Cannabis Edibles 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana-Infused Foods
June 30, 2016
Share This Article:
New to edibles?
Cannabis edibles or “medibles” can be a wonderful way to ingest your cannabis medicine, especially if you prefer not to smoke or inhale vapor, but there are a few things you need to know to ensure a pleasant experience:
1) Talk with your budtender.
The budtender at your favorite dispensary should be able to answer whatever questions you have about the edible cannabis products they stock so, ask away!
Don’t know what to ask? Here are a few good Qs you should get answered before selecting a medible:
- Is this made with Indica, Sativa, or a Hybrid? (a lot of products tend to be Hybrid)
- Do you know what strain was used? (not many are labeled with the strain but, some are)
- What is the THC / CBD content per dose? (every product should have this on the label)
- How much of this is one dose? (i.e.: all of this? half of it? one fourth? one piece?)
- What would you recommend for my condition? (this is a great question!)
Note: chocolate and gummy products are usually easier to dose than baked goods because of the way they are packaged. It’s much simpler to eat one 10mg segment of a 50mg chocolate bar than to eat 1/5th of a 50mg brownie.
2) Make sure you have plenty of drinking water on hand.
Medibles can really dry you out (hello, dry eyes and cottonmouth!) Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this: drink more water. Drink water before you try the edible; drink water while you’re waiting for it to kick in; drink water while experiencing the high and keep water on your nightstand if you’re using the medible to help you sleep. (If you wear contacts, it would also be a good idea to have some eye drops handy.) Your body just functions better when it’s properly hydrated.
3) Don’t start on an empty stomach.
Eat a decent meal that includes carbohydrates before diving into that medible. Treat it like you would any other pain killer and imagine the label says: TAKE WITH FOOD. (Yes, it’s true you will feel the effects of the cannabis more quickly and more intensely if you eat it on an empty stomach but, this technique is not advisable, especially for your first time.)
4) Have non-medicated snacks on hand.
More often than not, an appropriate dose of a medible is just not satisfying. (You mean I can only eat one eighth of this cookie?!) So, to avoid overindulging in THC, make sure to have some non-medicated snacks handy: preferably the same type of snack as the medicated version so you can satisfy the urge to eat an entire cookie or have another piece of dark chocolate (or more goldfish crackers, or popcorn, or ice cream… there are a lot of edible cannabis products out there!)
5) Start small & be patient.
Cannabis edibles affect everyone differently and, even if you have already built up a high tolerance for smoking or vaporizing your THC, you could have a very low tolerance for medibles. 10mg is the recommended dose for first-timers, although some forms of edible cannabis allow you to start in increments of 5mg. Wait at least 45 minutes before taking another dose, some cannabis edibles can take up to 2 hours to take effect. 10-20mg tends to be enough for first time users so, give yourself a good two hours before deciding to eat more than 20mg.
Remember: you can always eat more, you can’t eat less.
6) Get comfortable.
Set and setting have an effect on your experience no matter your method of consumption but, this is especially true of your first experience with cannabis edibles.
So, pop on your favorite comedy and get comfy on your couch or propped up in bed. Consider inviting over your best friend or snuggling with your sweetie. If the edible affects you in an unexpected way, you’ll feel better being in a familiar environment. And if you end up overindulging, you’ll be happy to have your bed nearby.
7) The high will feel different than smoking or vaporizing.
Most medibles will cause a wave of blissful muscle relaxation to ripple through your body: it’s much more of a full-body high than what you typically experience with smoking or vaporizing. The effects of cannabis edibles also last longer than the effects of smoking or vaporizing so, don’t eat a medible if you have to socialize or operate heavy machinery in the next few hours.
Eventually, once you’ve had more experience with medibles and know how different products affect you, you may feel perfectly comfortable being in large groups of people. But, do not ever drive while under the influence of a medible; if you need to get somewhere, call a friend, a taxi, an Uber or a Lyft.
8) Don’t consume alcohol with medibles.
Your body processes edible cannabis differently than inhaled cannabis so, even if you’ve successfully combined alcohol with cannabis in the past, don’t try that with medibles or the resulting nausea will totally ruin your experience.
9) Remain calm: No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose.
If you do eat/drink too much cannabis, relax, you’re not going to die. However, you probably won’t feel very good. Symptoms of an edible overdose include: nausea/dizzines, paranoia and hallucinations. If you do overindulge, remember that this is only temporary: it might take a few hours but, it will wear off.
10) A few things you can do in the case of an overdose:
Remember: YOU WILL NOT DIE.
- Close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths through your nose (this helps calm the nausea, dizziness and paranoia)
- Drink more water
- Eat something non-medicated
- Ingest some CBD oil or smoke/vaporize a high-CBD strain, this helps balance out the effects of the THC
- Anecdotal reports say that drinking lemonade, soda or juice helps relieve the dizziness
- Lay down and drift off to sleep… you’ll feel better, maybe little groggy but, well-rested when you wake up. (It just might be the best sleep you’ve had in a long time!)
Now that you know more about edible cannabis...
Visit your favorite local dispensary and pick something out!
If you don't know which dispensary to visit, check out our Provider Finder to see who's close to you and what's on their menu. Some dispensaries even have certain days or "happy hour" times when cannabis edibles are offered at a discount. So, what are you waiting for?
After you've tried your first medible, connect with us on Twitter and let us know about your experience. We'd love to hear from you!