Edibles 101: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Timers and Seasoned Consumers

December 06, 2023

Deciding to try edibles as your first experience with cannabis is complex, similar to many aspects of cannabis use. For newcomers concerned about coughing or throat irritation from smoking, edibles may appear as a more appealing option. Yet, navigating the world of edibles presents its own set of challenges, particularly for those without prior experience with smoking cannabis. This guide aims to help you manage edibles more effectively.

It's beneficial for all, whether you are new to cannabis or a seasoned consumer, to read the article "7 Tips For Your First Time Smoking Marijuana." These tips are valuable even for experienced users, as a single piece of advice could significantly enhance your experience.

For those entirely new to cannabis, being cautious about edibles, especially when unsure about their THC content, is crucial. Even if an edible seems tempting, the difficulty in accurately determining its THC content means it's better to avoid it if you're inexperienced. Remember, edibles can be deceptively potent, and their effects are not as immediately apparent as other forms of cannabis.

Understanding the THC dosage in edibles is crucial to avoid a negative experience, characterized by several unpleasant side effects, such as:

  • Sleepiness/drowsiness, which can impair normal functioning
  • A strong heavy-body sensation, slowing reflexes
  • Racing heart and anxiety
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Paranoia and panic

In extreme cases, individuals may feel so uncomfortable during their experience that they seek medical help. Unfortunately, while anxiety can be managed with various techniques, other physical symptoms may simply require time to pass.

It's reassuring to know that no one has ever died from consuming too much cannabis. Nonetheless, to avoid an unpleasant experience, being responsible in your consumption is crucial.

Related article: Marijuana and Anxiety - Tips and Tricks To Overcome Your Paranoia While You're High

I still remember my own first time trying edibles—it was quite the experience. I found myself couch-locked in my friend's basement, overwhelmed by a sensation that I was teetering on the brink of death. It was an intense, almost surreal experience, where I felt a startling disconnection from my own body, as if I was floating outside of myself. Thankfully, your first time doesn’t have to be as dramatic. To ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience, remember the importance of being cautious. Make informed choices by understanding the potency and effects of the edibles you choose. And, a bit of friendly advice: avoid consuming an entire pan of brownies in one go!

I also recommend checking out this reddit thread if you’re interested in more first-hand accounts.  

How much THC mg is enough? 

If you’re considering trying edibles, it’s important to approach them with caution, even if you’re already accustomed to smoking marijuana. Edibles offer a different experience, and these guidelines can help ensure it's a positive one:

  • Source Matters: Always procure your edibles from a reliable source. If you're interested in homemade options, consider using a tested recipe, like my favorite  1 gram cannabutter recipe. Remember, legality and safety are paramount.

  • Free Time: Dedicate 4-6 hours for the experience. It's essential to create a stress-free environment without any obligations or appointments.

  • Finding the Right Dose: Determining the correct dosage is critical, especially in regions where edibles aren't pre-packaged or come from unverified sources. In areas where it's legal, dispensaries often provide THC-infused products like mints or candies with clearly marked doses (e.g., 5mg THC), helping you gauge your intake.

  • Start Slowly: Even for regular smokers, it’s crucial to start with a low dose. Remember, the body processes edibles differently than inhaled marijuana.

  • Be Patient: Waiting is essential. The effects of edibles take longer to manifest compared to smoking, so give it at least an hour before considering consuming more.

Please refer to the table below and stick to the recommended doses:

    By following these guidelines, you can have a safer and more enjoyable experience with edibles. Remember to be responsible and respect the effects of cannabis. 

    What to do if you get too high? 

    • Stay Reassured: Keep in mind that the high is only temporary and not physically harmful. Remind yourself that these feelings will pass and that you are in a safe environment.

    • Internal Dialogue: Use calming self-talk to navigate the high. Remind yourself that you are simply under the influence of cannabis and that the effects are temporary. This kind of positive affirmation can be reassuring.

    • Distractions: Engage in activities that you find soothing and enjoyable, like watching a favorite comedy show or listening to a podcast. These can divert your attention and help reduce feelings of anxiety or discomfort.

    • Find Comfort: Seek a peaceful and comfortable place where you can relax. Practice deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to help calm your body and mind, reducing feelings of distress.

    • Consider Meditation: If you're familiar with meditation, it can be a powerful tool to center yourself. Focus on deep, steady breathing and allow your mind to detach from anxious thoughts, promoting a sense of calm.

    • Communicate with Friends: If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to express this to your friends. They can provide support, or you might find it helpful to step away for a quiet moment alone.

    • Hydration: Drinking water is essential as it helps your body process the cannabis and can alleviate feelings of dry mouth or discomfort. It also helps in maintaining clear thought and reducing any potential dizziness.

    • Beverage Choices: Steer clear of caffeinated beverages which can exacerbate anxiety. Herbal teas, like chamomile, are a great alternative as they contain calming properties that can help soothe your nerves.

    • Keep Perspective: Remember that the feelings of being too high are temporary and will eventually pass. Focusing on self-care and understanding that this is a normal reaction can help you remain calm.

    • Light Snacking: Eating light snacks can help ground you. Choose easy-to-digest foods like crackers or fruit. Eating not only distracts you but may also help moderate the intensity of your high.

    • Listen to Music: Soothing music or familiar tunes can be comforting. Music can create a relaxing atmosphere, helping to ease anxiety and enhance your mood.

    • Fresh Air and Nature: If it's safe, step outside for some fresh air. A change of scenery, especially in a natural setting, can be very calming and offer a new perspective.

    • Guided Relaxation or Visualization: Listening to a guided relaxation or visualization audio track can be very soothing. These guides can help direct your thoughts away from anxiety and towards calmness.

    • Stay Grounded: Practice grounding techniques, like holding onto a familiar object or focusing on your physical senses. This can help you stay connected to the present moment and reduce feelings of disorientation.

    • Avoid Additional Substances: Refrain from consuming more cannabis or other substances. Adding more to your system can increase anxiety and prolong the high.

    • Seek Comfort from a Trusted Person: If you're feeling anxious, having a trusted friend or family member with you can provide reassurance and a sense of security.

    • Create a Calming Environment: Adjust your surroundings to be more comforting. Dim the lights, use soft blankets, or light a scented candle (safety first!) to create a soothing space.

    • Remember Past Experiences: If you've been too high before, recall how you handled it and remind yourself that it passed. Drawing from past experiences can be reassuring.

        Related article: Marijuana and Anxiety - Tips and Tricks To Overcome Your Paranoia While You're High

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