Though smoking remains to be the most popular way to consume cannabis, edibles have been closing the gap as they become more popularized. The ability to be discrete during a time of state legalization is important. This is because the industry and culture have not rid themselves of the stigmas that have surrounded cannabis for years. The world has really advanced from special brownies. Today, you can browse through a large selection of infused edibles and brands making them. They’re even being consumed at events like weddings and yoga classes. However, edibles can be tricky because consuming cannabis via the digestive system creates a different experience than most people who don’t normally use edibles will need to adjust to. 

Edibles are notorious for stories of people consuming cannabinoid-infused edibles and falling down a deep, paranoia-filled trip. Most of the paranoia comes from new sensations and experiences. Sometimes it comes from the dosage that’s too high. Regardless, that type of experience is not what people look for when trying to enjoy cannabis.

Doses Always Vary

Every person harbors their own, unique tolerances and limits. Thus, the impact of eating/drinking an edible may vary. An individual may feel the effects of edibles after having a product with just 2 milligrams of THC. Whereas another person might need 50 milligrams to get the desired high. People new to dosing their infused edibles should know that the number one rule is starting with a low dosage and going slow.  Usually, instructions will tell you to wait 60-90 minutes to feel the effects. Patience is key here. Understanding how your body reacts to consuming cannabis through digestion. Remember, this isn’t the same experience when smoking cannabis.

Lower Edible Dose

Fortunately, there is no need to guess and hope the dosage for an edible is correct anymore. Now that there can be clinical studies on cannabis, we can accurately measure how many cannabinoids exist in our flower, concentrates, tinctures and edibles. So, if you are new to edibles or have not done your research on your own tolerance based on milligrams, then you’re going to want to take the standard edible size (typically 10 mg apiece) and cut that down into four pieces. Remember, low and slow is the name of the game here. After roughly an hour, you can gauge how it affected you and roughly how much more you would need to gain the desired effects. You never know how it will affect you until you take the time to dose it out. 

Microdosing is another way to dose edibles. Some people find that they don’t like the full “high” effect and find that their mood or focus improves with a small, trace amount of cannabis in their body.

Standard Dosage

The term “standard dose” in this context refers to the retail standard. It has nothing to do with anything medical or physical. It is just what seems to be the industry standard of edible dosage.  Typically the numbers look like 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg, and 100mg. However, the average consumer typically doses around 5-15mg of THC in their edibles. Around these doses, most people feel at least relaxed with pain and anxiety relief. Furthermore, falling asleep may be easier after eating an edible with 10mg of THC. Most people can’t be active while under the influence of an edible. However, there are people who react to cannabis differently. There are some people who prefer to take an edible before a run or a hike. Typically, the reason to do an edible for something active versus smoking is to avoid any difficulties breathing due to the act of smoking.

High Dose

A high dose is typically anything about 15mg. Though that doesn’t seem much, most users average around 10mg of THC in their edibles. A lot of people will feel a heavy high at that point and anything more may send that person into a negative state. In addition to paranoia, people can experience fear, increased heart rate, and nausea if they consume more THC than their body is used to. You can count on the OG’s or heavy hitters to consume infused edibles with high doses. 

Adding CBD To Your Edible

So far, CBD has not really been mentioned.  However, some edible users feel that when CBD is present, the experience can be a bit smoother. The high can feel more rounded and less intense. Thus, the experience is more enjoyable. Normally, a lot of CBD is okay because it’s not psychoactive, but we have to reconsider the difference in experience when digesting cannabis versus smoking it. The entourage effect from having CBD with THC may interact with your body in a less than desired way. However, most of the time, it isn’t affecting your experience in a negative way. The more progress in cannabis legalization we have, the more information we will have in the future on things like this and so much more.

Wait-Time Until Effects Set In

With ingestion, onset usually takes 60-90 minutes and lasts for 6-8 hours. However, the peak effects are usually felt in 2-3 hours. A common mistake by novice cannabis users is a lack of patience leading to the accidental overconsumption of marijuana edibles. Be patient and wait a couple of hours for the effects to kick in. Smoking and consuming cannabis are drastically different experiences. Edibles take longer to produce any notable effects, as they first need to be processed in your stomach. When eaten, your liver metabolizes the cannabis, turning delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy-THC that imparts a stronger psychedelic effect. Generally, it’s a more intense feeling, but you avoid inhaling the carcinogens that come with lighting up a joint.

Typically, it takes an hour to an hour and a half for the THC to take effect. Then the experience should last between 6-8 hours. Usually, the peak of the experience takes 2-3 hours to set in. The biggest thing to remember here is that what makes a veteran consumer is not the ability to have a high tolerance, but to know that you need to be patient and dose out your cannabis. The process is time-consuming but can be a great high. Your body has to metabolize cannabis through your liver. This turns the delta-9 THC into a form called 11-hydroxy-THC that is different from smoke. Therefore this is a stronger psychedelic effect. The wait is worth it!

How To Handle Overconsumption

Overconsumption of infused edibles can happen to anyone. Dosing is tough if you haven’t really done any trials with it. Unfortunately, there are no magic pills or anything you can take or do to instantly relieve the intensity of overconsumption. However, if you find yourself in an aggressive experience, there are a few things you can do that may ward off any negative effects you’re feeling. Hopefully, the following tips will help you when you’ve had one too many gummies:

  1. Try to stay calm and remind yourself that this is temporary. No one has ever overdosed on cannabis.
  2. Because it’s a psychoactive substance, you should remember mind over matter. Believing you can overcome anything overwhelming is more than half the battle.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Chewing on fresh peppercorn balls may relieve anxiety.
  5. Lemonade or anything with limonene may off some type of relief.
  6. Sugar and carbs can be consumed to possibly dampen the effects.
  7. Find somewhere where you feel comfortable to rest and sleep the effects off.

Knowing your limits is very important when considering edibles. Educate yourself on what dosages work best for you. Remember, edibles can be absolutely fun, with the right amount.

*The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease