All marijuana users have their preferred method of consuming this versatile plant. Some are used to smoking and vaping, while others may use tinctures. It all comes down to personal preference and in countries where weed is legal, dispensaries offer a variety of cannabis products that fit every taste.
Whether you use medical marijuana, or you’re a recreational user, you might have heard about weed edibles and, given that you’re here, you’ve probably decided to try them. Edible forms of cannabis have been really popular in recent years, and getting the right dose is of vital importance, especially if you’re a first-time user.
If you’re a newbie and you’re interested to know a bit about edibles, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a list of edible products as well as serving sizes for marijuana edibles, so you’ll know what to expect and have a pleasant experience when you decide to try them out.
What Are Weed Edibles
Marijuana edibles are food products that are infused with the cannabis flower or different concentrates. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are infused in food or liquids (often called drinkables or liquid edibles) in order to create weed edibles.
This method of weed consumption is very different from smoking or vaping because it doesn’t result in immediate effects. The effects of edibles have a later onset period as the edibles need to travel inside the digestive system before tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
The liver metabolizes the THC, converts it into a more psychoactive compound called 11-hydroxy-THC which binds to the endocannabinoid system in the body, after which the first effects are felt.
Types of Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles include a whole variety of products like:
- Baked goods (cakes, brownies, and cookies, and other cannabis-infused edibles);
- Sweets and chocolate bars (truffles, chocolates, gummies, lozenges, chewing gum, lollipops, and other sweet treats);
- Drinkables or liquid edibles (soda, coffee, tea, as well as alcoholic drinks infused with cannabis);
- Other products (cannabutter, cannabis oil, syrups, and sugar).
The Effects of CBD and THC in Edibles
CBD and THC are cannabinoids that interact with each other, meaning that adding CBD to your THC edible can give the edible medical benefits like relief from pain and anxiety. The higher the CBD content, the less chances of users experiencing unwanted intoxicating effects. Meaning that people who take 5 mg of THC are likely to feel more impaired compared to people who take 5 mg of THC + 20 mg of CBD.
Products that contain an equal ratio of THC to CBD produce less impairment compared to THC-dominant products. The latter may even produce cannabis overconsumption symptoms like nausea and headaches, and for that reason, consuming an adequate dose is essential.
How Long Until the First Effects of Edibles?
Edibles take a longer time to kick in compared to other methods of cannabis consumption. When smoking or vaping, you can feel the effects of marijuana almost instantly, which is not the case when consuming edibles. According to Drugs and me, marijuana users can expect to feel the first effects of the weed edibles as early as 30 minutes after consumption or as late as 2-3 hours after consumption. The high can last for a couple of hours and even up to 14 hours, depending on certain factors.
What Factors Affect the High?
Several factors can influence the intensity and length of your high and those include:
- The amount of THC in the edible (the higher the levels of THC, the longer and more intense the high can be);
- The amount of weed per edible (if you make a potent brownie with more milligrams of THC, you’re likely to experience a more intense high);
- Your body mass index and metabolism (THC and CBD bind to your fatty cells, and for that reason people with higher amounts of fatty tissues experience a more intense high, and also people with a lower metabolic rate take a longer time to flush out weed from their system);
- Your tolerance to cannabis (first-time users have lower tolerance levels compared to regular users);
- Whether you’re consuming edibles on an empty stomach (your high can be more intense if you haven’t had anything to eat prior to the edibles);
- Mixing weed with other substances (whether you’ve been consuming laced weed and you didn’t know it, or you’ve mixed weed with other drugs or substances like alcohol, which can be dangerous and you may experience side effects).
Marijuana Edibles Dosage Guide
Depending on what type of edible you’re consuming, the standard dose may vary. Your best option would be to start low and go slow, meaning that you should wait at least two hours from your first dose before you take another. Since edibles are significantly more potent, edibles dosing should be done in accordance to the person’s tolerance levels.
Potency is measured by the milligrams of cannabinoids the edible product contains, so it’s crucial to know the accurate content of your edible. Legal marijuana dispensaries have labels that inform users on the content of the edible, but you should be extra careful when making weed edibles at home in order to get an appropriate dose.
The right dose for each person is different and it’s based on their tolerance and individual body chemistry, but the guidelines below may be of use to you.
Common weed edible dosing:
- 1 – 2.5 mg THC edibles (this dose is appropriate for first-time users or if you’re a regular user who does microdoses and it may provide mild pain and anxiety relief);
- 2.5 – 15 mg THC edibles (this is the common dose for recreational users and it may help with insomnia, anxiety, as well as provide stronger pain relief);
- 30 – 50 mg THC edibles (these higher doses are good for high tolerance THC consumers and taking them may result in strong euphoric effects as well as significant impairment in perception and coordination);
- 50 – 100 mg THC edibles (really high doses such as these are recommended for patients who live with inflammatory disorders and cancer, and users may experience side effects like nausea, pain, and an increased heart rate).
Tips for First Time Users of Cannabis Edibles
Occasional and first-time users should start slow. Initially, you would see how your body is affected the first hour after consumption, and only consider topping off after 2-3 hours to be safe. Make sure you’re well hydrated and you’ve had something to eat in order to avoid potential side effects like nausea and headaches.
Final Thoughts on Edibles Dosage
The right edible dose varies between individuals and you need to get it right in order to avoid side effects. The best option would be to start with a low dose and increase the dose gradually if you’re not getting the desired effect.In order to enjoy your edible experience, don’t forget to keep yourself well hydrated and don’t consume the edibles on an empty stomach. Moderate your dosage according to your tolerance levels and you should be good to go. Remember, you can always take more, but you should start slow.