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Edible Dosing 101: 7 Tips For Your First Time Edibles Experience

1. Homemade Edibles vs. Dispensary Bought

Your first choice will be whether to make them at home or buy pre-made edibles from a dispensary.

Homemade edibles are relatively easy to make. Simply infuse the cannabis into butter, olive oil, or any other ingredient, and bake away. You have the freedom to make a variety of goods.

An advantage of making it at home is tailoring your edible to fit any diet, such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. You’ll also save money in the long run.

Be cautious when making your edibles. Without the right measurements and equipment, your edible may contain unsafe levels of cannabis. This is a guaranteed way to have a bad trip.

Most first-timers buy edibles from a dispensary because the dosages will be exact and there is a wide variety to choose from.

2. Determining the Right Edible Dosing

Finding the right dosage is very important. Read this section carefully and make smart decisions when making or buying edibles.

Everyone reacts differently to taking cannabis. Effects will differ from person to person based on potency, their previous tolerance to marijuana, and whether they have a sensitive endocannabinoid system.

Cannabis users with no tolerance should start by taking edibles with 1.5 to 5 mg of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

The amount of THC can be increased up to 60 mg or more depending on the individual.

Edibles are processed differently in the body, but a general rule is that smoking a 1/2 gram joint is the equivalent to eating a 10 mg THC edible.

3. Start Small With Edibles and Be Patient

Taking edibles produces an intense high.

Experts recommend taking low doses at first and being patient because the effects can take as little as 10 minutes or multiple hours.

There have been cases where users take an edible, don’t feel anything immediately, and take more just as the original dose starts taking effect. This is unsafe.

One suggestion for first-timers is to try cannabis-infused drinks. Cannabis Quencher Sips, for example, are available in a wide variety of flavors and have precise THC levels. You can take small sips or measure out 5 mg or less at a time.

Rather than eating entire brownies or cookies, you can also try smaller items like mints. These alternatives give you more control over the experience.

4. Take Edibles in a Comfortable Space

Marijuana can be unpredictable, even for the most experienced user. Anytime you’re smoking marijuana or taking edibles, stay in a comfortable environment.

The most important thing is to remain calm. Being in a familiar place with people you know helps.

Do something you enjoy. Whether it’s listening to music, playing board games, or bingeing Netflix, an activity will keep you calm and occupied.

Never have children around when you take edibles. Not only could they accidentally ingest it, but you wouldn’t be in any condition to be responsible for them.

You can go outside for fresh air or a walk, but under no circumstances drive or operate machinery.

5. Drink Plenty of Water

Experienced marijuana users are familiar with the phenomenon known as “dry mouth.” While it causes them to drink more, it isn’t necessarily a sign of dehydration.

“Dry mouth” is a side effect of taking cannabis, but doctors point out that the feeling of being thirsty isn’t one of the first things to happen when the body is dehydrated.

Drinking water can relieve the sensation of “dry mouth” but also ensure you are well hydrated.

Anecdotally, drinking water has helped some users get over bad trips. Water does speed up the overall digestion process.

Staying hydrated is important for everyone, regardless of whether they use cannabis products. An estimated 85% of Americans are chronically dehydrated but don’t show any symptoms.

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6. Don’t Take Edibles on an Empty Stomach

Besides getting plenty of liquids, experts also recommend eating a meal before taking edibles.

Edibles are processed much faster when taken on an empty stomach, but some people have reported upset stomachs or uncomfortable highs.

Many users prefer taking edibles after a meal of high-fat foods. In a 2019 ScienceDaily study, researchers from the University of Minnesota showed that high-fat foods sped up cannabidiol absorption.

If you take an edible on an empty stomach, take a lower dose to be safe.

And never take alcohol with an edible. Not only does alcohol cause dehydration but it’s been found to increase the concentration of THC in the blood. The last thing you want is adverse effects.

7. Bad Trips Happen — Be Prepared

No matter how experienced you are, bad trips happen. Things can get scary if a bad trip happens from taking too much THC. That’s why paying attention to dosage is important.

If a bad trip happens to you, breathe, and stay calm. Remember that no one has ever died from taking too much marijuana and the panic will wear off eventually.

As we said above, drinking water helps speed up the digestive process and may relieve a bad trip.

When using cannabis products with other people, make sure you all discuss what to do for each other if a bad trip happens. Set the ground rules.

It helps to be patient and understanding when someone is going through a bad trip. Discuss topics that will help keep them connected to reality until the feeling passes.

Where to Order Your First Edible?

You can make edibles at home, yet buying them from a licensed dispensary is safer for first-timers.

The edible dosing is more precise and each product is tested in a lab beforehand. Higher-quality cannabis is typically used and customers have more options.

Are you considering trying edibles for the first time? Unsure of how much to take or what to expect? Read our guide on first time edibles dosing.

3 things to know before you eat marijuana edibles

“User-friendly” is not a word that’s often used when describing marijuana edibles.

Whether you’re biting into a pot brownie cooked up in a college dorm or nibbling on a fruit chew purchased from your local dispensary, you never really know how much marijuana you’re ingesting. It can take hours to get high, and the effects can be intense and long-lasting.

That said, edibles offer a discreet way to get high in public or among disapproving company, and a single dose can power users through the worst bouts of illness-induced nausea or a marathon Netflix binge. It’s often the consumption method of choice for people using marijuana for medicinal purposes (and those who just don’t want to smoke).

Remember, it doesn’t matter who you are or what size you are. Edibles will affect everyone differently. Enjoy with caution.

Here are three things to know before you try your first marijuana edible.

1. Marijuana-infused foods are more potent than regular pot.

The body works in mysterious ways, as does marijuana.

Edibles offer a completely different experience than, say, a joint or a bong hit. When eaten, t etrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in weed, undergoes a transformation in the liver that turns it into a different substance that’s twice as strong and lasts twice as long as when inhaled.

It also takes our bodies much longer to process cannabis when we ingest rather than inhale.

“With smoking, the peak blood levels happen within 3-10 minutes, and with eating, it’s 1-3 hours,” Kari Franson, a clinical pharmacologist and an associate dean of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, told Forbes.

Because it takes so long to process, people often overdo it. If you don’t feel high after ingesting an edible, wait at least two hours before consuming a second dose.

2. You should always, always, always read the label.

Not everyone has the great fortune of being able to pick out an individually packaged edible from a bona fide retailer, especially in states where the prohibition on pot persists (though that’s starting to change). But if you do, paying attention to the label on the packaging can be the difference between a Grade A night-in and a paranoia-wracked nightmare of an evening.

Any reputable edible maker will lab test their products for potency and will include on the label two important ingredients: THC, the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana, and CBD, or cannabidiol, the chemical compound that has pain relief benefits. The total THC or “maximum THC” is the most clear-cut indicator of how high the product will make you.

Research shows these labels can be inaccurate, but it beats total ignorance .

Five milligrams of THC is a good place to start for novice users, according to the Oregon Responsible Edibles Council. It’s a conservative dose for adults who don’t know their tolerance or are consuming for recreational, rather than medical, purposes.

3. It will be okay if you get too high.

If your heart starts to race, your hands tremble, and anxiety strikes, it’s helpful to remember there are no recorded cases of people fatally overdosing on marijuana. Zero.

“The good thing about [consuming too much] weed is it can’t kill you,” Kim Geraghty, cofounder of Madame Munchie , whose gourmet cannabis macarons recently took the award for best dessert at Hempcon, told Business Insider . “But it can make you very uncomfortable.”

There are things you can do to mitigate an “Oh, no, what I have done?” high. First, relax.

“Remind yourself that you’re in no danger and the state you’re in is temporary,” writes David Schmader in his excellent book, “Weed: The User’s Guide.” “Surround yourself with stuff that makes you feel safe. (If this means pajamas in bed, so be it.)”

Drink some water to stay hydrated and eat a snack — preferably one that is ready-to-eat and does not require operating a stove— to boost your blood sugar. Call up a trusted friend, Schmader recommends, or Google search “Maureen Dowd Colorado” to feel less alone.

A beginner's guide to consuming marijuana-infused food.