The Safety and Dosing of Marijuana Edibles
Marijuana edibles have grown popular in recent years due to convenience, long-lasting effects and medical applications. However, consuming your marijuana edibles can be a little trickier than inhalation methods, because inhalation produces a high that can be felt almost immediately. However, edibles can take anywhere from 45-120 minutes before the effects are felt and the high can last a lot longer.
The reason edibles take longer is that the active substances in cannabis (THC and CBD), need to be digested and processed through the stomach, small intestine and liver (hence the 45-120 minute guideline).
First Pass Metabolism
Edible consumers should also be aware of first-pass metabolism. This hepatic (liver) metabolism affects various substances, including THC and CBD.
The good news is that first pass metabolism actually increases the potency of THC; the main psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. This is why small, controlled dosing and a 45-120 minute wait time for an inexperienced user is a must.
Counter-intuitively, you should also eat a small snack or meal before you consume your THC or CBD product to maximize the bioavailability (the amount and rate of which the THC/CBD is absorbed in the bloodstream) of the THC/CBD. Therefore, eating your cannabis product on an empty stomach will get you less high; not more.
Eating a mango during an inhalation session or 30-60 minutes before ingesting a THC edible will help improve the rate of absorption of THC across the blood-brain barrier.
Eating nuts, eggs, fish, butter or coconut oil 25 minutes before you down your edibles will maximize the amount of THC/CBD available in the bloodstream. This all translates into a better, more potent feeling high that will keep you soaring for four hours.
It is especially important for users of CBD edible products to note that the bioavailability of CBD significantly degrades after first pass metabolism. This means if you eat CBD edibles on an empty stomach, you get little to no therapeutic effect. The liver filters out most of the CBD molecule because it is not protected by the special fats found in nuts, eggs, fish, butter or coconut oil. Users of CBD that can’t eat a meal beforehand to increase the bioavailability of the drug should consider using the sublingual (under the tongue) method, with sprayable mists.
What is a Reasonable First Dose?
Dosing guides recommend 5-10mg for a first time edibles user. If, after the allotted time has passed and you haven’t felt the effects, slowly increase your dose at 5-10mg intervals.
Can I Drink Alcohol and Eat Edibles?
Drinking alcohol while consuming cannabis edibles is not recommended. Alcohol, especially beer, significantly increase the bioavailability of THC; essentially compounding 2 substances that significantly alter your mind and judgment.
What Happens if I Take Too Much?
The best thing to do if you have over indulged with marijuana edibles is drink water, lay down and take a nap. You should not eat or drink anything high in sugars or fats, as this can prolong and intensify your bad trip.
Dr. Margaret Gedde, a physician from Colorado Springs, writes, “A person can feel regretful if they’ve eaten too much of an edible cannabis dose, but there is no toxicity to the organs. There’s no need to go to the emergency room.”
Marijuana edibles are safe, reliable, and have long-lasting effects. Eat a small meal 25 minutes before you ingest your cannabis product. Go low and slow with dosing, and before you know it, you will enjoy your cannabis edibles like a pro.
Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Bud