When I tried edibles for the first time, I was with my husband in Amsterdam. We were on a bus trip back outside the Netherlands. Since we didn’t want to bring anything out of the country, we decided to finish a whole pack of space cookies.
This way of getting cannabis in our body is healthier for the lungs as there is no smoke nor vapor. But it’s also potentially stronger. And if we’re not prepared and ingest too much, we can have a bad experience.
Luckily it was not our case at all. The cookies were carefully dosed and we knew what we’re getting. So we had a few laughs here and there and we slept through the whole night trip.
However, one day, I made a strong space brownie at home and I admit, I took a couple of bites too many. What can I say? The chocolate was too good! So what was first a fun experience, it became an anxious one with a bit of paranoia. It was too intense. A lot of people have experienced bad trips before like this one, especially if we’re not used to it.
So it got me thinking, how could we make our experience enjoyable with edibles? Is there any guidelines or dosage? Or simply put, how could we avoid having a bad trip on edibles?
For those who are not familiar, edibles are food infused with cannabis. It can take the form of candy, brownies, cakes, salad, or even macaron. Contrary to inhaling or smoking, it’s more potent for the same amount and it takes a longer time to give us any effect.
Most of us will feel this high on the body and have a good time, but some people might have different reactions. Plus, there is a shortage of information in some places where it’s prohibited. So it’s difficult to determine a standard dosage.
In December 2019, Canada has legalized the sale of edibles. It can be a good idea to refer to the health department’s recommendation. I had to add some points of mine but it was already a good one to start with.
So, before you take edibles, please consider these important points:
- Set and settings
- Product Info
- Start low and go slow
- Mind the Length
- And finally Storage
Like any substance, we must check on our set and settings before we start a session. ‘Set’ refers to the biological make-up. That includes our personality, past substance experiences, personal expectations of the effect. And our mood at the time of the intake. ‘Setting’ refers to the external surroundings. And the social context in which we are in while taking cannabis.
So ask yourself, for example, are you enjoying it in a safe or comfortable environment? Are you with the people that you trust? What do you want to experience? What are my tendencies? How do I feel in general lately? Are you on medication? What’s your weight? Do you have any commitment to follow in the next hour? Do you need to drive? Which is not a good idea of course.
Did you buy the cookies, someone baked them for you or you do it yourself? Do you have any experience with cannabis in general?
These questions appear natural to some and overwhelming to others. But we should at least contemplate them. It might help us define our priorities and understand our emotions later on. I personally don’t have a set that is incompatible with ingesting cannabis. And I always go for a setting in which I am comfortable and you must find yours too.
The second thing is, we have to know what we’re ingesting and how much.
Try your best to know how much THC is in them. It’s not always obvious I agree but see if we can get the number of grams of the flower or of the cannabis butter used. If you’re making it yourself, know that nowadays, you can get very potent flowers with 15 to 30% of THC. I always try to get buds that are below that percentage and I even sometimes mix it with vaped CBD. This kind of information is valuable to dose the right amount for you.
Which gives us the third point, ‘Start low and go slow’. This is already almost a cliché but it’s a good thing to follow, whether you use a joint, a vape, or any form of taking cannabis.
As we said before, it’s hard to determine what’s low for edibles. In the Canadian model, each product is usually capped at 10mg of THC. So it might be a good idea to start at 2.5mg of THC first and see how it goes for you. I make my own space brownie at roughly Xmg of THC per piece so I know how much roughly I’m taking for each bite.
The fourth is Patience.
The feeling we get from edibles can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in after the ingestion. Some of us have made this typical mistake of taking another piece because we don’t feel anything yet.
Be careful with that, it can take you by surprise. The two pieces can kick at the same time and as we discussed earlier, it can be super intense. Let the cannabis settle in your body first with the first intake. You will feel something eventually, even if it’s soft. Who knows maybe that’s the right feeling you wanna get. It will be much harder to scale down or undo the amount of THC you’ve taken. So be patient. A watched pot never boils right?
So I like to play cards with my friends, watch a movie or occupy my attention to an enjoyable activity. That way, I don’t feel the urge to take more until it kicks in. And when it does, I enhanced the experience in which I am already enjoying.
This fifth point is to be mindful of the length of the trip.
It joins in what I said previously about the settings. A trip can take hours. We have to prevent any motor activity. Or anything that requires our full attention for the next couple of hours.
The effect stays longer than any other type of use. That’s why for me, I do it every now and then. Mostly at night during the weekend when I know that I can chill for a while and not stress about what I should do next.
To some people, this is the only way they use cannabis most of the time. They seem to be fine, but they most likely have already tried and tested different dosages. So they know how to handle it better. Again, some people are different so to be really safe, expect a 4 to 5 hours trip.
Finally, last but not least, storage.
I often make a batch for 2 or 3 sessions so we sometimes have leftovers at home. We don’t have children but if I had, I would definitely store them in a place that is out of reach for them. We can also label the edibles so that guests can’t take it without knowing. And warn the people that live in the household. There’s nothing worse than being super high unexpected!
We do have a pet though but that’s usually easier, as long as we close the container properly, it’s gonna be fine. Same thing if we brought edibles. Well, the rule of thumb is, before and after a session, always keep the edible in a secure place.
All these considerations might seem self-evident. But we must remind ourselves from time to time. If we missed one of the points, we’re probably going to be okay in the end. It’s just that it can have an undesirable outcome in the process and I don’t think that’s what we want.
If we happen to have taken too much. Or seen someone who has taken to much. We can feel an increased heart rate, anxiety, or paranoia. In that case, try not to panic, reassure our friend or ourselves that it’s gonna pass. We should get ourselves comfortable, drink a lot of water and do a couple of breathing techniques. I will certainly make a video about how to handle this kind of situation.
Anyways, what do you think? What’s your experience with edibles? Do you agree with these considerations? I’m curious to know your own tips and tricks so please let me know in the comments below.
I hope you have a pleasant and fun trip if you choose to go for edibles.
Lots of love!