The Russian Roulette of Dosing Edibles

The cannabis industry has come up with a set of standards and parameters by which edible companies must abide to avoid tourist “Dowd-ing”out as the saying goes, referencing the New York Times reporter who dosed herself on Colorado candy because she didn’t heed the clearly stated warning and precautions. It is for this reason that on the recreational side, all edibles come in 10 mg servings and no more than 100 mg per pack and why all of the literature recommends users start with no more than 10mg and work their way up, after waiting a full 2 hours for the effects to kick in. There is more variety with serving size and large dose edibles on the medical side, with products typically coming in 20-50 mg pieces and 100mg up to 500mg packages, but these products are again geared towards people who typically consume large amounts of THC and know how to responsibly consume. A common question you will hear when discussing edibles is, “What’s your tolerance?” or “How many milligrams does it take you to feel high?” and with the assumption that all edibles are created equal, this gives people a false idea that a certain number, like 10-20 or 50-60 or 200+ is how much it takes them to get high from an edible. However comparing one brand to another, hard candies to cookies, BHO vs distillate, it’s like comparing apples to oranges and will not give you the same effect across the board. I have experienced this personally when I attempted to ‘dose myself’ (meaning to get really fucked up) on edibles. I ate 250 mg of a peanut butter chocolate bar from a well know brand. 250 mg! Now typically, that would mess me up and I would have to go lay down for a long ass time, that’s a pretty high dose for anyone. And yet, I didn’t feel as high as I wanted and still had to smoke the bong to reach the desired high. Several weeks later, getting ready to go to the airport at 4 am, decided to eat a whole bar, 100 mg, of another popular chocolate brand. Feeling fine, feeling dandy on the way to the airport, through security, no problem, get to the gate and ooooooohhhhh shit…the edibles kicked in. I always know when I’ve dosed myself because I get this slight discomfort at the base of my neck, I feel nauseous and sort of like I am in a bubble. As soon as I peaked and made sure I didn’t have to throw up, I was actually able to enjoy the come down and the rest of the trip. But this showcases my point that 2 different chocolate companies, 2 different doses and 2 very different effects. This is important so that when people try new edibles, they don’t do so under the impression that it’s going to be just like the last candy or cookie they tried. It’s important to treat each new product you try as if it was your first edible until you know how that particular treat  works for you. From my past experience, I have devised a couple quick tips to understand edibles.

  1. Cookies, brownies and baked goods will tend to be more potent due to the high fat content. THC binds to fat cells which helps deliver it into the body more quickly.
  2. Hard candies are a good bet for people new to edibles or who are hesitant about trying cannabis because they often come in 5mg servings on the rec. side, taste delicious and aren’t going to be too hashy or potent.
  3. Distillate, or high potency activated THC, is used by some companies to produce more consistent and potent products without the hashiness that accompanies most edibles. Other extraction methods common in the edibles process are CO2 and BHO, with very few if any companies using the old school method of nug based canna-butter for their treats.
  4. If you worry that edibles will certainly put you to sleep or make you lazy, look for companies that make strain specific edibles and try a sativa treat! Julie’s Naturals makes incredibly delicious, strain specific health snacks, including granola, nutty bards and seed mix. Again, you can get any of these in a sativa, indica or hybrid!
  5. Don’t feel like that edible you took is working? Try eating something! Particularly something fatty, like donuts or bacon! Remember, the THC binds to the fat cells and will help you reach your high!

So remember, anytime you try a new edible, start small, start slow and if you find a tasty treat that works for you, there is no harm in sticking with it!


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