If you are a cannabis newcomer or haven’t consumed edibles in a while, it is important to start low and go slow when it comes to dosage. Overdoing can have adverse side effects and even lead to a bad experience.
For most recreational consumers, a standard dose of 10 mg is ideal. This is typically listed on the product packaging.
Start with a Dose
When you’re new to THC edibles, starting with a low dose is recommended, as the onset of these products can be unpredictable. Edibles can take anywhere from 10 minutes to multiple hours to take effect, depending on various factors such as metabolism, body fat, the last time you ate, and more. In some cases, this delay has led to people taking a second dose just as the first one is beginning to take effect, called “dosing-stacking.” This can have an adverse reaction and result in a very uncomfortable or even dangerous experience.
Moreover, since it can be difficult to accurately measure the serving size of an edible and its potency, many users end up overeating, which can cause them to overdo it. As a result, it’s best only to consume an edible when you are at home, relaxed and comfortable, in a private space that can be locked and away from children and pets.
Lastly, it’s also wise to have some snacks and non-medicated drinks close at hand before you consume your edible. Having a full belly before you begin to eat the product will help you feel in control, which is essential for having a good experience with any cannabis edible. It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated when you consume an edible, but avoid beverages like alcohol or caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
When it comes to edibles, patience is vital. It can take up to two hours for the effects to kick in and even longer for the high to build. This is in stark contrast to smoking or vaping, which can be felt almost instantly. Many newcomers to edibles find themselves overconsuming due to this time delay, and they end up with a very uncomfortable experience.
The type of food you eat can also impact how the THC in your edible works in your body. For example, a meal rich in fat may help the edible absorb more quickly, leading to an earlier and more intense effect. Conversely, a light snack will usually result in a slower onset.
It’s also important to be aware that the effects of THC can be biphasic, meaning a smaller dose might produce one effect (like stress relief). In contrast, a larger one could have the opposite effect (like increased feelings of anxiety). To mitigate this, try to stay active and change your environment as much as possible to keep your heart rate in check. Deep-regulated breathing is another excellent way to reduce high heart rates and help you relax.
Lastly, the amount of THC in an edible can vary from brand to brand, and each individual’s tolerance levels will also vary. If you’re unsure how to start, we recommend purchasing an edible with a clear dosage label that lists the THC per serving. Calculating how much to consume and avoiding taking too much is simple.
Don’t Overdo It
When consuming THC edibles, it’s essential to know your limits and not overdo it. Ingesting too much can lead to a high that lasts too long, resulting in an uncomfortable or even unpleasant experience for the consumer. This is especially true for first-time consumers.
Edibles have a very different effect profile than smoking cannabis. The human body metabolizes THC in the liver when consumed by mouth and produces 11-Hydroxy-THC, which creates a high that is felt more slowly than when it’s smoked. This difference makes it especially easy for someone to overdose on an edible and have a terrible time.
In addition, some types of edibles — notably those made with oils or tablets — are slow to absorb into the bloodstream. As a result, the effects of some of these products can take up to two hours to kick in. Sometimes, people have jumped from hotel balconies after eating too many edibles.
This is why it’s essential to start with a low dose of an edible and to be patient. It can also help to have a few non-cannabis snacks or drinks on hand to consume if needed. This can help prevent overconsumption and make the wait for the effects of a THC edible less stressful. Finally, it’s a good idea to avoid edibles containing more than 50 mg of THC, particularly for beginners and those with lower tolerance levels.
Know Your Limits
It’s essential to know your limits when using THC edibles. Edibles take longer to kick in and can have unpredictable effects due to each person’s unique metabolism and endocannabinoid system. It’s also good to be mindful of the environment and social distancing during consumption.
It takes between 30 and 50 minutes for the cannabis to reach your brain when you consume an edible. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you consume your edible in a safe place where you can sit and relax. This will allow you to maximize your experience without worrying about getting up, driving, or interacting with others.
The onset time for edibles can vary significantly, so it’s crucial to read the label on your product carefully and follow all dosage recommendations. This is especially true if you’re making edibles at home and don’t have precise measuring equipment.
When deciding to take an edible, keep in mind the effects can be more intense than smoking or vaping. This is why starting with a small dose is significant and increasing as needed until you achieve the desired effects.