Q: “I’m interested in trying edibles but I’ve heard some things that make me nervous. What should I know about trying edibles?” - CannaCurious
A: Congratulations on seeking information before trying cannabis edibles! Sometimes they’re called “medibles” if used for medical purposes.
Edibles are simply cannabis-infused food and/or beverages. Sometimes the infusion is only CBD (cannabidiol, the element in cannabis that won’t get you high but fights inflammation), a combination of CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the element in cannabis that makes the user feel euphoria) or only THC.
Consuming edibles is a different experience than smoking cannabis. With smoking, the cannabis enters your lungs and bloodstream quickly. Most people feel the effect in five minutes and the experience lasts roughly two hours.
Edibles, on the other hand, take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect. Unlike alcohol consumption, there is little to no correlation between the onset of edibles and one’s fitness, body type or gender.
The effects of edibles also last longer than smoking – on average between four and eight hours, so plan accordingly. Only through testing and observation will you figure out when and how edibles affect you.
Many edible enthusiasts describe the experience as a combination of a body and head high (if THC is present in the edible). I know my time of onset is between 50 and 70 minutes. There are a few things that can speed the effect, including taking edibles on an empty stomach, eating sugary snacks and reportedly eating a mango. But above all, an edibles consumer needs to be patient and start with a slow dose.
FOUR IMPORTANT NOTES ON EDIBLES
1. Start with a small dose because you can’t reduce the dose after consumption. Newbies should with 2.5 milligrams and see how they feel. You may feel no or very small effects, which means next time you can comfortably move your dose up to 5 milligrams during your next session. Continue on this path until you reach the level you like.
2. Be patient and wait the full two hours to determine the effects of the dose. Do not consume any additional edibles, smoke any cannabis and drink alcohol. Any of these actions will exaggerate the effect and you want to avoid overdoing it.
3. Keep your edibles labeled and secure. Edibles come in many forms – drinks, cookies, candy, chocolate or the classic brownie. Outside of its packaging, there is often no way to tell the difference between an infused treat and a non-infused treat, so make sure to keep your product labeled and secured away from kids and pets. A responsible user should lock up their edibles. (Stashlogic.com has a great selection of lockable, smell-resistant storage containers.)
4. Read the dosing information carefully. Most states have standard requirements that each edible must be individually packaged at 10 milligrams (of THC and/or CBD), or the entire product can be easily divided into 10 milligram pieces. For example, a chocolate bar may contain 100 milligrams of THC, but can be divided into 10 squares of 10 milligrams. If you are new to the process, start at 2.5 milligrams (one-fourth of a square) and see how you feel. Next time you can take a bit more if you like.
The bottom line is to be vigilant about edibles and don’t panic. If you start with a low dose and increase over several sessions, you will find what works for you. Bon appétit!
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