As of 2018, recreational marijuana consumption is legal in nine states and decriminalized in thirteen others. As the legal market for cannabis emerges, so do a seemingly endless array of marijuana products varying in potencies and delivery systems. Marijuana edibles are a popular choice novice users because there is no smoking involved. However, even seasoned smokers use precaution when dosing themselves with today’s high potency retail cannabis products. Regardless of your past or current use of marijuana, if you’re trying edibles for the first-time or if you’ve tried them in the past, there are a few simple tips that will help to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe experience. These tips mostly help potential users understand how to avoid an uncomfortably high dose of cannabis and what steps to take if they overdo it.
READ THE LABELS ON EDIBLES
Read the labels on edible cannabis products and dose accordingly. Locate products that are certified lab tested. Not all states require lab testing at this time, so you may have to shop around. You can have confidence that certified products truly contain the amount of active cannabanoids stated on the packaging. Some retail products contain as much as 1000mg of THC in one candy bar! 2.5 – 10mg of THC is a good starting point for those first trying marijuana and even those first trying marijuana edibles. When consuming cannabis edibles some users dose too heavily because they expect the effects of digested cannabis to be a quickly felt as those of smoking. When marijuana edibles are taken, the effects are gradually intensified in the user and peak around 2 ½ hours after initial consumption. Wait at least 2 hours before considering re-dosing. The safest approach to a scenario in which you don’t feel the effects of an initial dose would be to consider the event a learning experience not to redose at all. You can try again another day. Whether you’re trying edibles for the first time or if you’ve made your own edibles for years, take homemade edibles at your own risk. These products are unlabeled and vary in strength. If you choose to partake, start with a small nibble and wait at least 2 hours to gauge effects.
HOW ARE EDIBLES DIFFERENT FROM SMOKING
Even if you are comfortable with the effects smoking marijuana causes, if you’re trying edibles for the first time, you may be surprised with the intensity of orally ingested THC. That is because the THC (delta-9-THC) is converted to 11-Hydroxy-THC through digestion. This altered form of THC is twice as powerful psycho-actively and takes twice as long for the effects to subside. Because cannabis edibles take up to 2 ½ for there full intensity to show, those with some cannabis experience are often tempted to up the dose before they reach their peak. This is to be done with extreme caution if at all. Unlike smoked marijuana, you can’t simply put the joint down if you start to get dizzy or anxious. Once those effects are felt on edibles they are only likely to increase.
CAN YOU OVERDOSE?
Fortunately, an overdose on marijuana is merely uncomfortable – and not fatal. There are no recorded deaths from consuming cannabis edibles. The side effects of taking too many marijuana edibles can be combated by a few home remedies. Do not attempt to ‘drink it off’ or smoke cigarettes. Alcohol and nicotine increase the effects of THC. Chamomile tea can help to relax a user and promote sleep. Some attest to chewing on black peppercorns to combat cannabis caused anxiety (including Neil Young). Pure CBD products can be helpful to address many of the side effects of THC as well. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabanoid that is thought to decrease anxiety, promote sleep, and reduce pain. CBD often legal even in states where cannabis isn’t. Check your local laws. Many doctors recommend simply hydrating, nourishing with nutrients, and sleeping it off. A hospital will most often give an effected patient a quiet bed and some fluids – even those whose anxiety reaches the level where they think they are ‘dying’. Many choose to save themselves the trip and bill by relaxing in their own bed.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN TRYING EDIBLES
These final ‘tips’ for those looking to experiment with cannabis edibles surround safety and etiquette and should be heeded without exception. Respect others minds and bodies by never dosing someone without them knowing. Taking cannabis unexpectedly can be a terrifying and dangerous experience. Never drive or operate heavy machinery – this should be obvious. Keep edibles away from kids and pets – just as you would with alcohol. This means if you make a batch of brownies: clearly label it and keep it out of reach from those who might not know better. Have an experienced user or sober friend present. Follow the above tips and enjoy your experience consuming cannabis edibles.