If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you may have heard horror stories about people eating too many pot brownies at once. But while it’s true that over-indulging in edibles can lead to some unpleasant side effects, they do also provide an effective, healthy alternative to smoking or vaping. When taken in the right doses, weed edibles create a potent high that’s worth experiencing in its own right, even for seasoned smokers.
Reading up on what to expect and how to control your dosage before consuming edibles is the key to giving yourself a good experience. This handy guide will tell you all you need to know about how edibles work, how to dose them safely and effectively, and why you should consider including some in your next edible delivery order.
Understanding Weed Edibles
Weed edibles are broadly defined as any food product infused with cannabinoids. While most people use the term to refer to foods containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) edibles are also available from some dispensaries. And while the typical pot brownie is probably the best-known type of edible in the popular imagination, manufacturers now make a much wider variety of cannabis-infused food products. Edibles today can range from cakes and pastries to candies to sparkling beverages, just to name a few.
Whether an edible actually tastes like cannabis or not will depend on a number of different factors, such as the amount of cannabis in the edible and the edible’s flavor profile. Chocolate- and coffee-flavored edibles, for example, have strong flavor profiles that can completely mask the taste of cannabis in some instances. Edibles with lighter flavors or stronger concentrations of infused cannabis, meanwhile, are more likely to carry a stronger cannabis flavor.
Benefits of Edibles
Some consumers might be hesitant to smoke or vape cannabis but are more willing to try an edible form of the herb, particularly if they’ve never tried cannabis before or are coming back to it after a lengthy break. Certain people also have medical conditions that make it unsafe for them to inhale cannabis. Others simply don’t like the way burnt cannabis tastes or the sensation it produces in their throat or lungs.
If you can’t or don’t prefer to smoke weed, or if you’d simply like to experience a different kind of cannabis consumption, edibles are a more than viable alternative with plenty of their own benefits. Edibles allow you to take in cannabis in measured doses, and their effects also tend to last longer than those you get from smoking or vaping. The psychoactive “high” edibles produce is also much stronger and more thoroughly body-centered than inhaled cannabis.
What to Expect When Consuming Edibles
One important thing that beginners need to be aware of is that edibles take effect much more slowly than inhaled cannabis. This is because your body needs more time to break down the edible, releasing the activated cannabinoids into your system. Depending on your metabolism and the potency of the ingested edible, you may start experiencing the psychoactive and medicinal effects of the herb between 30 minutes and 2 hours after eating. Experts generally advise waiting at least 2 hours before increasing your dosage in a small increment if you still don’t feel the desired effects.
The tradeoff for this longer onset time is that the effects of edibles also tend to last much longer than those of inhaled cannabis. The effects of appropriately dosed edibles can linger for up to 6 hours after eating, and you may feel residual effects of especially large doses within the first 24 hours. Most of the time, however, you can expect the high to peak within the first 4 hours or so after eating.
High-dose weed edibles can leave you feeling tired, make you lethargic, or give you a headache the following day. You may also just feel like you’re thinking or moving a little slower than you normally would. These effects, which resemble a hangover, are generally mild and will resolve themselves naturally over time.
Dosing Weed Edibles Safely
The appropriate dose of cannabis for you will depend on certain physical factors, such as your metabolism, weight, and tolerance for the herb. Because of these factors are different for every person, dosing cannabis can take a bit of trial and error. For total beginners, it’s generally considered safest and most effective to begin at a very low dose and work your way up as your tolerance improves. And remember to give yourself about 2-3 hours for the effects to kick in. Once they’ve started, assess how you feel about them before you go back for more.
It’s usually a good idea for newcomers to edibles to start with a dose between 2.5 and 5mg of THC, which is generally considered the lowest effective dose. Those more experienced with cannabis can start in the 10 to 15mg range, which is around what many store-bought edibles offer per serving. Doses over 20mg can cause severe paranoia, slurred speech, and other intense effects. Monitor your edibles’ serving sizes and potency levels to ensure that you get an effective, but not excessive, dose.
Whether you have years of experience with cannabis or you’re just starting out, edibles give you the chance to experience weed in a totally new and unique way. If you do your research and shop around, you’ll surely be able to find edibles that suit your tastes, price range, and desired effects.