A Guide To Eating Edibles
If you are new to Cannabis, this guide will give you some insight on consuming Cannabis in edible form. By the end you should be comfortable trying edibles for the first time. If you are not new to Cannabis, hopefully this post can still be informative!
The Story Many Can Relate To (you know the one)
Most of us have heard the stories, or have lived through them ourselves, of consuming far too large a dose of pot brownies. That age-old story of packing in a crap load of buds into a Betty Crocker mix of brownie batter, baking it up and scarfing down a large piece. And then waiting a mere 20-30 minutes before commenting: “I’m not feeling anything, man” and stuffing another large square of “god-knows-how-strong-these-are” brownies. And then, they hit. Oh boy do they hit. They hit hard and the next 10-20 hours are quite the ride, not to mention the day-or-two “hangover” that comes alongside the package.
I myself had this happen. I gotta say it’s not the most comfortable experience. And what if you weren’t expecting it? An experience like that could be quite a defining one. If you aren’t experienced with Cannabis it could turn you off from ever using it again, and there are too many benefits and eating it can be, arguably, one of the more enjoyable ways to experience Cannabis.
Some Quick Science
Cannabis is most notably consumed by inhalation. By now I would think people are aware that Cannabis can also be eaten. But why? What’s different when it’s been eaten?
If you are new to Cannabis consuming it via edibles would be a great way to start a relationship with the plant. The psychoactive effects of inhaling Cannabis are instantaneous and can be quite head-strong, depending on the cultivar of course. It could result in a slightly uncomfortable experience for someone unfamiliar with Cannabis.
Some reason why you might choose edibles:
- Turned off by the idea of smoking
- Control dose to the milligram
- Onset is not immediate, resulting in a smoother experience
- Effects felt throughout the body vs. head-strong
- Wellness benefits (pain / sleep)
- More bang for your buck; a little goes a long way
What makes eating Cannabis different?
When you eat an edible it moves through the digestive tract and the cannabinoids are then processed by the liver. As you can imagine, that is not instantaneous. This is the reason why edibles generally take up to a couple hours to have an effect. Of course there are many variables that go into exactly how long they’ll take to kick in, such as: body mass, body fat content, metabolism, enzyme and bacterial makeup, stomach contents etc. so it is the general rule to “go slow” before ingesting more, if needed at all.
Now that the Cannabis has been digested and is in the liver. This is where the “start low” component comes into play. Enzymes in the liver convert Delta-9-THC into 11-hydroxy-THC. This cannabinoid may actually be more bioavailable than THC and as such, more readily passes the blood-brain barrier resulting in stronger effects. Therefore smaller amounts have a greater effect.
Paradoxical Bidirectional Effects
It is commonly mentioned that Cannabis can help treat anxiety, sleep and many other issues. What is important to note, and not as commonly mentioned, is that Cannabis has bidirectional inducing effects. Meaning that, whilst one amount of Cannabis taken may help treat anxiety, for example, a differing amount could induce anxiety. This is important to keep in mind when finding that perfect dose.
Discovering Your Dose
Now that we understand that Cannabis edibles have a stronger effect versus inhalation, how do you find that amount that is just right for you?
#1: Do not listen to anyone’s suggestion of how much you should consume!
I know this sounds immensely contradicting since I am in fact doing just that, but the difference in my method is that you will slowly discover the amount that is right for you. It’s important to note that everyone’s biological composition is different therefore everyone will have a different experience.
- A caveat to consider is that some people lack a particular enzyme that helps the liver convert the cannabinoids and as a result they will need to consume “epic” quantities of Cannabis edibles to have a mild effect or to feel anything at all. Do not consume “epic” quantities (100+mg) until you discover you may need to.
- Start Low: Ingest 2 – 2.5 mg of THC.
- Go Slow: Wait until the next day before considering a larger dose.
- Take Notes: If you really want to nail down the best experience take note of as many factors as possible, for example:
- Sleeping Pattern
- What You Ate
- How Hydrated You Are
- Cultivar of Cannabis
- Cannabis Terpene Profile
- State of Wellbeing
- Type of Edible
- Infusion Ingredient (ie, concentrate, distillate, flower etc.)
- Time of Day/Night
- After Effects (how you felt the next day / waking up)
The method I suggest is basically the “start low and go slow” guideline but with more intent:
- Start with very low amounts. Some people will feel amounts as low as 1mg.
- Wait the entire process out before ingesting more. It may take 30 minutes to kick in, it may take 4 hours. You may not feel it at all!
- These are important notes to take when finding your dose. The more you take note of, the better experiences you will have.
When it’s been a good 24 hours you will have an idea of whether you want to consume a larger amount. Increase the dose by just 2 – 2.5 mg THC if that is the case. Keep on this path until you find an amount that is just right.
This is what I know about myself, to share with you how this method fared for me:
- I know that I will feel Cannabis edibles at as low as 1-2 mg THC.
- My ideal dose amount is in the range of 5 – 7.5 mg THC.
- If I consume 10+mg dose at once I will experience a window of slight discomfort.
- I also know at what time of day I prefer to consume, and even what day of the week.
- And that Cannabis does wonders for a headache or migraine.
Keep in mind you will likely go overboard at some point and you may experience some discomfort. There are tactics to mitigate uncomfortable experiences, for that I invite you to check a separate post on that subject:
What Do I Do When I’ve Eaten Too Much Cannabis!?
- Edibles are much stronger in effect vs smoking.
- The effects of eating Cannabis is different than smoking.
- Eating too much THC at once can be a very uncomfortable experience.
- There are many benefits to eating edibles.
- As a new user it is important to find the dose that’s perfect for you.
- Start Low – Go Slow – Take Note !
If this post resonates with you I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences or questions in the comments section below!
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