible products.
Edible Dosing and Tracking
The key to proper dosing of edibles is to start slowly and be patient. We recommend starting with a 2.5mg or 5mg dose, depending on your experience with cannabis. Then, wait 1.5 - 2 hours and, if you haven’t achieved the effects you’re looking for, take one more small dose.
It’s a good practice to record your cannabis experience. Looking back after using a cannabis product, it’s not quite reliable to think back to how a strain or product worked for you. By doing so, you can ascertain what has worked best for your personal symptom management. The easiest way to do this? Strainprint.
Tracking your cannabis use in Strainprint is as simple as tapping buttons in your phone. Not only can you keep a log of the products you’ve used, but measure the product’s efficacy as well using by tracking a session. This allows you to become more confident and comfortable in your cannabis routine, and tailor it to your evolving needs.
Microdosing is another option for patients who want to start even slower or those who have a low tolerance to the effects of THC. Microdosing products are available in tablets, capsules, and lozenges and are another way to consume edibles without eating a food item.
These products are available in low-THC forms containing from 1mg to 2.5mg of THC. Some of these products also contain CBD, another cannabinoid that can offer therapeutic benefits while at the same time counteracting, and thus reducing, psychoactive effects for patients who prefer not to experience the more euphoric effects of cannabis edibles.
Other Factors Related to Cannabis Dosing
Because everyone is different in terms of body makeup and body chemistry, it’s important to remember that your unique characteristics can affect your experience when experimenting with dosage amounts. Body weight and muscle mass, as well as metabolism, can alter the amount of THC or CBD someone needs to experience relief from medical conditions.
Also, any previous experience with cannabis products or tolerance to cannabis products in the past can necessitate a change in the dosing amount. What foods, if any, a person has eaten that day can also change the way the body reacts to THC and its effects on the individual. Other health factors should also be considered when determining the dosage of edible products, as they can play a role in the body's digestion and absorption of edibles.
Making Your Own Cannabis Edibles in Florida
Most patients who choose to make their own cannabis edibles do so using homemade cannabutter. This is legal to do in Florida as long as the patient making and consuming the edibles has been issued a valid Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry card from a certified physician. In other words, you cannot sell edible cannabis products you create, and you may not share them with anyone but other cardholding medical cannabis patients. In most cases, you’ll want to make homemade edible products for your own therapeutic needs or enjoyment.
If you do choose to make homemade cannabutter or canna-oil, storage and usage are easy and convenient, and also lend well to dosing. Many patients in Florida who enjoy cooking, whether for pleasure or therapeutic benefits, make homemade edibles with cannabutter or canna-oil from their own kitchen because they can tweak amounts and portions of products to optimize the medical benefits of cannabis use to their personal advantage.
There are several methods for making cannabutter, but it’s important to be sure you are consuming it and storing it in safe and effective ways. You can learn more about how to make cannabutter and ways to incorporate it into your diet and recipes by following our guide to making cannabutter.
Find Quality Cannabis Edibles at MÜV
With our expansive selection of edibles, you’ll find everything you need whether you’re new to medical marijuana or a seasoned medical marijuana patient. If you’re shopping for alternative options to the same old cannabis products or looking for a way to ease into using your Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry card for the first time, we can suggest cannabis edible options for patients of any level of cannabis experience. In addition, edibles can open a world of possibilities to patients who otherwise cannot smoke or vape.
No matter your needs, MÜV Cannabis Advisors are educated regarding Florida state laws as well as the many edible products you'll find at our Florida dispensaries. Best of all, we are passionate about sharing our knowledge with patients. Stop in your local MÜV Dispensary today to ask questions, view our edible products, and purchase the perfect edible product to meet your needs.
- Howell, K., Washington, A., Williams, P. M., Mathis, A. L., & Luque, J. S. (2019). Medical Marijuana Policy Reform Reaches Florida: A Scoping Review. Florida public health review, 16, 128–136. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6936729/
- Pacula, R. L., Blanchette, J. G., Lira, M. C., Smart, R., & Naimi, T. S. (2021). Current U.S. State Cannabis Sales Limits Allow Large Doses for Use or Diversion. American journal of preventive medicine, 60(5), 701–705. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.11.005
Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.