Whether you are buying edibles or making them yourself, gauging the THC level in the finished cannabis product used to be more than a little dicey. It was difficult to know whether you were getting a high does or a low dose.
One of the less widely talked about outcomes in the legalization of cannabis in many states is that there is greater monitoring and control.
Manufacturers of edibles in the states that allow recreational use of cannabis have to include information about their product as with any other business that offers food. That means, of course, you should be sure that you are getting 10mg THC and not a much higher concentration.
You still need to understand what a standard dose is, however, especially if you don’t want to catapult yourself into the stratosphere after eating a cannabis infused cookie or two. There are number of things that make taking cannabis through edibles different from the other traditional methods.
While you can educate yourself quite easily online nowadays, actually a lot comes down to your own personal biology and preference. One big thing you need to take into account is that edibles take a lot longer to work through your system than smoking or vaping because they end up in the stomach first rather than the blood stream.
Basically, that means they need to be digested before they can begin to produce an effect. That 10mg THC could be sitting there like a ticking time bomb while you think it’s not working. The temptation is to take more because you’re not seeing any effect.
As we’ll see, this is something you need to resist.
What are Cannabis Edibles?
These are products such as chocolate, cookies, cakes or brownies that have cannabis infused into them usually through products such as cannabutter or cannabis coconut oil. Many people make their own cannabis edibles, of course, but you can increasingly get shop bought products that have varying levels of THC.
Cannabis edibles have been around for a long time and originally came out of India. They were used here as far back as 1,000 BC according archaeologists. Modern interest in edibles came about in the 60s in the USA, particularly with the publication of The Alice B Toklas Cookbook.
Our main piece of advice is this: Give your edibles time to work and don’t start taking more as you may well be boosting the THC concentration, something that will leave you out of it for longer than you intended.
For newbies to edibles, here’s our quick guide on how to keep yourself safe.
Check the Packaging
Always buy your cannabis edibles from a reputable supplier. It’s better to be safe than sorry and with greater regulation in many states, you can be reasonably sure that what you are buying is safe.
If you’re purchasing mom’s homemade brownies, make sure that you actually trust mom. Cannabis edibles have become big business in the US over the last few years and you want to be sure if it says 10mg THC on the packaging, you’re getting 10mg THC. You’re not really going to get that with homemade products. Trust here is important.
Manufacturers generally put their levels of THC and CBD in milligrams on the packaging. A low dose would be 5 or 10mg THC but can go up to 40, 80 or even 100 for some products. If you are just starting out and don’t know which to choose, the 10mg THC should really be your baseline to begin with.
For those who have specific requirements, for example, for medical purposes, taking more is an option but start as low as possible to be on the safe side.
We advise that you follow this simple rule each time you change brand too – despite the figures on the packaging, effects can vary depending on the make and manufacturer. Things are also going to depend on how you react to one particular edible or another.
Taking smaller doses is called micro-dosing and is not about getting really high but generally improving mood and creativity. It’s not always the quantity you take that makes the difference and even people who use cannabis regularly often opt for smaller doses.
In the end, if you are just starting out with cannabis edibles, 10mg THC is probably going to be your default choice. Once you’ve got a bit of experience, you can boost THC levels if that’s your goal.
How Tolerant Are You?
Whether your taking 10mg THC or 40, your level of tolerance is going to be key. Not everyone is the same. We all have our own, unique biology and react in slightly different ways. If you take cannabis regularly, then your tolerance is likely to be fairly robust as is your understanding of the affects you are likely to experience. If this is your first time then you will have virtually no tolerance at all.
For those with little experience, the key is to not have too much THC. Over doing it can cause dizziness and even a sense of paranoia because you’re not used to what is going on. If you’re having your edibles with other, more experienced people, then the worst thing you can do is try to match them bite for bite.
Essentially, if your compadre is pushing two brownies into their mouth and you’ve never tried one before, stick to a half and wait for the effect to kick in before you take anymore. One mistake that newbies make is to confuse the food with the cannabis. If it tastes good you have to hold yourself back because sooner or later the full effect is going to hit you, however tasty the cookie or brownie is.
Give It Time To Work
Even if there’s only 10mg THC in your chocolate cookie, there is going to be an effect. It might only be a mild high but the thing is it will take time to kick in. When you smoke or vape, the cannabis goes practically straight into your blood stream and up to your brain. You can usually get an effect within a few minutes to half an hour.
Food goes into the stomach, is digested and then drawn into the body. That 10mg THC doesn’t get into your blood stream until much later. In fact, depending on your digestive process it can often take a couple of hours before you begin to feel any effect at all.
Newbies will make the obvious mistake. Nothing’s happening. We need to take more! So they munch another couple of brownies and an hour or two later they are way out of it.
Don’t get confused by other people who are seeing the effects – one person might have a quicker metabolism and get a hit in about 30 minutes. For you it could take an hour or more. Exercise restraint.
Things To Avoid
There are some things you should try to avoid before actually hitting the cannabis munchies. Alcohol is one of them – it can actually increase the level of THC in your blood circulation. We advise that you have something to eat before you take cannabis edibles in any quantity. That may sound a little counter-intuitive but it’s taking cannabis edibles can have the same issues as drinking on an empty stomach.
Sit Back and Relax
Because cannabis edibles take time to work, we suggest that you don’t have a brownie and then head out in the car, even if you’ve only had 10mg THC. The last thing you want is to be out on the highway when you suddenly start to feel the effects.
If you do end up taking more edibles than you safely should, the main point is not to panic. Your high will pass eventually, though it might take a little longer than you thought. Make sure that you keep yourself hydrated and try to eat non-cannabis infused food. Some cannabis enthusiasts swear by chewing on a few peppercorns if you start feeling anxious but there’s no real evidence that this actually works.
Making Edibles – How to Get 10mg THC and No More
You may have a desire to make your own edibles. But, how do you make sure you only create brownies that have 10mg THC and no more? The first is the type of seed that you use which means you need to essentially shop for ones that have this level of THC in them. But it’s difficult to make food products that are going to be pinpoint accurate in their content.
If you’ve made a batch of cannabis brownies, our advice is to test them in small amounts first. Try a half bite and see how long it takes to affect you and what the potency feels like. Resist the urge to wolf down a couple just because they taste great.
In the end, edibles are a great way to consume cannabis if you don’t like the idea of smoking or vaping, both of which can carry their own additional health risks. For that reason, edibles are particularly popular with those who take cannabis for medical purposes.