Have you ever heard the “I ate too much of an edible” story, where someone you know tells you some version of how they “ate the whole brownie”, and 4 hours later ended up crawling down their staircase naked claiming that they are most certainly going to die, and then slept for 36 hours? If not, you have now, because that’s what happened to me the first time I tried edibles. It happens to the very best of us, but it doesn’t have to. Here are 7 things you need to know before you try a cannabis-infused edible so you can avoid a first-time experience like mine.
1. A little goes a long way.
You probably won’t need to eat the entire edible. I know it’s delicious, but seriously, don’t eat the whole thing. First, look at the package and see how many milligrams (mgs) of THC are in the edible. If this is your first time, only take 5 – 10 mg of THC. Figure out how much of the edible you need to eat to achieve that dose, and section yourself off a piece so you aren’t tempted to take more.
Pro Tip: Try to buy edible products from reputable companies known for reliable and consistent dosing. Not sure where to look? I’d recommend reading brand reviews on WeedMaps, but you can also ask your budtender or cannabis-savvy friends for recommendations.
2. It takes a long time to kick in.
Eating an edible isn’t like smoking a joint, hitting a bong or taking a dab. It WILL take 30 – 90 minutes for you to feel the effects. Take note of the time when you take the edible and do not take more of said edible until 90 minutes has passed. Seriously.
3. Edibles might not make you feel the same way as you do when you smoke cannabis.
After eating an edible, you might notice that you don’t feel quite the same as after you smoke a joint or hit a dab. When you smoke cannabis, THC travels from your lungs, to your heart and is distributed to the rest of your body. But, when you ingest cannabis, THC is absorbed by your stomach and passes to your liver where it’s broken down further. In doing so, it makes a lot of a molecule called 11-OH-THC. This little guy is what makes edibles seem so potent since it’s psychoactive like THC, and can more easily move throughout your body, cross the blood brain barrier and activate your cannabinoid receptors. It’s not that when you smoke a joint, this 11-OH-THC isn’t made, it’s just that it’s in a lower ratio compared to eating cannabis.
What does this all mean? People usually experience more of an intense “body” high with edibles. For me, it makes my entire body feel super relaxed and I’m comfortable sitting or laying down in almost any position. Some very accurately call it the “couch-lock” effect.
Pro tip: If (and I seriously only recommend this IF) you’re already comfortable taking cannabis before a workout, try going taking a micro dose amount of a cannabis edible before a yoga class. You won’t be disappointed.
4. It will last longer than your usual high.
Remember that 11-OH-THC we mentioned earlier? He’s largely responsible for this effect. When you eat an edible, you should expect to feel the effects up to 8-12 hours compared to the 2-4 hours you typically experience when smoking cannabis. How long your high lasts also depends on your gender, weight, metabolism and eating habits, so keep that in mind.
5. You might feel groggy the next day.
Because THC (and 11-OH-THC) stays in your system longer after eating an edible compared to when you smoke cannabis, it’s possible that you may have some THC lingering in your system when you wake up the next day. This could make you feel groggy-AF. Keep this in mind if you have to get up early in the morning, have an important meeting or are expected to operate a motorized vehicle.
6. By choosing a cannabis-infused edible, you’re avoiding inhaling harmful toxins that come with smoking cannabis.
While consuming cannabis in general has some amazing health benefits, smoking comes with its own set of risks. Inhaling cannabis smoke is linked to symptoms including chronic coughing, phlegm production and acute bronchitis. By choosing a cannabis-infused edible, you’re avoiding consuming harmful smoke. Yay, go you ?!
7. Make sure you have a safe place to store your cannabis away from children and pets.
This is the last, but probably most important consideration if you’re going to start consuming Cannabis edibles. Always keep your cannabis products locked up and stored away from children and pets. Always. That delicious looking candy or cookie is too easy for an unsuspecting 7-year-old to grab and eat without you noticing. And your dog might love CBD treats, but he’s certainly not going to like eating 80 mgs of THC in an edible you left on the table. Don’t wait until you get a ridiculously high vet bill trying to find out what’s wrong with your dog only to discover she’s actually just….stoned. Moral of the story, lock it up and keep it out of reach.
Pro Tip #1: Portion off your piece of an edible and put the rest of the contents away and locked up before you consume it. Make this a regular part of your cannabis consumption routine so that you never leave any THC-infused remains out for your niece or nephew to find on their next visit.
Pro Tip #2: If you take cannabis products with you on the go, invest in a smell-proof, lockable storage bag. They’re becoming more and more popular and are a great way to keep your stash organized and out of the hands of others.
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