Let's talk about cannabis edibles, particularly in regard to their reputation as an entry-level product for the novice. Here's the truth - cannabis edibles are much harder to dose, take longer for effects to kick in, and have the potential to push you past your comfort zone if you’re not familiar with their effects. On the plus side, there are best practices for enjoying cannabis edibles that will help you make the most of the experience. Let these five tips for the new cannabis edible user be your guide.
Start Low and Go Slow
It's the golden rule of cannabis edibles, and if you follow it, you're in for a great experience. Starting with a low dose — typically around the five or ten milligram mark — and practicing patience is key. It’s like salting your foods. You can always add more, but once it’s in there, you can’t take it out. There’s no reverse button, so start small and wait as long as necessary for effects to kick in — and it could be a while. Unlike the quick onset that comes with smoking, consuming a cannabis edible is a game of patience. Give yourself up to two hours or so to gauge your reaction before you go back for more.
Understand It’s a Different Kind of High
The delayed onset of effects with cannabis edibles is the result of its roundabout method of consumption. When you eat an edible infused with THC, it must then be processed through the digestive system. In the liver, THC is transformed into various potent metabolites that efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier and pack a serious punch. When you do start feeling something, it’s often strong and can last for somewhere between six and eight hours. Individual metabolisms play a big role here, and factors like when you last ate or how hydrated you are can also weigh in.
Learn Your Options
Cannabis edibles come in all shapes and sizes, but they can generally be categorized into two groups. Some are infused cookies, chocolates, pills, granolas, or candies that are eaten and then metabolized in the liver. Others are tinctures, lollipops, hard candies, or gums that are designed to work sublingually. This group has a more rapid onset of effects, but they may wear off more quickly too.
Whether or not you have your heart set on infused cookies, make sure that your sources are legit. You should absolutely be purchasing your edibles at a licensed dispensary (ahem), so you can ask a trusted budtender for recommendations. Explain the effects you’re after and ask specifically about how a given edible is dosed to ensure accuracy. Then take it slowly and enjoy!