Cannabis edibles have been made and enjoyed by many people for many years. Since legalization of cannabis, weed infused edibles are becoming increasingly more common. However, supply of legal edibles is limited, and the dosage may be lower than some users would want. With the black market options vast in dosage and flavours, some users turn to black market brands or homemade. Black market or homemade edibles are unregulated though. A study of edibles across Canada showed that products contained 1/5th to ½ of the THC labeled on the package. What can make edibles even more unpredictable is the number of servings in each edible product (such as a brownie or gummy bear) can change from product to product. Here are some tips on how you can be safe and have fun while ingesting edibles.

Start low, go slow

Sometimes, the dose of an edible is only 1 bite of a cookie! The low range therapeutic dose can go up to 2.5mg of THC, with 10mg being a moderate recreational dose for a person more experienced with cannabis. Depending on an individual’s tolerance, THC should be adjusted; an individual who ingests cannabis once a week wouldn’t take as much THC as someone who wake and bakes daily and smokes throughout the day. Consuming cannabis with alcohol will increase the THC concentration in your blood and you should lower your dose. It can be a good idea if you are getting the edible from a person to ask what they consider a dose. Compare their daily consumption to yours and adjust accordingly. Read the label carefully to see how much THC there is, take note if it is per piece or  the package
and consider your tolerance.

If you are unsure, start with less! You can always take more.

Don’t expect immediate results!

Unlike smoking, edibles can take anywhere from 45 minutes up to 2 hours for your body to feel the effects, even longer if you eat a meal before your edibles. Wait at least 1 -1 ½ hours after you initially ingest the edible to ingest more. You can always take more if you’re not feeling the desired effects after a couple hours, but you can not take less once you realize you’ve done too much.

Protect your loved ones!

NEVER leave edibles where pets, children or even unknowing adults can accidentally eat them. Even small amounts can make pets and children very sick. If your pet accidentally consumes cannabis TELL YOUR VET, they will not get you in trouble and it’s important for them to know so they know how to treat your pet.

Plan your trip!a hand holding up a weed edible candy with a clock and casino sign in the background

Edibles stay in the system much longer than smoking THC – sometimes between 6-10 hours. As with any substance, never drive while intoxicated. Appoint a sober driver, carry money for the TTC or plan to call UBER or a Taxi to take you home if you plan to trip while outside. If you choose to use while out, make sure you have a plan in case the trip gets overwhelming.

 It’s legal!

As of October 17,2019 the Canadian federal government amended the Cannabis Act to allow the legal production and sale of edibles. There is a regulated cap of 10mg of THC in a single edible package. They have to use plain packaging and not appeal to youth.

Take care of yourself!

chocolate chip cookies on a cooling trayJust like smoking cannabis, ingesting cannabis can cause dry mouth and “munchies”; it’s  good to plan in advance and bring water, drinks, and non-medicated snacks so you don’t end up dehydrated or hungry and turn to more edibles and over-consumption. Some products can taste very good and can be easy to overindulge in by forgetting that there is cannabis in the product. Remember: even experienced smokers can be easily overwhelmed by edibles. If you are feeling the effects of over-consumption, such as fast heart rate, dry mouth, anxiety or paranoia, remember that it will pass. If there is a safe spot available, try laying down in a quiet and dark room and practice breathing until the feelings subside, usually within 15-30 min. Drink some water, have something to eat. If you fall asleep, you’ll probably be in a better headspace once you wake up.