Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, most people have shifted to cannabis edibles especially those who smoked or vaped cannabis. Because unlike smoking and vaping, cannabis edibles are much safer to use and less harmful to the body. However, not everyone is well acquainted with this delivery method. The way edibles work in the body is much different from other ways of consumption. So whether you recently applied for an online medical marijuana card or have opted for edibles to be safer during the pandemic, I have some tips for you.
THC is not something to be played around with. It is the component that can determine how high you can get. Just a little too much and your euphoric feeling will turn into a miserable experience. While dosing is much easier with smoking, the same cannot be said about edibles. So what do you do?
Begin by following the same old rule of microdosing but with more caution. This is because edibles can show a stronger effect than other methods. So it is better to be safe than sorry. If you are a beginner you must stay within 10 mg THC. The best option would be to start with 2.5 mg, wait for it to kick in and then increase the dose if needed.
Secondly, do not ignore the labels. Most edibles come with proper information about the amount of THC or CBD they contain. And if there are any additional components in the product that the consumer must be aware of. So avoid consuming edibles that have no labels to lent out such information. One way to ensure this is by buying your cannabis from legitimate dispensaries only. Their products are properly labeled with third-party laboratory results. This ensures the safety and also lets you microdose more accurately.
Don’t Try it on an Empty Stomach
Most medications are instructed to be consumed only after a meal. The same applies to cannabis. There isn’t much information or research about why cannabis on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea. But most experts go along the lines of calling it an ‘ill-advised tactic’.
Consumption of cannabis on an empty stomach leads to faster absorption of cannabinoids than when consumed after a meal. You will feel the peak effects within a shorter amount of time. But while onset time is lowered, this method may lead to side effects like anxiety and paranoia. So make sure that you have a nutritious meal before munching on edibles. A full stomach also ensures a higher absorption of cannabinoids by increasing its bioavailability. This is ideal for people who use cannabis to treat their symptoms. If in case you have to consume edibles on an empty stomach, decrease your dose by half.
Don’t Lose Patience
The most common mistake that most people do is not being patient with edibles. Even the fastest effects of edibles may take around 30 minutes to show. And this range increases to about 3 hours and sometimes, even more, depending upon a lot of variables. For example, a higher THC content of an edible may reduce the onset time. Individual factors like gender, age, tolerance etc. also play a major role in determining how fast your edible works on your body.
The most important aspect that leads to the delay in effects of edibles is its absorption process. When you smoke, the cannabinoids directly enter the bloodstream through the lungs in a matter of seconds. But in the case of cannabis-infused brownies or gummies, they have to pass through the digestive system. This includes your stomach, liver, and small intestines. It is only when it passes through each of these organs that cannabinoids are available for absorption. This is what delays the onset time.
However, the same process can also create 11-hydroxy-THC which is a much potent type of THC. This is why the results with edibles can be much stronger than smoking. So it is advised to wait for 30 minutes to 4 hours after a dose before having another bite of the edibles.
It is a well established fact that cannabis works by altering brain communications. It is in fact how it deliveries an array of effects such as appetite regulation and pain relief. This is also why it is called a psychoactive drug. But among these benefits is also a list of side effects. It includes loss of perception, decrease in proper functioning of reflexes, fatigue and overall intoxicated feeling.
To counter such situations, consume edibles in a safe place like your home and around trustworthy people. Also, knowing that edibles can be more potent, it is important to act responsibly to avoid hazards. Avoid doing activities that involve attention or reflexes like driving. This is to ensure your safety as well as that of others. It is imperative that you be responsible especially if you’re using edibles for the first time.
If you are using prescriptions, make sure to consult with a marijuana doctor before starting on edibles. This is because some drugs can interact with cannabis and cause unnecessary trouble. Also, avoid mixing edibles and alcohol. They interact to increase THC levels in the body and cause higher intoxication than you can handle.
Accidents Happen. Here’s How to Deal With Them
It is possible that while microdosing you end up consuming more than you can tolerate. This may cause anxiety, hallucinations, nausea, headaches etc. But, the good news is that there are various ways to handle the effects of overdosing.
First, assure yourself that it will pass so there is no need to panic. Then try distracting yourself. Go for a walk, watch a movie or engage in a conversation with your friends. Also, hydrate yourself with water, fruit juice or any other fluid (not alcohol of course). Feed your body some food. Anything would work. However, if you still feel nauseous or are not able to handle the high, just sleep it out.
You could even try a CBD product if you have any. CBD is known to counteract THC by blocking it from reacting with the CB receptors. If not CBD, you can even use citrus fruits and black pepper to lower the high.
If edibles are your new way of cannabis consumption, make sure that you know how to use it properly. It is not the same as smoking or a topical. And any kind of carelessness can ruin your experience or even be harmful. So follow these tips to ensure that you get the best effects of edibles without compromising safety.