Edibles Dosing 101: How to Dose Cannabis Edibles
14 Sep 2021
Cannabis edibles dosing can be a scary experience. Underdosing can lead to a subpar experience, but biting off more than you can chew can lead to a green out!
Whether you’re new to edibles or simply trying to learn more about edibles dosing, we got you covered.
We are here to help you get the dose right and experience the best high possible!
Today, we’ll discover the best tips for handling your edible sessions and how to dose them properly, in addition to how to prevent overdosing with edibles – and what to do if it happens to you or others.
Let’s get started!
How Edibles Work in the Body
Edibles work very differently than other cannabis delivery methods. We take advantage of our digestive tract absorption with edibles, while our lungs are the primary absorption site with smoking and vaping.
This different pathway has profound effects on the onset of the impact and the types of effects experienced.
So, how does it work?
Our body digests the edible by breaking it down, separating the compounds, and absorbing the good ones.
This metabolism begins in the mouth and continues in the stomach. Once your cannabis goodie reaches the intestines, this is when absorption kicks into gear. It is here in the intestines that cannabinoids like THC are primarily absorbed.
In addition, the liver plays a vital role here at this point. As the THC compounds pass through the liver, it processes them in critical ways.
Before we discover how it works, let’s look at the real-world effects of this digestive system metabolism.
Compared to smoking or vaping, the onset of THC effects takes much longer. Edibles may not start taking effect for 45 minutes to an hour or more. In addition, the peak of your high may not arrive until 2-3 hours post-edible.
This varies dramatically from smoking, which can produce nearly instantaneous effects. The same goes for the duration of effects. Edibles can produce effects that last 6-12 hours or more.
Why Do Cannabis-Infused Edibles Produce a Different High?
The reason why edibles feel differently than smoking or vaping cannabis is due to 11-Hydroxy-THC. This compound is thought to produce the intense body high and more ‘trippy’ side of the cannabis high.
If you have over-consumed cannabis-infused products, you know what we mean. Luckily, we are here to help you safely enjoy cannabis-infused edibles and avoid bad trips.
Tips for the First Time – Edible Dosing
It is because of 11-Hydroxy-THC that first-timers need to be especially cautious. While our body rapidly adjusts after the first few experiences, these early sessions can be precarious. Discover what you need to know about dosing cannabis edibles below.
Tip #1 – Start Low and go Slow
If it’s your first time dabbling in edibles dosing, start with a low amount and don’t double dose. Many individuals can handle substantial edible doses, but novice consumers almost always need to go through a learning curve.
By starting with an extra low amount of THC, you can avoid a potential green out and nausea and anxiety that follows.
For example, a 5-mg of THC dose might be plenty for a first-timer but do nothing for a longtime cannabis consumer. Consider trying 1-3 mg of THC for some light practice sessions at first.
Tip #2 – Don’t Double Dose
Let’s say you try to be responsible and start with 3mg of THC in an edible. After 30 minutes, you don’t feel all that much. What about after two hours? Many people have decided to take a second dose somewhere around this point.
Not long after, that first dose kicks in. You feel it slowly intensify and start to worry. If this is still from the first dose, what is the second dose going to do?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is an experience shared by many edible cannabis consumers worldwide. Learn from our experience and avoid any double dosing, even if you don’t feel anything after a couple of hours. Sometimes, it can take up to 3 to 6 hours before any effects can be felt.
If you want to enhance the high after using an edible, consider taking a few puffs of a joint or vaporizer instead!
Tip #3 – Pay Close Attention to Labels
Always read the label carefully before you buy and before you consume cannabis edibles. The key number you’ll want to find is the THC potency. When it comes to edibles, generally, you’ll find the THC per piece and the total THC per package.
The total THC mg per serving is the number you should be certain about before taking a bite. Ensure you understand what that serving size equates to, carefully dividing up the edible if needed.
Now, you know the THC content per serving size, and you have your edible divided into those serving sizes.
From here, you can determine how much you should eat to reach your ideal dose. For example, if your edible comes with four pieces and contains a total of 10mg of THC, each serving will contain 2.5mg.
Tip #4 – Don’t Eat Edibles on an Empty Stomach
In terms of efficiency and comfort, most people do better with edibles on a full stomach. At the very least, you should try to have some food in your stomach and avoid cannabis products on an empty one.
For example, eat a healthy serving of meat, eggs, cheese, milk, avocado, or legumes. And avoid any foods that tend to produce an upset tummy for you.
Tip # 5 – Stay Hydrated
Avoid any potential deficiencies by drinking water before, during, and after you take your edible dose.
This can be as simple as filling up a water bottle after eating your cannabis edibles and keeping it on during your high. Remember to take frequent small sips as often as you can to prevent cottonmouth.
Tip #6 – Avoid Alcohol and other Drugs
If you have plenty of experience with two substances, combining them can be done safely.
On the other hand, if you lack experience with either, never combine them. Instead, consider using half or less of each (compared to what you would consume if it were that substance alone).
As you may have noticed, you can’t take a half-dose until you learn what a regular edible dose is for you in the first place. Whenever possible, avoid combining edibles with other psychoactive drugs.
What to do if You Overused Edibles
We have provided all the tips you need to avoid the overconsumption of edibles. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans don’t always pan out.
Sometimes we consume too much, and we need to respond. Whether you see a friend in this situation or find yourself there, try to keep these tips in mind.
Step 1 – Stay Calm
Do what you need to do to settle yourself and calm both mind and body.
Turn off loud or annoying distractions, play calm and enjoyable music or TV instead.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You may want to leave the room you’re in to find some solitude.
Others also prefer to have a good friend around, so don’t be shy about asking for help. Make your environment as warm, cozy, and comfortable as possible – do what you need to make it so.
Step 2 – Remind Yourself that You are Fine
Many edible consumers have felt like ‘they are going to die’ after overconsuming – it is important to remember that you’ll be fine.
You are not going to die, and nothing is wrong. If you have over-consumed, all you need to do is get as relaxed as possible and wait it out.
Otherwise, review the tips above for more ideas of how to handle a bad trip. Keep reminding yourself that you will be fine, and the symptoms will pass.
Step 3 – Self-Care and Recovery
Once you are settled and your bases are covered (you’ve drunk some water, put some food in your stomach, etc.), you can take things even further.
Now is the time for some top-shelf self-care. For many people on marijuana edibles, going to bed is often the best option. Take off tight clothing and painful shoes and get into PJ’s if you can.
If you’re not in a setting where you can do these things, get yourself home so you can take care of yourself.
Craving more tips? Check out our blog with five helpful tips on how to sober up from weed.
Edibles Dosing – Scary but Manageable
There you have it! We have walked you through all the essential facts you need to know about cannabis edibles and edibles dosing. These exciting treats are a fun way to enjoy cannabis – but they must be consumed responsibly to be fully enjoyed.
Next time you are taking edibles, start extra low and don’t double dose. Don’t take edibles on an empty stomach, and remember to stay hydrated while on cannabis edibles.
Finally, whenever possible, avoid combining edibles with other psychoactive drugs or alcohol. While it may sound like a great idea, a crossfaded high is never worth it.