When you start researching cannabis edibles online, you are likely to find a wide range of reports from various people all over the world about how wonderful or how terrible they are. While some people enjoy them due to the significant potency they typically offer, others may not be able to handle such a high dose of THC in the digestive tract.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure you have a positive experience the first time you try edibles is to dose correctly. Take too much and you may experience “greening out,” the common term for getting sick from eating too much THC at once. Take too little and you may not experience much at all, let alone the experience you’re hoping to have with edibles. Dosing comes down to several factors, such as the strength of the edible product you’re consuming, the other foods you have eaten recently, and the speed of your metabolism. Before you find an online edible dosing chart and dive right into the world of cannabis edibles, it’s a good idea to understand how cannabis edibles can affect the body and the types of experiences you’re likely to have by trying them.
Why Are Cannabis Edibles So Popular?
California was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Marijuana industry researchers have noticed that while smoking cannabis remains the most popular way to get high, people are increasingly preferring to eat cannabis products in lieu of smoking. The reasons behind this are multifaceted.
Reasons for the Increase in Edible Popularity
First, smoking can be disruptive in some situations. It’s illegal to smoke indoors in many places throughout the country, and smoking cannabis is still something of a taboo in some areas. Even if it is completely legal to do so, smoking cannabis outdoors in a public place may draw unwanted attention or disturb others nearby. Discretion is one of the most common reasons for people to try cannabis edibles when they want to enjoy a THC high without drawing too much attention to themselves or raising questions about secondhand smoke.
Second, cannabis is now legal in many parts of the country. People who were opposed to the idea of trying it for legal reasons just a few months or years ago may be more receptive to the idea now that is legal in their areas. However, they may still be hesitant to try smoking. Edibles to the inexperienced may seem like a “lighter” option for trying cannabis, but this is far from true.
Third, many people do not like the idea of smoking cannabis simply due to the known risks of smoking any plant-based material. While the effects of tobacco smoking on the body are well-documented, there is a great deal of misinformation surrounding the smoking of cannabis. Ultimately, smoking cannabis requires the combustion of plant matter, which produces ash, smoke, and charred resin, none of which is “good” to inhale despite the known medical benefits of THC and CBD for certain medical conditions. Edibles provide an accessible and effective alternative for those who do not wish to smoke.
Finally, one of the major driving forces behind the surge in cannabis edibles’ popularity is the high potency of most edible products available from dispensaries. Eating cannabis produces a very different effect than smoking it, and it is generally much more noticeable, intense, and longer-lasting than smoking.
How Do Edibles Affect the Human Body?
When you smoke cannabis, the THC and other cannabinoids in the dried flower enter your bloodstream through the blood vessels in the lungs, typically producing noticeable effects either instantly or within just a few minutes. When you consume an edible cannabis product, your body must digest the edible and then your liver will process the THC into your bloodstream, a process that may take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or longer depending on your size, the speed of your metabolism, and how much you have eaten recently.
The exact effects of an edible cannabis product depend on the type of edible product being consumed and the THC concentration of the product. Some people experience pleasant effects after consuming an edible with just 5mg of THC while others need 100mg or more just to feel any noticeable effects. Additionally, the sensations produced by edibles are often described as very different than the effects of smoking cannabis.
“Body High” from Edible Cannabis
The general consensus of the cannabis community is that edible cannabis produces more physical sensations while smoking generally causes more psychoactive sensations. This does not mean that edibles will not get you “high” in the traditional sense; it just means that edibles tend to affect the body more than smoking cannabis. For people who take cannabis for medicinal purposes, edible dosing can alleviate symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions, gastrointestinal issues, and other ailments while often bypassing the typical side effects of smoking, such as increased risk of bronchitis and other lung disorders.
When you consume cannabis edibles, the body breaks down the THC into a different molecule than what results from smoking. Some research suggests this can be ten times as potent as the results of smoking cannabis. While the most important factor in predicting the effects of edibles dosing is the THC content, eating cannabis tends to produce more intense effects than smoking.
The Cannabis Edible Experience
Smoking cannabis tends to cause a rapid peak in intensity followed by an equally rapid drop in sensation. Essentially, smoking gets you high faster, but it doesn’t last very long, typically only a few hours at most with a high-THC strain of dried cannabis flower. By comparison, edibles take a while before they have any noticeable effects, sometimes as long as several hours, but the effects tend to last much longer than they do with smoking. The compounds produced by digesting THC edibles bind to fat cells, and it may take up to ten hours for the effects to wear off entirely.
Your First THC Edibles Dosing
If you’re interested in trying cannabis edibles, the golden rule is to “start low and go slow.” If you have never tried any kind of cannabis edibles before, eating a 100mg brownie on an empty stomach is probably going to lead to a bad experience. Follow a few simple tips before you consume any edible products.
Buy Safe Cannabis Products
You should only purchase cannabis edibles from licensed cannabis dispensaries in your area. Before taking a product home, be sure to carefully read the label so you know the potency and other ingredients to avoid adverse reactions. When you are ready to try your cannabis edible, do so in a safe place and try to have a sober and reliable friend with you just in case you have a negative experience. Paranoia, nausea, and even mild hallucinations are possible if you are inexperienced with cannabis and consume too much.
Prepare Your Space and Body
If you are in the right headspace to enjoy cannabis, be sure to eat a full balanced meal and drink plenty of fluids before ingesting your cannabis edible. It’s generally a bad idea to consume a cannabis edible on an empty stomach as it can cause a much more intense effect than you are expecting and cause a negative experience. Additionally, do not consume additional edibles if you do not feel noticeable effects after a few hours. Edibles could take three hours or longer before you can feel their effects, so keep this in mind and avoid taking more in rapid succession. If you do not feel desired effects during your first edibles dosing, wait at least one day and then increase your dosage slightly, such as going from 10mg to 15mg.
CBD can counteract the effects of THC, so if you start “greening out” or feel the edible experience take a turn for the worse, having a dose of pure CBD nearby can help you nullify the THC’s effects. If you have a friend or friends with you, they can help you steady yourself if you start to feel sick or unpleasant. It’s a good idea to try edibles for the first time in a place you can stay for a while and when you do not have any obligations on your schedule for the day. For example, in your own home in the company of friends is ideal, whereas trying a cannabis-infused edible or beverage for the first time a few hours before your shift at work is not.
Use an Edibles Dosing Chart
You can find many edibles dosing charts online, such as the one above by Leafly and Healer.com. These guides can provide you with some basic information to determine the best way for you to approach edibles dosing. For beginners, it’s a good idea to start small with a 1mg to 2mg dose, such as a single infused candy or gummy treat. People who prefer micro-dosing tend to stick to this dosage range. Once you enter the 3mg to 15mg range, you should expect more intense effects and euphoria. In fact, 30mg to 50mg edibles tend to produce strong euphoric effects and can last quite a long time. It’s typically a good idea to avoid edibles with 50mg or higher THC content unless you become experienced with edibles or have a naturally high tolerance to the effects of ingested THC.
First Time Using Cannabis Edibles?
Refer to a dosage chart if you want a baseline guide for edibles dosing for your first time, but, ultimately, it’s best to simply remember the mantra of “start low and go slow” to have an enjoyable experience with cannabis edibles.
Looking to Cook Edibles with Butter?
Try our Cannabutter Dosage Calculator
The cannabutter dosage calculator allows you to determine the butter to cannabis ratio needed to make your edibles as potent as they need to be for your individual needs. Simply enter in the amount of cannabis you have and the number of servings you’re wanting to make, and the dosage calculator will do the rest.