How Much Edible Should I Eat?
Saturday, September 26th, 2020
Well, you shouldn’t eat all of them. Every single stoner I know has a “this one time” story wherein they ate way too much, and most of those stories end up in a tree, on in the fetal position under a blanket. And that’s because it’s possible to get infinitely higher from edibles than from smokables. I’m not going to delve too deeply into the “why” of that because an in-depth explanation would take a blog of its own, but it has to do with the way ingested cannabinoids are absorbed in your system: compared to smoking, edibles deliver a much larger fraction of THC to the liver wherein it’s converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is much more potent than the lung-absorbed delta-9 THC you get from smoking (click HERE if you want to learn more). That, and due to your metabolism, eaten cannabinoids will affect you much longer than the smoked ones, so if you eat too much edible, the mistake can stay with you for more than six hours, which is a crazy ride if you’re not ready for it.
So, getting back to the question that started all this, how can you figure out the proper amount to consume if you’ve never had an edible? It can be super tricky because most edibles are infused with lipid-soluble THC, meaning it first has to bind with fats and then be processed in your liver, so it takes about an hour and a half for the full effect to kick in—this means that during your first experience, you won’t know if you took too much or too little until long after you eat that edible. But there are a couple tricks you can use to figure it out.
First, start low and go slow. Rhyming advice is always the best because you’ll remember it. In Colorado, recreational edibles are capped at 10mg THC with a maximum of 100mg THC per package. Most producers jumped straight to the maximum to be competitive, so most edibles have a 10mg recommended serving size, but that can be way, way too much for most first-time users. So, here’s the trick: cut one of those 10mg servings in half so you take only 5mg. But here’s the difficult part: you must wait a solid hour-and-a-half before you even consider eating that other half. I can’t tell you how many people have heard me give that advice here in our Durango dispensary just to come back the next day to tell me they wish they had listened. When it comes to edibles, once you eat it, you cannot un-eat it, so start low, and go slow. Having a pleasurable experience is way better than going extreme, so please, take my advice.
However, there are two things to consider when halving an edible. One, not all edibles in Colorado are homogenous—some of them are surface-applicated, meaning the THC oil was placed somewhere on the surface of the edible. So, with these edibles, if you cut them in half, you might get lucky and split the drop of oil in half as well, but more often than not, one of the halves will have all the pot and the other half will just be food. So, it’s important to ask your budtenders the right questions (but in our shop, which is the best dispensary in Durango, we’ll tell you ahead of time, so no worries).
Secondly, once that edible starts to kick in, so will the time dysmorphia; you’ll start to think it’s been longer than it really has since you ate that first half. And you’ll be feeling good, so you’ll consider that other half sooner than I recommended a couple paragraphs ago. And then, boom: you’re up in a tree or under a blanket.
If all that sounds too high maintenance for you, I’ve got another trick: for your first time, try a fast-acting edible (maybe I should’ve just started with this). You see, besides the lipid-soluble edibles I’ve been talking about, in Colorado, we also have water-soluble edibles. With these, the cannabinoids are nano-encapsulated with a surfactant. This isolates single THC molecules and makes them water-soluble, so instead of having to wait for them to bind with fats and be processed in your liver, you get a quick high because the THC permeates the semi-permeable cell walls in your body, thereby getting the intoxicant into your system quickly. That way, once you ingest the 5mg I recommend for first-time users, you’ll know where you’re at per the effect within 30-45 minutes, which is half as long, and perfect for experiments such as these. But your body also processes water-soluble cannabinoids much more quickly than the other kind, so your high won’t last as long. If you want your high to last longer, you’ll need the lipid-soluble type of edible, but at least with this second trick, you’ll learn how many milligrams are perfect for you before going the long-lasting route.
Alright… once you have your serving size figured out, I have a pro tip for you: mix water-soluble and lipid-soluble edibles. It’s wonderful, so hear me out. Let’s say your perfect serving size is 10mg THC—if you take 5mg of a water-soluble edible and 5mg of a lipid-soluble edible, the water-soluble kind will kick in quickly, and then the lipid-soluble edible will start to kick in down the road and last longer. That way, you get the best of both worlds. You’re welcome.
Even the most devout edible consumers get wide-eyed when I tell them this trick, because it’s not something known by most marijuana professionals, and honestly, it’s why you should keep checking back in and reading this blog; we have pro tips galore! But more importantly, our store carries every type of edible you can think of (and some you cannot), and our educated, professional, friendly dispensary budtenders will take the time to explain all of this to you if you still have questions, because We’re Your Best Buds!