Edibles are one of the many ways to consume cannabis, and they’re popular among recreational and medical users. Apart from the fact that consuming it is a relatively discrete and delicious way of deriving the benefits of weed, edibles are a favorite for people who can’t smoke. Unfortunately, despite the many benefits edibles offer, many people have trouble figuring out how to dose these products.
Although edibles are generally safe and you can’t fatally overdose on them, it’s not hard to take too much of them. Even the most experienced cannabis users can feel unsure how much cannabis oils, tinctures, brownies, or gummies they should consume. Ready to learn how to dose edibles safely? Keep reading!
How edibles work
When it comes to consuming edibles, you need to know how edibles metabolize, as this will help you appreciate the importance of getting the dosage right.
Edibles are consumed through the mouth and go to your stomach, not your lungs. Your digestive system processes the edibles just like it would with anything else in the stomach, breaking them down into carbs, sugars as well as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC is then moved to the liver, where it is metabolized and converted into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound has a higher potency than THC and also boasts a longer life.
The digestion period can take around 45 minutes to 3 hours, which is why it takes some time before the effects kick in. This is unlike the lungs that process the smoke quickly and with effects that come in just seconds.
It’s important to note that the effects of edibles vary from person to person, even if they consumed the same type and quantity of edibles at the same time. The key factors responsible for the variation in types of effects and intensity include physiology, environment, and dosage.
Edibles Dosage Chart
Before anything else, keep in mind that cannabis edibles are usually dosed by the amount of THC contained within. Here is a dosage chart prepared by Dr. Sulak of Healer.com and Leafly.
Edible dosage chart: How to properly dose edibles
If you’re looking for some tips to guide you on properly dosing edibles, here are some to keep in mind.
- Consider your cannabis experience & tolerance
Before you start consuming cannabis edibles, it’s important to take into consideration your experience with cannabis. One of the mistakes many beginners make is starting with a high dose because they feel the microdose is too small. It’s advisable to first determine your experience and sensitivity to edibles. If you’ve taken edibles before, you can start with the standard dose of 10 mg, but if this is the first time you’re trying edibles, it’s a good idea to start with a microdose so you can test your sensitivity to THC.
- Read the packaging carefully
Nearly all edibles today come with information about the THC content on their packaging, so you need to read it to find out the dose. However, some products don’t come with a standard dose, such as 10mg. For instance, you may buy some edibles only to see that the total amount of THC in each unit is an odd number, like 13mg. It can be hard to figure out how much you should consume per time, so consider buying only edibles that use standard doses for each unit. That way, you will easily tell how much THC you’re consuming rather than doing some complex maths that may increase your risk of overdosing.
- Start low, go slow
This is the most important advice when it comes to edibles. If you’ve never tried edibles or you’re looking to try some again after a long time, start with a small dose and wait for the effects to kick in. If the effects are still barely noticeable after three hours, increase the dose a bit and watch for reactions. The most common cause of overdose is impatience, where an individual eats a dose and takes in another almost immediately because they didn’t feel any effects. Resist the urge to consume a large number of edibles at once. Remember that, unlike smoking cannabis, edibles take a while for the effects to kick in.
- Don’t consume edibles on an empty stomach or with alcohol
Just like over-the-counter medications, it is recommended to always eat something before you consume edibles. Consuming edibles on an empty stomach can make the effects of the THC kick in stronger and harder. You may take the correct dose for your level, but an empty stomach will only make the effects hit you more powerfully than usual. Similarly, avoid taking edibles with alcohol. There are no immediate major risks when you combine both. Still, you will likely experience a stronger high, and taking the combo repeatedly may lead to long-term physical health risks involving your gastrointestinal system, heart, immune system, kidneys, and liver.
- Prepare for the worst
If you follow the advice in the dosage chart above, you should have a fantastic experience regardless of whether you’re a first-time user or a well-seasoned consumer. However, it’s also recommended to prepare for the worst, so you’re not caught unawares at any time, especially if you do overdose. Items you should have on hand include CBD tincture, black pepper and lemon (for chewing and sniffing), and a bottle of water so you can stay hydrated. These items can help you sober up in minutes should you get high.
- Consume in a comfortable environment
As a newbie, it helps to consume edibles in an environment where you feel safe. You don’t want to make your first attempt alone or amid strangers, as this may negatively impact your experience.
The right dosing of edibles depends on you. It’s much like how alcohol affects people differently based on things like tolerance, body weight, and other considerations. Don’t compare yourself with others to take a dose that you’re unsure is right for you. So go ahead and get some edibles. They come in different kinds and are available in various flavors to find your favorite one!