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Cannabis Edibles

While experienced consumers of cannabis and edibles know how to get their marijuana edible dosage right, the majority of new users are usually not sure how much THC to eat. As a result, most new edible eaters often learn from a not-so-good experience.

The truth is, consuming cannabis can be quite tricky; if you overeat it significantly beyond your tolerance level, you're likely going to feel the effect unpleasantly hit you. Even old-time users sometimes get it wrong too.

In case you're wondering, “how many milligrams of THC should I take in my edibles?” This piece is an answer to your questions. Here, we start from what level of THC is right for new users; we go through the factors that influence the psychoactive effect of cannabis in your body and how much THC is a lot for an edible.

Understanding Edible Dosage and Potency

Did you know that there is a difference between eating edibles and smoking cannabis? Yes, there is. But you might wonder, is it not the same cannabis that makes up the edible and the joint?

Yes, it is, but the fundamental difference that accounts for how you feel the effect is how your body processes cannabis. And the exciting part is that how your body reacts to cannabis – among other factors – depends on how you ingest it.

In this case, if you smoke cannabis, the effect of THC typically kicks in in a matter of minutes. This is because the cannabinoid goes straight through the lungs and into the bloodstream, from where they circulate and create a “high effect” on you.

On the other hand, eating edibles produces a different effect in that your body first digests the food to break out THC molecules. The cannabinoid molecules then travel through the bloodstream. 

Considering the time it takes for digestion to happen typically, we can say that the effect of THC from your edibles will not hit you until about 30-45 minutes after eating it. But that's not all of it.

When considering the potency of edibles in any individual's body, we must also factor in that person's physiological uniqueness. That means that we should remember that each person will react differently to foreign substances such as drugs, foods, and medications. The same applies to ingesting cannabis, and that's why there are different tolerance levels.

Moreso, edibles produce a different high. Although this may not seem theoretically right, if you ask experienced smokers, who have also tasted edibles, they'll explain that you will likely feel the effect of the same amount of cannabis 5 or more times in edibles compared to smoking it.

Strange, right? But go figure. In fact, consuming edibles on an empty stomach has also been shown to produce higher effects than when you eat them after a meal.

How Many mg of Edibles Should I Eat?

To know what your ideal edible dosage ought to be, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind; first is your tolerance level and body chemistry.

Next, consider the kind of experience you're looking to get from eating edibles. However, there's a general guideline based on the level of tolerance of individuals from first-time consumers to experienced users. The dosage in this guideline is necessary and is measured in milligrams.

1-2.5 mg of THC

  • This dosage is ideal for first-time cannabis users. It will also work well for experienced consumers looking to get a mild effect.
  • Typically, you can expect to get mild relief from pain symptoms, stress, and anxiety, as well as increased focus and a sharper mind.

2.5-15 mg of THC

  • This amount is ideal for everyday recreational use and for persons looking to get very sound sleep. When taken at night or when you intend to rest, you can expect to get an excellent effect that hits with just the right punch to deliver the impact you desire. You can also use this dosage to address persistent symptoms after using the 1-2.5 mg dosage.
  • Hence, it delivers more potent relief of pain and anxiety, enhanced euphoria, and, depending on your tolerance level, and impaired coordination.

30-50 mg of THC

  • If you have a high tolerance, then this dosage can deliver a fantastic effect to you. Stoners whose gastrointestinal systems do not absorb cannabinoids well are going to find this amount of THC tolerable.
  • With a 30-50 mg dosage, you can expect to get a much higher euphoric effect and a significantly blurred sense of coordination and perception. You may temporarily lose control of cognitive functions if you eat this amount of THC.

50-100 mg of THC

  • This is a danger zone. It takes a very high level of tolerance to consume this amount of THC. Even so, you will experience severe impairment in perception and ability to coordinate. Sometimes, the impact is accompanied by unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, pain, and elevated heart rate.
  • This is only ideal for patients living with inflammatory disorders and other serious medical conditions.

How Do I Make Sure My Edible Dosage Is Right?

#1 Start low and go slow:

This is popular slang, but it essentially highlights the first and most important trick to getting the best experience and shutting out unpleasant experiences.

If you are a new-comer to the world of cannabis edibles, better you start with low doses and increase it as you see fit. The standard dose of edibles is 10 mg of THC, but remember the effects of edibles will not kick in until later. So you might want to wait it out before upping your dosage.

#2 Take note of your body's reaction:

To enjoy your “edibles experience,” you'll need to listen to your body and not base your experience on other people's ideas or experiences.

As mentioned earlier, how you feel the effect of cannabis depends on your body's chemistry and tolerance and not on other people's opinions. In the long run, you'll discover that it is better to stick with what your body understands and can process without any side effects.

#3 Follow recommended instructions:

This applies when you buy your edibles (from licensed dispensaries and stores). Read the labels to know how much THC is contained in the edible so as not to go beyond your level and also to ensure you get your desired effect.

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If, for instance, you purchase an edible containing 50 mg of THC, you will need to take just 1/5th of that to stay within the bounds of standard THC levels.

Conclusion on Edible Dosage

In dealing with edibles, remember that the effect and experience are different from the result you get when you smoke cannabis. But you can always stay in control of the amount of THC that goes into your body, as getting the best experience depends on how well you administer the right dosage.

Karen Getchell, expert cannabis writer
Karen Getchell

Karen gained expertise in developing training programs and technical documentation as a Senior Editor at Cisco Systems. She began her journey in cannabis as a patient, searching for a way to heal herself. When she perfected a method for making cannabis oil, other patients began to seek her out. An early adopter of CBD medicine, she started her CBD-infused-products business in 2014. Over the last two decades, Karen has taught hundreds of patients and caregivers how to select strains, infuse oils, and extract cannabinoids.

When she isn’t teaching cannabis cooking classes, Karen works as a cannabis business consultant, writes for online cannabis publications like Cannabis Training University, Leafly, and Weedmaps, and runs a CBD-infused-product business.

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