By Chris December 1, 2019

Edibles can be a lot of fun and provide a unique experience for people who haven’t already tried them. Edibles come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The term ‘edibles’ covers a pretty extensive list of products, including gummies, cookies, brownies, and candies. 


Since edibles have varying effects, doing your homework ahead of time is important. This ensures that you know exactly what to expect. To help make things easier for newbies, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 tips for taking edibles for the first time. Following these guidelines will lead to you having a better experience. 


Additionally, if you accidentally take too much, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. You can’t overdose on edibles, but you can potentially run into some awkward situations if you happen to experience any negative side effects due to overindulgence. Knowing what to expect ahead of time, then, is important.

1. Know Your Dose

Know Your Dose
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Edibles, like all THC-based products, affect everyone differently. Keeping that in mind, you should always know your dose. Furthermore, edibles don’t always contain just THC, but can also contain CBD. Additionally, some edibles include only CBD, which doesn’t get you high, but has a wealth of medicinal properties. 


It should also be said that edibles affect the body differently than smoking or vaping cannabis. For the most part, the same amount of THC will kick harder when you take edibles than with other forms of ingestion. This is because a lot of THC can be lost when it’s heated to the point of combustion. 


Smoking marijuana can see up to 60% of its THC content being burned away, which means that you end up ingesting less in the long run. Edibles, on the other hand, are metabolized in the body at far lower temperatures and this means that more THC is preserved. When you consume edibles you end up getting the full brunt of the included THC. This being the case, all that THC ends up going straight to your head, albeit across a longer time span. 


The effects of edibles will generally last much longer than with other consumption methods, simply because of the way your body ingests them. Edibles will always preserve more THC than other methods. That being said, many vapes allow users to adjust the temperature, which allows you to start low and slowly build up heat. This avoids wasting THC through burning. Still, edibles are usually considered to be the most effective way to make the most of your high.


For beginners, a mild dose will usually end up being between 2mg-4mg of THC. A strong dose, on the other hand, requires around 5mg-15mg, depending on your weight and metabolism. If you don’t indulge on a regular basis, you should start low and build up to higher doses as you get more accustomed to the effects of edibles.


Regular users, however, will need stronger doses to feel the same effects. Marijuana tolerance is a big deal and the body adapts to THC quite rapidly. If you indulge on a regular basis, a mild dose will usually be around 4mg-10mg and a strong dose falls somewhere in the range of 15mg-30mg.


2. Clear Your Schedule

Clear Your Schedule
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Since the effects felt when ingesting edibles lasts longer than other consumption methods, you should probably clear your schedule ahead of time. Ensuring that you have nothing important to do will make your experience more enjoyable. This will also avoid getting yourself into trouble if you happen to overindulge. 


Edibles can continue to affect you up to 12 hours after you first eat them, which is quite a long time, even for seasoned users. This is why we recommend starting out with smaller doses. You never know exactly how edibles will affect you if you haven’t taken them before. 


You should also keep in mind that different types of edibles will metabolize at different rates. The mix of ingredients can vary wildly from one type of edible to another and even from batch to batch. Quality products will have less variance than lesser products, but can still have different effects each time you use them. 


It’s also a well known fact that THC can make you very lethargic. If you have important things to do during the day, make sure to try your edibles after you’ve wiped your slate. This will also cut down on the paranoia that can sometimes kick in without much prior warning. When you’re focused on all the things you should be doing, but can’t quite bring yourself to do them, you can easily make yourself feel more anxious than is desirable. Knowing that you have plenty of time to ride out the effects of edibles, then, is a good way to be.


3. Eat Well and Stay Hydrated

Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
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Weight, metabolism, and tolerance levels all affect how you feel after taking edibles. They also affect how long this feeling will last. Another major factor here is whether or not you ingest your edibles on an empty or full stomach.


When your belly is full, the effects of edibles will kick in at a slower pace. This leads to a more mild experience than if you take edibles on a totally empty stomach. In this sense, edibles are a lot like alcohol. Having a solid meal or even a light snack before you indulge can help you avoid negative side effects. 


Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated ahead of time is also a good way to be. Hydration is important because edibles can increase your level of thirst and potentially cause mild dehydration if you don’t plan ahead. Drinking water before taking edibles as well as throughout your experience can also help minimize uncomfortable or negative side effects. Another good reason to drink a lot of water is that it will increase the time it takes for your body to metabolize edibles, helping you to manage your experience a little better.


4. Start with Smaller Doses

Start Small
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As with all things, starting out small when it comes to edibles is a good way to be. This is especially true if you aren’t used to using edibles. Even if you’re a seasoned smoker or vaper, edibles will invariably kick in differently than what you’re used to. 


When THC is passed through the liver it’s converted into 11-hydroxy-THC. This process takes around half an hour to an hour to complete. This is important because 11-hydroxy-THC affects the body more so than straight up THC, leading to a more noticeable effect, even in small doses. 


You can always take more edibles later on, but you can’t put that genie back in the bottle if you accidentally take too much right off the bat. For this reason, we suggest starting with lower doses, waiting for a bit, then taking more edibles if you still want to increase their effects. Avoiding greening out or otherwise overindulging keeps you from having to deal with negative side effects for long periods of time.


5. Patience is Important

Patience is Important
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Smoking or vaping takes very little time between ingestion and when you start to feel the effects of THC. Edibles, however, take much longer to metabolize before they start to kick in. They have to pass through the stomach, then make their way through your digestive tract, before finally being metabolized by your liver. The effects of edibles can sometimes take up to a few hours to kick in. 


If you get impatient and take too much straight away, you might not realize your mistake until much later on. At that point, there’s not much you can do other than wait it out, which can be a real drag. Nobody likes to feel bad or awkward for any length of time. 


Most seasoned users will undoubtedly have a story about a time when they got a little too excited and ended up regretting their decision later on. Learning from their mistakes will help you avoid the same issues when you’re first getting started with edibles. Most beginners should take a small amount to start and wait up to two hours, just to see what happens. 


You can’t overdose on THC, but taking too much is never a good thing. At the very least, you’ll end up feeling awkward and not enjoying yourself. Taking far too much, however, can lead to serious bouts of paranoia and anxiety, which will probably end up ruining your day. Furthermore, since the effects of edibles last a relatively long time, you could end up feeling off for days afterwards, which can negatively affect other aspects of your life. 


Moderation is important with all things and edibles are no different. Knowing that they take some time before they kick in, a good practice is to start low and take things slow, just to be on the safe side. When you’re used to eating edibles, you can better gauge your limits and start experimenting with larger doses. Doing this too early, though, is ill-advised. Put simply, if you overdo your edibles, you’re more likely to have a bad time.


6. Keep CBD Oil Handy

Keep CBD Oil Handy
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CBD is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It interacts with THC in many ways and can, in some cases, increase the effects of THC. Even so, CBD can work wonders as far as alleviating THC’s negative effects is concerned.


There are also plenty of terpenes that can minimize the troublesome effects of edibles. Cannabis strains rich in pinene, for example, have anti-anxiety properties. These are handy to have close by, just in case you start to feel uncomfortable after taking edibles. 


Many other terpenes also have anti-anxiety properties and these are found in many nuts, fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have access to CBD oil or a strain that’s rich in CBD, consider eating pine nuts, pistachios, lemons, oranges, or grapefruit. The added bonus here is that eating these foods ties in with tip #3 and can help minimize any potentially negative effects even without the terpenes. 


7. The Entourage Effect

Entourage Effect
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The entourage effect has everything to do with the chemical makeup of your edibles. Some edibles use every part of the cannabis plant, including other cannabinoids and accompanying terpenes. Others, however, include only pure THC.


When an edible contains just THC, the effects are easier to predict. Edibles that contain a mix of CBD and THC, on the other hand, can lead to increased effects as the CBD and THC work together. It all comes down to knowing all the ingredients and chemicals found in your edibles.


A good practice is to read the list of ingredients and only consume edibles that highlight all of the cannabinoids present. Knowing what strain was used to make them is even better. This way you’ll have a more appropriate sense of what to expect. 


The entourage effect also works hand in hand with knowing all of the additional ingredients in your edibles. This includes things like sugars, gelatins, and other foodstuffs. While these ingredients are less important than things like THC levels, they can all interact with your body in myriad ways. 


8. Avoid Mixing Edibles with Alcohol

Avoid Alcohol
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This tip should be a given, but bears mentioning. Alcohol and edibles don’t usually mix well. In fact, most regular users will recommend not mixing cannabis or alcohol at all. This combination leads to a greater chance of going overboard. Some people don’t mind mixing edibles and alcohol, but most people end up greening out more often than not when combining the two.


Greening out isn’t fun for anyone. When you mix booze and bud, things tend to take a turn for the worst more readily than if you keep them separate. Mixing edibles and booze can also lead to a terrible hangover more often than not. A sugar, edibles, and alcohol hangover all mixed into one is one of the worst feelings and should be avoided at all costs. 


9. Don’t Eat and Drive

Don't Eat and Drive
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At the end of the day, edibles are still a drug. They affect your mind and body, leading to slower reaction times. Edibles can also affect your decision-making abilities. Driving while under the influence is illegal, even if it’s hard to enforce where edibles are concerned. 


It all comes down to doing things properly. When you drive under the influence of edibles, you put yourself and others in increased danger. Even if you think you’re not high enough for your driving to be impaired, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 


10. Follow the Rules and Obey the Law

Follow the Rules
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A continuation of tip #9, this one is less of an issue now that cannabis and cannabis products are becoming more acceptable to use. The laws in many places have become quite lax, with a number of countries decriminalizing the use of edibles. Other countries, like Canada, have pretty much legalized their use entirely – within reason, of course. 


Before you try edibles, take some time to look into your local laws. Being found in possession, or under the influence, of edibles can still potentially get you in a lot of trouble in some places. Pay attention to the legalities surrounding edibles where you happen to be and always keep well within the bounds of the law. There’s nothing that can ruin the edible experience more than finding yourself locked up or fined because you skirted the law and got caught. 


Final Thoughts

low angle photography of beige building
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Edibles can be amazingly enjoyable and they have less of an impact on your health than simply smoking cannabis. Furthermore, they offer a very different set of effects than you get when smoking dried cannabis or vaping. Make sure to always buy your edibles from a reputable cannabis dispensary in Canada and know exactly what’s in them before you chow down. 


If you have small children, you should also make sure to keep your edibles safely out of their reach. Kids will have a much stronger reaction to edibles and adults. This means that if they accidentally get into your stash, the consequences could be severe. As with all things, enjoy your edibles responsibly and follow our 10 tips for taking edibles for the first time in order to enjoy the best possible experience. 

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