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Edibles are a fun, safe, and clean way to consume cannabis. Not only does it help you to skip the harmful smoke from entering your lungs, but it also provides you with an experience that studies show is up to 5 times more potent than THC alone.
In order to understand why edibles are so much more potent than THC alone, let’s take a look at the mechanism of how the body digests edible THC compared to inhaled THC.
When you smoke cannabis, your body simply consumes the THC from your lungs straight into your bloodstream, causing near-instantly noticeable effects. These effects can vary based on the strain you smoke due to the terpenes and cannabinoid profile of that specific strain. Edibles, on the other hand, play a much different role.
When you consume an edible, it is first broken down by your digestive system. Not only does the cooking and digestion process break down the terpenes and cannabinoids, but it also removes any unique effects from the edible. This is why the myth that there can be strain-specific edibles is wholly false.
From here, the contents are processed by your liver, which converts the THC chemical into a chemical known as 11-hydroxy-THC. This chemical is actually up to 5x more potent than inhaled THC. This is why often, people will explain how important it is to properly dose edibles in order to avoid an overly-intense experience that will rob you of the joy of a great edible experience.
So, now let’s discuss how to ensure you take the right dose in order to have the best experience possible and avoid a bad trip!
Edibles come in many different shapes and sizes — gummy bears, cookies, brownies, chocolate drops, etc. — all of which carry a specific amount of THC. The amount of the food you consume doesn’t matter; what matters is how much THC is contained in the product.
For starters, it is important to understand that the maximum amount of THC any single edible can contain is 10 mg of THC. This is a state law in many places that helps to protect consumers from overly powerful and potentially dangerous edibles from being sold.
Everyone has an ideal dose that best suits their body’s unique needs. No one person will have the same reaction as another, which makes it important to start slow and find the dose that works best for you. The strength of the edible experience depends on multiple factors, including:
Two people may respond very differently to the same edible based on their tolerance, body mass, and also the state of their metabolism and overall health. It is a good rule of thumb to always start with a small dose of edibles and gradually increase until you find your happy place.
Here are some basic guidelines for consumption:
This is the “starter” dose of edibles. It will cause mild effects, including stress relief and anxiety relief, as well as some creative inspiration. This is best for first-time users or cannabis smokers looking to microdose.
5 mg is usually the next step up to a more powerful experience. It can also cause euphoria and may impair coordination and alter perception. This dose is for the everyday recreational user looking for a good quality experience (or a great night’s sleep).
Many edibles in shops will come in 10 mg doses. While this dose is not the largest, it definitely can cause a significant string experience for first-time users. If you are a newcomer, try to break the piece in half to start to see how your body tolerates, and adjust as needed from there.
All of the doses from here are by personal preference — as you consume edibles, your tolerance will grow and allow you to comfortably take bigger doses. Be cautious, though, as overdoses on edibles can be uncomfortable and intense experiences!
Overall, however, edibles are a fun, safe, and tasty way to enjoy cannabis. As long as you start slowly and gradually up your dose, you can be sure that you will have a great experience with edibles!
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