We have put together this guide of the 5 things you need to know before trying edibles. By now, you are probably aware that there are many ways to consume cannabis. One of the most popular, fun and healthy ways to consume is with edible products. Edibles provide the consumer with a full-body high that is relaxing and long-lasting, however, it can be easy to over-consume edibles and end up much higher than you had planned. These key tips will help you navigate the world of cannabis-infused products for the optimal experience you are seeking.
1. BODY CHEMISTRY
As we have discussed before, every person has unique body chemistry. Like pharmaceuticals and other drugs, the body’s reactions to cannabis differ from person to person. Some people can handle large quantities of cannabis and still function adequately, while others only need small amounts to feel the same robust effect. This is all based on tolerance. For those that have never consumed cannabis, we would consider you to be cannabinoid nieve, meaning your endocannabinoid system has never been stimulated by phytocannabinoids. Depending on your body chemistry, for someone taking cannabis/cannabinoids for the first time, this can be overwhelming, which is why it is important to understand dosing (covered below).
The effects of cannabis are also affected by other chemicals like alcohol and other drugs. If a person were to consume alcohol before consuming cannabis, the addition of cannabis will amplify the effects of alcohol. It is important to keep this in mind if you are considering combining cannabis with any other substances.
There are also a handful of unlucky people that don’t have the proper enzymes for breaking down THC in their stomachs. No matter how much they consume, they will feel no effects from cannabis-infused foods. Currently, we have no way to solve this problem. If you fall into this category, consider spending your money on inhalable products like flower, concentrates, or vapes.
In Colorado, the government regulated dose of a cannabis edible on the recreational side is 10 milligrams. This is considered to be a good starting point for those who have little or no experience with cannabis edibles. We, however, recommend starting with a half dose (5 mg) or a quarter dose (2.5 mg) to see how it interacts with your body chemistry. When trying a new substance for the first time it is important to take it slow. You can always take more, but you cannot take less once you’ve begun to consume. The beauty of cannabis is that no matter how much you take you are not in any danger of hurting yourself or overdosing. There have never been any deaths directly related to overconsuming cannabis and it is physically impossible for a person to intake the amount of THC needed to have a fatal overdose. With that being said, you can absolutely have a bad time if you consume too much cannabis too fast. To avoid any uncomfortable feelings, or negative experiences, take it slow and consume responsibly. If you do happen to overconsume an edible and feel uncomfortable, taking CBD sublingually (through a tincture) under the tongue will start balancing you out in about 15 minutes.
3. ONSET & DURATION
When edible products are consumed and travel through the gastrointestinal tract, the cannabinoids are broken down by the liver. Delta9-THC, the psychoactive version of the THC molecule, is changed from delta9-THC to 11hydroxy-THC during this process. 11hydroxy-THC produces a much stronger psychoactive effect than delta9-THC and also has a longer half-life. This means that the duration of your high will last far longer than consuming cannabis through inhalation or topically. The high from edible products will last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Edibles also have a much longer onset time when compared to other methods of consumption. An edible that has not been formulated with any product used to decrease onset time will activate in the body in about one to two hours. Make sure you feel your first edible dose before eating a second otherwise you might find yourself feeling too intoxicated. If you find yourself feeling too high, have no fear there is an antidote which is CBD.
The food that you eat will also have an effect on how long your edible high lasts, and how strong it will be. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble compounds meaning they will bind to fat. In order for an edible to fully activate in the body, there needs to be some amount of fat present. It is always a good idea to pair your edible with a meal, especially if you are eating an edible that contains no fat, like a gummy.
When trying edibles for the first time, you will notice that the effect is a much stronger, full-body experience compared to inhaled or topical products. When delta9-THC is broken down into 11hydroxy-THC by the liver, the experience changes. 11hydroxy-THC has a much stronger psychoactive effect than delta9-THC and also a longer half-life. The result of this is a longer-lasting, stronger high that can last all day. The longer duration compared to the other consumption methods make edibles a great choice for those looking for long-lasting relief from pain, or those looking for help sleeping through the night.
When preparing for your edible experience there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Make sure to pair you edible with a meal or fatty food. Having fat in your system will help the edible activate an enhance the high.
- Always remember to dose yourself responsibly. This means starting slow and waiting until you feel the full effect of your first dose before taking a second.
- Drink plenty of water. Being dehydrated can cause you to feel light-headed or dizzy.
- If you are feeling too high from an edible a CBD tincture under the tongue can help to curb the psychoactive effects of THC within 15 minutes.
Edibles can be a very enjoyable experience and for many people, it is their preferred method of consumption. Follow these guidelines and you too will have an excellent edible experience.