Smoking is still the most popular way to consume cannabis, but edibles are now close behind in its rearview mirror, becoming more prevalent every day. The world has come a long way from special brownie mixes. Now, you can find a variety of cannabis edibles being consumed at everything from weddings to yoga classes. However, using the mind-elevating baked goods can be tricky, which is why we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to dosing cannabis edibles.
You might have heard horror stories of people consuming cannabis-infused foods and slipping into awful, paranoia-filled trips. Our guide will help you steer clear of falling into any rabbit holes, ensuring your expectations meet reality.
We’re all built with different internal habitats, so the impact of consuming cannabis may vary. One person may feel the effects of edibles after consuming a product with 2 milligrams of THC, and another person might need five times the amount to achieve their desired result. If you’re new to dosing cannabis edibles, the golden rule is to “start low, go slow.” The instructions typically prompt you to wait 60-90 minutes to feel the effects, so be patient. Discover how your body reacts to cannabis in edible form, understanding that it’s a different experience than smoking the wonderful plant.
There’s no longer a need to play the guessing game when dosing cannabis edibles, as the THC contents are clearly labeled in milligrams on the package. Although the standard dose is 10mg, you’ll want to take less if this is your first venture into the world of cannabis edibles. As stated previously, “start low, go slow.” Cut that 10mg edible in four 2.5mg pieces, and wait until you start feeling the effects -- about one hour -- before you consume more. A low dose of cannabis edibles is a safe starting point, allowing you to observe how your body reacts. You can titrate up to the retail standard dose of 10mg after a couple of hours if needed. Even with a relatively low dose of cannabis edibles, you may still experience unwanted side effects if the dose is too high for you. If it's your first time and you want to just dip your toes in, you can microdose cannabis food products. Take 0.5-2mg of cannabis-infused edibles and observe your body’s reaction. Proper microdosing is all about finding the right amount you have to take without feeling euphoric. However, it may improve your mood or focus, as the THC and other active compounds will still interact with your body’s natural cannabinoid receptors.
Think of a “standard dose” as a retail term, not a medical term. While it can vary in different markets, cannabis edibles are typically produced in the following doses: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80mg, and 100mg. For the average consumer, a standard dose of THC is somewhere between 10mg and 15mg. In general, you’ll notice the psychoactive effects and experience feelings of euphoria and relaxation. If these are your desired effects, then a conventional 10mg dose of cannabis edibles will suit you fine. Many users report pain- and anxiety-relief, as THC is believed to impede the electrochemical reaction of your peripheral pain receptors. Additionally, first-time cannabis users taking a standard 10mg cannabis edible may find it easy to fall asleep, so don’t make any plans to do anything complicated, like rock climbing or driving a vehicle, and stay in a safe and comfortable place.
Anything above a 15mg dose can be considered high, and you might feel negative side effects if you consume too much. If you consume somewhere between 30mg to 50mg of THC edibles, it’s almost certain you’ll be feeling intense effects, especially if you’re a beginner. Additionally, coordination impairment is highly likely. If you happen to consume over 50mg of cannabis edibles in one fell swoop, you may feel nauseous, frightened, or experience increased heart rate associated with overconsumption. Taking high doses of cannabis edibles is reserved for consumers with a high tolerance, or those with GI systems that do not absorb cannabinoids properly. Beginners should avoid high doses of THC edibles until they’re sure their body needs that much THC to achieve their desired effects.
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.
Overindulging cannabis-infused foods happens to the best of us. After all, dosing cannabis edibles can be tricky if you’re still learning how your body reacts to THC. Beginners typically make the mistake of eating more edibles when they don’t feel the effects immediately, leading them to a state of paranoia when it kicks into gear. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical method that will get the THC out of your system faster. If you find that you’ve gone overboard, there are ways to ease some of the negative effects you feel. Keep these tips in mind in case you devour one too many gummies or cookies:
Educating yourself on dosing cannabis edibles properly with this guide is just the beginning. Anyone passionate about the amazing plant will benefit greatly from the Cannabis Fundamentals Certificate Program. The course will elevate your cannabis intelligence, as it covers everything from marijuana history to a deeper dive into dosing from medical experts. Whether you’re in the cannabis industry or simply enthusiastic about cannabis, this course will help you arm you with correct cannabis knowledge while preparing you for work in the cannabis industry.