Edibles have been enjoying the spotlight for quite a while now. They’re sold in dispensaries and restaurants in states where marijuana is legal, making them widely available to many people. And not only that, but they’re also very convenient for people who avoid smoking for personal or medical reasons, allowing them to still feel the effects without affecting their lungs.
However, to have a pleasant experience with these cannabis products, you need to know the right THC dosage for you. Edible products behave a little differently in your system, therefore, taking the right dosage is very important.
In this article, we’ll talk all about edibles, THC dosage, and some tips if you’re a first-timer. Let’s begin!
How Do Edibles Behave in Your Body?
The sensations you get from taking edibles are the same as the sensations you get when smoking pot. However, the way it’s processed in the body determines how strong the effects of cannabis will be felt and how long the high will last.
With smoking or vaping, the pot is ingested through the lungs, which means that it enters your bloodstream in a fairly short amount of time. Then, in about 10 minutes, you start feeling the high.
With edibles it’s different. You ingest edibles through your digestive system. Weed is absorbed through your stomach to your intestines until it makes its way to the liver. The liver metabolizes the THC in weed and then it releases it into the bloodstream. As you can see, this is a longer process, which is why it takes at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to kick in, if not a bit longer.
Plus, THC is fat-soluble, so it binds to the fats in the body, resulting in a steady release of its effects. This means that even though you have to wait for edibles to kick in, the high will be much longer-lasting (sometimes for up to 6-8 hours). So, you need to start with a low dose and be careful to not take too much to avoid experiencing any side effects.
Side Effects of Taking Too Much THC:
- Paranoia and anxiety
- Dry mouth
- Dry and red eyes
- Increased hunger
- Feeling sleepy and lethargic
- Foggy memory
What to Do if You Take Too Much
So, you’ve taken too much and intense anxiety started settling in. Don’t worry, you’re not in danger and it will pass. You just need to give it a few hours and make yourself as comfortable as you can while you wait it out.
- The most important thing is to stay calm. Even though it may feel uncomfortable and scary, know that you’ll be okay. The sensation will go away and you’ll be back to normal;
- Keep sipping on water not only to stay hydrated but also to help you focus on a simple and repetitive task to ground you. Snacking on your favorite snacks can also help;
- Many people swear by black pepper, no joke. Either sniffing it or chewing on a few black peppercorns is said to help with the anxiety;
- Find a calm and comfortable corner, try breathing slowly, and just rest. If you find that you’re still nervous, maybe turning on your favorite show on TV will help to distract you;
- Finally, if you’re feeling like it, just sleep it off.
How to Safely Dose Edibles – A Dosage Guide
Tasty marijuana-infused treats may seem hard to resist, but before you take any, it’s best to inform yourself of the dosage and its effects. Most edibles sold in dispensaries have the THC and/or CBD content disclosed on the package. It will typically state the number of milligrams of THC per serving, as well as the total milligrams in the package.
This is meant to help consumers choose their doses wisely to achieve their desired effect. The usual dose intervals for edibles are 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg. The only thing left to do then is to know which edible dose you need. Below you’ll find a simple guide on different dosages of THC edibles and the different effects you can expect from them.
- 1 mg-2.5 mg THC
- Recommended for: consumers looking to micro-dose and/or first-time consumers, as well as those with low tolerance;
- Typical effects include: mild pain and anxiety relief, better focus, and heightened creativity;
- 2.5 mg-15 mg THC
- Recommended for: standard recreational use, treating symptoms of pain and anxiety that don’t respond to smaller doses of medical marijuana, and for consumers who want to address sleep issues; 10 mg is often considered a “standard” dose;
- Typical effects include: stronger relief of symptoms, a feeling of euphoria, altered perception, and impaired coordination;
- 15 mg-30 mg THC
- Recommended for: experienced consumers who have a high THC tolerance, including both medical and recreational users, and/or people who have trouble absorbing cannabinoids in their gut; this dosage is not recommended for beginners and people with low THC tolerance;
- Typical effects include: a strong feeling of euphoria, possibly altered perception, and impaired coordination;
- 30mg-50mg THC
- Recommended for: consumers with a very high tolerance of THC and/or people with poor GI absorption of cannabinoids;
- Typical effects include: a very strong feeling of euphoria, significantly altered perception, and impaired coordination;
- 50 mg-100mg THC
- Recommended for: people living with a serious medical condition and/or people with very high THC tolerance;
- Typical effects include: seriously impaired coordination and perception; negative side effects may include elevated heart rate, nausea, and pain; this dosage highly increases the risk of experiencing side effects.
Dosages over 100 mg put you at a very high risk of experiencing symptoms of overconsumption, therefore it is strongly not recommended. Even the most experienced consumers with a high tolerance may experience the side effects.
You should also know that different kinds of edibles have different ratios of CBD to THC. Edibles with a higher concentration of CBD are generally not as intoxicating as edibles without CBD or with a higher THC. Therefore, you should always abide by the THC milligram range when taking edibles.
What About Homemade Marijuana Edibles?
Homemade marijuana edibles, like marijuana brownies (everyone’s favorite) and cannabutter (cannabis-infused butter), are some of the most popular edibles in the community. The downside with homemade marijuana edibles, though, is that you can never be sure of the THC dosage.
Even if you’ve perfected the recipe and always use the same ingredients in the same way you still can’t be 100% sure of the dosage. Of course, if you already have a recipe that you use often and it works for you, then keep doing what you’re doing.
The one recommendation we can give you is to always start low. Just start with the smallest first dose even if it’s just one bite. You can always take a larger dose later. It’s better to err on the side of caution and wait a while before you take another bite.
Things to Consider
One of the most important things to pay attention to when taking THC edibles is to consider your individual needs and tolerance. Each person has a unique internal constitution, like the function of their gastrointestinal and endocannabinoid system. So, in short, what works for someone else may not work for you.
If you’re an experienced consumer, then you may have learned what floats your boat and what doesn’t, but if you’re a beginner, you may be feeling lost at sea.
Tips for First-Time Consumers
If you’re excited to try cannabis edibles but dread the feeling of uncertainty of trying something new, don’t worry, we got your back. Read the tips below to make your experience as pleasant as it can be.
- Always make sure you buy edibles at a legitimate dispensary and that have the dosage printed on the label as this is the first step to making an informed choice regarding dosage.
- Always start small. We cannot stress this enough. You can always add more, but if you take too much, your first experience with edibles may be unpleasant. Newbies often make the mistake of accidentally taking more than enough if they’re not informed that edibles take longer to kick in, and become impatient when 20 minutes pass and they don’t feel the effects.
- On that note, be patient and wait at least an hour before you up the dose. It’s better to restrain yourself and stay in control of the situation. Taking another gummy won’t make the first one work faster, but later when they both kick in it may be too much for you.
- We don’t recommend you take edibles on an empty stomach, as ironic as that sounds. First, because you don’t know how your gut will handle it, and second, because edibles start working sooner. For a more pleasant experience, it’s better to eat and drink as you normally would. Also, stay hydrated.
- Don’t drink alcohol with edibles. Alcohol increases the concentration of THC content in the blood and with that, it may cause you to experience some side effects.
- As the effects of edibles last longer, make sure you don’t have any appointments. Find a comfortable and familiar place, preferably with someone you trust, or who’s experienced with edibles, and try to relax and enjoy the experience.
Edibles are a fun way to enjoy cannabis, but finding the right dose may be a case of trial and error. Taking a higher amount of THC can lead to some negative side effects, so monitoring your reactions to different THC dosages of edibles is the best way you can have a positive experience.