Edibles are one of the many ways to consume cannabis and take advantage of its effects. Edibles are discreet, delicious, and available in a range of forms. You can even make them at home if you cannot find an edible that meets your tastes and requirements. The only significant challenge with edibles is dosing since this can be somewhat hard to understand, at least at first.
Remember That Edibles Have Delayed Onset
It is very important to pay attention to the potency of an infused cannabis product instead of just consuming some and waiting for your reaction. This is because edibles take longer for their effects to begin, a result of the fact that they have to pass through the digestive system.
This can be a particularly challenging concept to keep in mind for those who are used to the quick onset time associated with smoking cannabis or ingesting it another way. It is a common instinct to want to consume more of the edible when you do not notice the high starting right away. Do not fall for this trap, as you will likely end up consuming a much higher dose than you had planned.
Avoid problems with the delayed onset by planning to consume the edibles when you have plenty of time on your hands and by paying attention to the potency and dosage. Remember that edibles can take 45 minutes to three hours for you to start noticing anything.
Start with a Small Dose
As with any other method that you use to consume cannabis or cannabis-based compounds, you should always start with a small dose and then increase it next time if it was not enough. This prevents you from overdosing, which would increase the likelihood of negative symptoms.
Ideally, you should increase the dose the following day or the next time you eat the edible. At the very least, wait four or more hours to have more of the edible due to the long onset time.
The Effects of Common Doses
Saying to start with a small dose is one thing, but how do you know what a small dose is if you are new to edibles? Although everyone is different, most people will notice similar results depending on the dose that they choose.
To give you an idea of where to start, consider the typical effects and ideal users for each of the following common doses.
1 to 2.5 Milligrams THC
Consuming this low dose will frequently boost focus and creativity. It can also provide mild relief from pain, anxiety, and stress.
The dose is ideal for micro-dosers and first-time consumers of edibles and cannabis.
2.5 to 15 Milligrams THC
This dose will result in stronger relief of symptoms. It also frequently causes euphoria and can impair your perception and coordination.
Consider this dose if you are a restless sleeper, social butterfly, or have persistent health problems to address.
15 to 30 Milligrams THC
For those who are used to consuming cannabis, this dose of edibles can lead to a strong sense of euphoria. If you are not used to cannabis, then it may result in strong unwanted effects instead. It is also possible for this dose to impair your perception and coordination.
Consider this dosage if you have a lot of experience consuming marijuana. It is also a good choice for medical patients who have developed tolerances to marijuana or an experienced user who needs help sleeping.
30 to 50 Milligrams THC
If you are not used to consuming this high of a dose, you should expect very strong euphoria. Regardless of your cannabis experience in the past, this high dose will likely alter your perception and impair coordination.
This high dose is good for those with gastrointestinal systems that have trouble absorbing cannabis. It is also good for those with a very high tolerance to THC.
50 to 100 Milligrams THC
This dose is only for those with very high tolerances and experience. Consuming this high of a dose may lead to some of the unwanted side effects associated with cannabis, including pain, nausea, and rapid heart rate. It is also incredibly likely that you will notice impairments to your perception and coordination at this dosage.
Only consider this dosage if you have experience using THC in the past. The dose may also be good for those suffering from very serious disorders, such as inflammatory disorders and cancer that require such a high dose.
Remember About Individual Variations
When determining how much of a cannabis edible to consume or what dose to look for, remember that everyone is different. Your ideal dosage will depend on a long list of factors, such as the severity of any symptoms you want relief from, your body chemistry, your experience with cannabis, and your metabolism.
If you are completely new to cannabis and cannabis edibles, start with the smallest of the above doses, just 1 to 2.5 milligrams of THC.
Empty vs. Full Stomach
You may also wonder whether you should eat edibles on an empty stomach or a full stomach, or if it even matters.
Some people choose to consume edibles without eating beforehand, thanks to the idea that the effects will be stronger and quicker. This is correct to some extent since your body only needs to process one type of food.
However, eating edibles when you have not had anything else will frequently lead to extreme results that you may not be prepared for. Consuming edibles on an empty stomach typically results in being couch-locked as the edibles take hours to wear off. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up too high and end up having to sleep it off.
Experts are still unsure what happens when you consume edibles on a full stomach. Some think that your body will have to process the other food, resulting in a delayed high. Another theory is that your body will already be metabolizing food, so it will digest the THC more quickly. Others do not care since you will get high whether you have eaten something else.
Given the above, it is your choice whether you want to consume edibles with a full or an empty stomach. There may be a higher risk of feeling overwhelmed by the high on an empty stomach but neither option necessarily causes the high to start sooner.
Understanding Edible Doses on Packaged Products
Those who previously only consumed buds or flowers will be used to seeing potency and dosage in the form of a percentage. For whole plants, buds, and flowers, the standard is to list THC and CBD content as a percentage of the overall product.
By contrast, the standard for edibles is to list the dosage in milligrams of THC. This is an important distinction and can take some getting used to for those who are regular smokers but are new to trying edibles.
It is convenient that packages list the dose in terms of milligrams, given that our previous recommendations of how much of an edible to consume is based on milligrams.
Calculating How Much to Consume
Calculating how much of an edible you should have to consume the desired dose is straightforward and only requires simple multiplication and division. It can become a bit more complicated and include fractions depending on your desired dose and the portions of your edible product.
An Example with a Single-Serving Product
The easiest edibles to dose are those that are individually packaged or dosed individually. Examples include individual cookies that say the entire cookie is a single serving or gummies that say each gummy is a serving.
To figure out how many of the edibles you should have, just divide your desired dose by the milligrams of THC in each dose.
So, if you want 10 milligrams of THC and have gummies with 5 milligrams each, you would divide 10 by 5 and get 2, indicating you can have the full dose with two gummies.
An Example with a Multi-Serving Product
It becomes a little more complicated with products that have multiple servings that are less easily divisible, but it is still very easy.
Start by looking at the packaging to see the size of a serving. In chocolate bars, for example, it will frequently be a square. Or maybe you have a package with multiple edible cookies and each cookie is one serving.
Start with a similar calculation as before and take your desired edible dose and divide it by the dose in each serving size. With similar numbers, assuming you want 10 milligrams and each serving has 5 milligrams, you would want to consume 2 servings.
Now, you will have to measure out the appropriate amount of the edible to meet the relevant serving size, whether that is two cookies, two squares of chocolate, or something else.
If You Are New to Edibles…
Because of the small size of the recommended beginner doses for cannabis edibles, you might find yourself consuming a very small amount of edibles to begin with. If you want to start with just 1 or 2.5 milligrams of THC, you may need to either cut edibles into smaller pieces carefully or find ones that have smaller doses, like those that you want.
Determining Potency for Homemade Edibles
Buying packaged edibles makes it simple to calculate potency and dosages since the packaging should already clearly label these figures. If you are making edibles yourself, then you will need to do some math yourself.
The good news is that this is incredibly straightforward, assuming you measure out the cannabis or concentrate that you use.
As long as you know how much THC you put into the entire batch of edibles, you can divide this number by the servings in the batch to determine the THC per serving.
For example, let’s say you added 100 milligrams of THC concentrate to your brownie batter. If you cut the brownies into 10 pieces, you can easily divide 100 by 10 and determine that each brownie has 10 milligrams of THC.
Getting Accurate Calculations
In the case of homemade edibles, you will need to take care regarding the dosage. Start by making sure you know exactly how much THC you are putting into your edibles. During the process, ensure that you thoroughly mix the batter, drink, or whatever else you are making. This lets you confirm that the THC is evenly distributed so all the servings have the same potency. If you do not mix it thoroughly, you can end up with some servings that are highly potent while others are barely potent.
What to Do If You Consume Too Many Edibles?
Even with all of your careful calculations, you may accidentally consume more THC than you intended as you enjoy your edibles. If this happens, do not worry. You should not have any serious effects unless you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Just Sleep It Off
The absolute best advice is that if you consume too much to just go to sleep. By the time you wake up in the morning, the high should be over.
Stay Somewhere Safe and Calm
You should also try to have an environment that is safe, calm, and reassuring in case you do consume too much. This will do wonders for helping you relax enough to fall asleep.
If you consume too much THC with your edibles, then do your best to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
If you want, you can also try countering the effects of THC with CBD. If you do not have CBD concentrate or CBD edibles on hand, you could chew a tablespoon of lemon zest.
When to Go to the Doctor
Most people can just let the edible high work through their systems, even if they consume too much. However, if you have a pre-existing serious medical condition or heart disease and overindulge, you should consider a doctor’s visit. You should do the same if you have extreme, nonstop diarrhea and vomiting since you may need an IV to rehydrate.
Edibles are a delicious way to enjoy cannabis, and once you get the hang of it, dosing is straightforward. Just read the product’s label and do some simple math, and you will be set.