The Do's and Dont's of Edible Dosing
Every person has a unique internal physiologic environment and can therefore experience different results with various medications. One person’s response to a dose of edible cannabis can vary significantly from the next, even more so than other medications or herbs. Why?
Several factors are involved, including previous history of cannabis use, gastrointestinal factors, and the function/sensitivity of one’s endocannabinoid system.
Once you go above 100 mg and into extremely high dosages such as 150 mg, 200 mg, or even 500 mg marijuana edibles, the risk of negative effects associated with the idea of overconsuming cannabis—such as nausea and paranoia—increase, even for consumers who may have very high tolerances.
There are a few things to consider that may alter your cannabis experience:
THC has biphasic properties, which means at one dose it might have one effect (relieves stress) but one larger can cause the opposite (increased feelings of stress).
Taking THC edibles on an empty stomach can cause your dose to be absorbed faster with a more intense onset. A meal rich in fat can cause you to absorb more THC than usual.
If you take your regular dose outside of your normal routine, it can cause a completely different experience.
If you ever become uncomfortable from overconsumption try laying down, closing your eyes, and take deep slow breaths. You can also try watching a funny or comforting movie.
If you feel like you are experiencing trouble breathing or heart-related problems, you should seek medical attention.
How many mg of edibles should you eat?
The ideal edibles dose depends on a lot of things, including tolerance, individual body chemistry, and the experience you’re looking for. But there are some basic guidelines that can help you find the right dose of marijuana edibles, which are measured in milligrams (mg).
1 – 2.5 mg THC edibles
Effects include: Mild relief of symptoms like pain, stress, and anxiety; increased focus and creativity.
Good for: First-time consumers or regular consumers looking to microdose.
2.5 – 15 mg THC edibles
Effects include: Stronger relief of pain and anxiety symptoms; euphoria; impaired coordination and perception.
Good for: Standard recreational use; persistent symptoms not addressed by smaller doses; people looking for a good night’s sleep.
30 – 50 mg THC edibles
Effects include: Strong euphoric effects; significantly impaired coordination and perception.
Good for: High tolerance THC consumers; consumers whose GI systems don’t absorb cannabinoids well.
50 – 100 mg THC edibles
Effects include: Seriously impaired coordination and perception; possible unpleasant side effects including nausea, pain, and increased heart rate.
Good for: Experienced, high-tolerance THC consumers; patients living with inflammatory disorders, cancer, and other serious conditions.
How long does it take to feel an effect from edibles?
The most common mistake in cannabis dosing occurs when a person doesn’t feel any effect from an edible after one hour and decides to take another dose; two hours later, both doses come through and the individual experiences the unpleasant effects of a cannabis overconsumption.
Adding CBD to THC can enhance the medical benefits of marijuana edibles, such as pain or anxiety relief, while decreasing the adverse effects, such as impairment and elevated heart rate. CBD partially blocks the intoxicating effects of THC, so consumers who wish to experience the medical benefits of cannabis without as much impairment can best achieve this with products that contain both CBD and THC. It’s important for consumers to know the contents of each of these components and the ratio of CBD to THC.
Products with a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1 are powerfully therapeutic and produce less impairment than a THC-dominant product. Excessive doses of these products can still produce classic cannabis overconsumption symptoms.
Tips for relieving overconsumption of edibles
Be in a calm, safe environment and have gentle reassurance that everything will be OK is the primary treatment.
A large 50-200mg dose of CBD (without significant amounts of THC) can act as a partial antidote. Lemon oil, found predominantly in the rind and in lower amounts in the juice, has also been used historically for this purpose. Grate a tablespoon of lemon zest and chew it up before swallowing.
Most people do not need emergency medical care unless they have pre-existing heart disease or another serious medical condition. For ongoing vomiting and diarrhea, intravenous rehydration may be necessary.