It’s Friday night. You’ve finished yet another exhausting week and are looking for a relaxing night. You’ve earned it! You’ve been hearing friends and family talk about cannabis edibles, and while you’ve been curious, the thought of possibly being blasted into outer space without a navigation system scares the desire right out of you.
While chatting with canna-curious individuals, I’ve discovered a major roadblock for potential consumers- all too familiar is the proclamation, “I don’t know how much cannabis to take”. While this determination depends on several factors including tolerance, diet, metabolism, sex, weight, or one’s motivation for use, this post aims to provide you with several considerations to reach a higher comfort in discovering your ideal cannabis dosage. The fact that you’ve landed upon this article shows that you’re taking a step in the right direction of expanding your awareness of yourself as a consumer and the considerations that should be top-of-mind when determining the right edible dosage for you.
The Pillars of Cannabis
To start, a cannabinoid is a group of substances found in the cannabis plant. While there are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, the two main cannabinoids are: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
- THC is the component in cannabis that is primarily responsible for its intoxicating, psychoactive effects or where the sensation of being “high” comes from. THC can increase your appetite and uplift your mood.
- CBD is the other major component in cannabis. Unlike THC, it does not produce psychoactive effects. It can alleviate anxiety and reduce inflammation.
Although THC and CBD have unique benefits, THC and CBD are more commonly known to work together to provide dual benefits for many ailments such as headaches, nausea, insomnia, and many more medical issues.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some useful guidelines to elevate your edible experience.
- Start Slow and Go Low
You may have heard this saying before, but it’s paramount to ensure the best possible cannabis experience. Remember that you can always have more, but you cannot have less. Almost every bad edible experience I’ve heard about starts the same way: “Well I had one, waited 45 minutes and didn’t feel anything so I had another. When I took the second one, I started to feel the effects of the first and it became overwhelming. Fast forward 2 hours later and I was so high I thought I was going to die.”
This brings me to my next point…
- Be Patient
Our bodies are unique. They metabolize molecules at different rates, some faster than others. If you are consuming an edible on an empty stomach rather than a full stomach, similar to alcohol, you will feel the effects quicker and stronger. When you consume an edible, THC is processed through your liver, where it turns THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a compound that is more potent than THC. Make sure that you are not consuming on an empty stomach.
Here is a chart that roughly breaks down an edible high. Every person is different, and results will vary.
Helpful tip: let a piece of the edible melt under your tongue. The THC will absorb directly into your blood through the tissue, so it doesn’t get metabolized through your liver. This will shorten the onset time of the edible, along with the amount of time you are ‘waiting’ to see how you will feel.
- Find a comfortable environment
When consuming, ensure that your environment is optimal for the result you’d like to produce. What is your ideal result? Think about how factors such as sound, temperature, light, time of day, and choice of entertainment differ in range amongst the following examples.
- Going on a walk with a friend
- Reading a book
- Listening to music
- Watching a movie at home
- Attending a concert
Whatever your perfect outcome might be, ensuring that you’ve considered and planned for your environment will positively affect your experience.
How much THC should I take?
You’re probably thinking, “okay Jordan, the above info is nice and all, but how much cannabis should I really be taking?!” For your convenience, I’ve divided recommendations for beginner, intermediate and experienced users. Worth noting, milligrams or ‘mgs’ are the potency metric that is used for cannabis edibles.
I would classify a beginner as someone who has either never tried cannabis before or someone that has consumed cannabis less than a handful of times. For a beginner, I would recommend a dosage between 1-5mg's of THC. A micro dose would be considered having 1-3mg's of THC, where low dose would be considered having 5mg's of THC.
An intermediate consumer would be someone who is familiar with cannabis and typically consumes on a monthly basis. I would recommend between 5-15mg's of THC for this user.
An experienced user is someone who consumes cannabis on a daily/weekly basis and has a very solid awareness of how their body would react to varying amounts of THC. For these seasoned individuals, a dosage of 15+ mg’s of THC would be recommended.
Taking it all in
Now that you’ve read this post, you are one step closer to becoming a cannabis guru. Remember, this is not to be used as a bible, but as a guide to help ensure you have the most enjoyable cannabis experience possible. While finding your sweet spot may take more than one try, my hope is that this has directed you on the right path. If you are a first time user, I hope this has provided you with some relevant information to help you to feel comfortable and give you the courage to embark on your cannabis journey.
Happy and safe consuming friends!