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Double the Munchies: How to Safely Take Marijuana Edibles (Where They’re Legal)

posted by Chris Valentine

Marijuana edibles are an increasingly popular pathway to green bliss. Ingesting them poses an effective and practical alternative to smoking or vaping. However, many people aren’t aware edibles are a different kind of ballgame. It’s not healthy nor a good idea to just swallow a handful of THC-infused snacks and hope for the best.

You could be in for a very bumpy ride. The type of high is not the same as the one joints offer. The art of dosing is tricky to master. Effects last longer and induce a strong body sensation. Therefore, consuming in a responsible and cautious manner is paramount.  It allows you to stay on a safe side and have the most pleasant experience.

 

Marijuana Edibles One-On-One

Due to many years of legal exile, research on edibles is in its infancy. Many reports are still anecdotal, but a scientific body of research is growing. Legalization sweeping across states certainly helps a lot. It brings forth more standardization and safety for consumers.

Here is what we know for sure. Edibles typically contain ‘activated’ cannabis. In other words, THC has been heated and turned into easy-to-digest psychoactive substance. This is a more powerful metabolite than ordinary THC, called 11-hydroxy-THC

The process of breaking it down in your body makes edibles leads to stronger outcomes. Since the target is your bloodstream, not nervous system, the overall experience is more body-centric.

The available edible products range from lemonades and sodas to chocolates and pastries. Gone are the days when the only options were brownies and cookies. Regardless of your choice though, it’s crucial to do your homework before munching. Edibles are far from created equal.

You want to go through package dosing guidelines every time. The THC content is expressed in milligrams (mg). Dose intervals range from 5 mg to 100 mg.

Jurisdictions, where cannabis is legal, have higher standards regarding edibles manufacturing. You can rest assured that labeling and mandated lab testing aren’t bogus.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

The effects depend on two interconnected factors: dosage and tolerance. Tolerance is the product of your prior cannabis consumption or lack of thereof. Veteran smokers and newbie consumers have different resilience to THC (side) effects.Another aspect to be aware of is your biology. Body fat and metabolism differ from person to person and profoundly shape the experience. Hence, it’s not possible to accurately predict how everything will settle in.

That being said, one thing is for certain: you shouldn’t eat too much. To avoid this mistake, get on top of the numbers game. First off, note that in terms of potency, ½ gram join equals around 10 mg edible. It’s a rough approximation, but it gives you a nice sense of actual quantity.  To get a strong high, a person exhibiting minimum tolerance would need 5-15 mg of THC. Daily smokers would reach the same highs with 15-30 mg.

Non-smokers can get high on only 5 mg. Some people with zero tolerance may even feel the effects after consuming only 2mg. There are also those who practice micro-dosing to slightly improve mood and creativity. On the other hand, a dosage that is too high can cause adverse effects. Numerous consumers report a feeling of anxiety and discomfort overcoming them. There is an individual dimension to all this.

Effects: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Namely, ‘Psychonauts’ who fancy altered states of consciousness are less likely to have a bad trip. People with psychotic issues like schizophrenia or Bipolar are the polar opposite. The same goes for individuals terrified of not being in control. After all, edibles change your body functions, cognition, perception of time, and memory.

In general, moderate to high-intensity experience leads to:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed movement
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness

Not everyone is comfortable with these effects. The impact is also more severe for people with little to no tolerance. To alleviate the negative psychological impact, some people take CBD with edibles. For instance, you can take top quality CBD gummies for a soothing buzz. They will modulate the THC in your body.

This is not to say you’re in serious harm’s way. A lethal case of marijuana overdose has never been recorded. Yet, it’s best to start small and increase the dose gradually. You must keep an eye on duration, which falls into 4 to 10 hours range.

Onset can start as early as 30 minutes. The peak occurs a bit after that, typically at 2 hours mark. The after effects can stretch on to increase the total duration to 12 hours. However, exceptionally high dosages have residual effects that span 24 hours. After these fade away, you may face lethargy, headaches, and fatigue. Think of it as a cannabis version of a hangover. 

Doing It Right

If you want to ward off adverse effects, pay close attention to timing and pace. Always wait at least 2 hours after ingesting to see how you feel. If you want to elevate the experience, take another 2mg at a time. Avoid making big jumps because the previous doses remain in your system. 

It’s common for people to not feel anything first few times they try edibles. We don’t understand fully this beginner’s tolerance (or first-pass metabolism), but it prescribes caution. Closely observe how your body reacts to different dosages. You’re better off embarking on an underwhelming journey than an overwhelming one.

Your stomach contents play a role here. If you have a full belly, it could take longer for effects to kick in. On an empty stomach, you want to take a lower dosage than usual. Cutting it in half should do the trick.

Those who plan to consume alcohol might need to do something similar. This is because alcohol boosts THC blood concentration.  Finally, remember it’s preferable to consume edibles in a comfortable setting. Surround yourself with familiar people, who will be there for you if things go south. Relaxing music tends to help as well.

These positive influences reduce any anxiety-related side-effects. You will reap the benefits of edibles without ending up in a dark corner.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Edibles are great, except when they aren’t. The good news is you can maximize the chances of having a blast. To make it happen, get familiar with the basics of cannabis edibles. Make sure you know how many mg of THC you’re serving.

Take into account your tolerance level. Adjust the dose to your needs and biology. Mind the long activation time and re-dose carefully. Bear in mind it’s preferable to take baby steps before leaps and bounds. Show some self-discipline and restraint. And whatever happens, don’t give in to panic.

Check out dispensaries in your area and pick your product wisely. Alternatively, explore the DIY route and prepare your own edible. Contact us in case you have any questions and comments. Let marijuana edibles take you to a cozy and secure place.

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