I’ll admit it, I’ve had some terrible experiences with edibles; more times than I’d like to admit. In fact, so many times I swore I would never do them again.
“I am never doing edibles again!” is usually my go to phrase I use to control my extreme anxiety and paranoia; using it to help ground myself. When over doing edibles, the only thing you can do is try to stay calm and not panic, and know, in the back of your mind, this shall pass. This experience is all too familiar, happening to thousands of Americans, their first time trying cannabis; and they vow to never do it again.
I had been dealing with acute insomnia, where I was unable to fall asleep. Usually falling asleep around 2 am and staying asleep for about 4 hours, only to wake up at 6am, tossing and turning, unable to go back to sleep. Anyone been there?
In my cannabis studies, I came across this book Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana. In it, they talk about a “pediatric dose” and how to titrate edibles to help you get the most benefits with the least amount of cannabis. The whole book showed me how I can better understand my body’s relationship with edible cannabis, and go back to that same safe dose every time. Since I take this every evening, I wanted to find my minimum effective dose so I was being efficient and not thinning my wallet. 10mg for me seems to my sweet spot.
Why eat edibles instead of smoking? Why would you even risk another bad experience? Well, smoking cannabis still comes with all the negative properties of smoke. If you have a weaker immune system because of an ailment you may have, the last thing you want to do in absorb anything besides clean air through your lungs. But, when you eat cannabis it lasts longer usually 4–8 hours instead of 2–3 when smoked. For me, it offers more relief and our patients in the past say it had helped them relieve symptoms of arthritis deeper into their bodies where a topical creams just couldn’t reach.
Understanding cannabis and all of its little subtleties won’t be learned over night, heck, we are still learning so much about this plant everyday. We have just barely scratched the surface and it’s an exciting time for cannabis. But what we do know is more than enough to keep us from having preventable, terrible experiences.
Start slow with edibles: for beginners start with 2.5 mg and wait at least 2 hours before eating more. Remember it is processed though your liver and the effects take longer and are more powerful when digested this way. Start low and go slow.
Don’t panic: This is the quickest way to raise your heartbeat and that can feed into your paranoia. If you can’t turn your brain off, try going for a walk and changing your scenery.
Try high CBD rich cultivars (strains), or CBD rich products: CBD can help offset some of high THC concentrations side effects such as anxiety and paranoia. If you happen to eat too much, have a rescue CBD vape pen or CBD joint handy. Smoking it may bring the psycho-activity down a bit. More about this (HERE)
Keep black pepper around: The terpenes from the pepper bind with the same receptors cannabis does and when combined can relieve anxiety associated with high THC. If you’re feeling uncomfortable after consuming; try sniffing some pepper grounds and waft in the terpenes.
Low doses: If you are a novice with cannabis, start by taking one puff and waiting about 10 minutes to see how it affects you. Then, when you think you’re ready, take another puff. It is tough to determine the average amount of THC per puff because there are too many variables to consider such as THC levels, joint size and shape, everybody has a different puff and lung capacity, does somebody hold the smoke in longer, etc.
Follow these easy steps and you too can finally master edibles and put those bad experiences behind you. Join the fun, and try not to laugh too hard!