Edibles Tutorial: Basic Rules and Game Play
When it comes to cannabis, there are a number of tempting consumption methods. Smoking, in a bong, joint, pipe, or blunt, may be the most common and simple of those methods—simply because it doesn’t require much effort. Pack your paper or bowl, light, and inhale. But while the ease of consumption offers plenty to be admired, its smell, effects on lungs and throat, and lack of discretion can be off-putting. This is where edibles offer a tasty, discrete, and dose-specific alternative. With that, however, there are a few things any consumer should know before sinking their teeth into that yummy gummy.
1) Pre Consumption
Benefits: While smoking, vaping, and dabbing offer plenty of attractive qualities, they do come with the same in downsides. For example, flower (both stored and smoked) emits an incredibly distinct odour, so it can be a difficult method for someone wanting discretion around their consumption. It’s important to understand that you as a consumer have options to fit your lifestyle. A new study from the Dalhousie University Agri-Food Analytics Lab (AAL) shows that, of Canadians surveyed, 25% preferred edibles as their primary consumption method. There are myriad reasons for this, including a consumer’s ability to specifically dial in their desired dose, the buffet-spread of tasty flavours and carrier-food options the multi-million dollar market is currently offering, its promise of a smoke-free and durable high, and its portable and discrete packaging.
Reopening Old Wounds: Many, many people have had negative experiences with edibles–in fact, the number of hospitalizations are 33 times higher with edibles than other combustible consumption methods. So, if you’re having a few flashbacks to a bad trip, know that you’re not alone. This usually boils down to bad, or poorly labeled, products or inexperience with the nuances of metabolizing cannabis through your digestive system leading to overconsumption. It’s important to remember that a bad experience doesn’t mean edibles are forever a “no-go zone” for you. What it does mean, however, is that you may need to slowly work your way back into a positive experience. Just say it with us: start low, go slow. And source your products from a reputable, quality-focused company that is willing to help guide their customer’s purchasing decision.
Know the difference: While the high from edibles can produce many similar elements to that of vaping, smoking, or dabbing, there are some differences that a consumer should be aware of. The most significant is the duration of the experience. When metabolizing THC through smoke in the lungs, the cannabinoid has near immediate access to the brain. When the same amount of cannabinoid is processed through your stomach and liver, however, it needs more time to break down and absorb into the bloodstream. So, for a high that may take less than ten minutes to fully set in after smoking, it may take thirty to forty minutes to set in when eating. The same goes for the length of the experience. A high that may last an hour when smoking, may last two to three with edibles. While this durability can be a huge benefit to someone treating pain or anxiety with cannabis, it’s important to know because a lot of negative experiences occur simply because a consumer thinks: “I feel nothing, so I should eat more” and subsequently experiences a significantly stronger high due to compound dosing. When consuming edibles, wait at least a few hours before eating more to ensure your body isn’t just processing the cannabinoid slowly.
Bliss THC Gummies – 20mg in a variety of yummy flavours
2) Choosing your products
Read the ingredients: As edibles have become such a lucrative segment of the psychedelics industry, it’s important to know that there are more than just cannabis edibles available. Other compounds, including psilocybin (mushrooms), DMT, and LSD, are also available in drinks, chocolate, lozenges, and gummies, and produce a significantly different high. Always spend time researching what compounds are infused in a product to ensure you’re embarking on the journey you desire. This is also the same advice when it comes to what kind of cannabis you’re looking for. Edibles have come a long way from mystery-dose weed brownies your friend cooked up in their kitchen. There are CBD-forward options for those looking for less intoxicating effects, macrodosed options for medical patients looking to treat chronic ailments, and balanced ratios of various compounds for specific highs (e.g. indica-forward and THC-heavy for deeper sleep, or CBD-heavy, sativa-forward for anxiety management, etc.) Take time to talk to the product’s manufacturer and, if they are worth their salt, they will tell you more about the specific compounds, dose options, and cannabinoids in their edibles. If they can’t—or have an attitude about answering your basic questions—go elsewhere! And don’t hesitate to look around for dietary specific options. The market offers plenty of vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic alternatives
Mushies Gummies – 250mg or 500mg of psilocybin extract
Starter dose: While each consumer has an entirely unique metabolism, most companies recommend a starter dose of no more than 10 mg of THC for someone new to edibles. If you’re entirely new to cannabis all together, 2 to 5 mg is probably plenty for you. It may sound too low, but there is no harm in starting lower, even if you can burn a whole blunt to yourself without breaching your comfort zone. As we said earlier, edibles are a different beast, and it has a history of taking even the headiest of stoners to a place they didn’t want to be. Start low, go slow.
Sprayed or Infused: Some manufacturers will purchase non-infused gummies or chocolates and spray the cannabinoid on the outside. While it’s a common practice, we recommend looking for products that are infused with the desired dose of THC/CBD—meaning they were cooked or blended in with the ingredients of the carrier food. It simply boils down to a better flavour and less cannabinoid loss when it wipes off on the packaging or your hands.
Session Sweets Gummy Bears – 25mg of Infused THC (never sprayed!) in a variety of mouth watering flavors
3) Bad trip navigation
You’re tripping: As with any intoxicating or psychedelic substance, consumption can bring about negative experiences. Unfortunately, this just is a reality. The first step to avoiding this is preparation. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: start with a lower dose than you think you need and give it plenty of time to fully set in. This will help prevent the possibility of overconsumption. Also, pick an environment you feel safe and comfortable to ensure you’re not processing external anxieties on top of this new type of high. If you do find yourself experiencing negative effects—paranoia, nausea, dizziness, or repetitive thoughts—we have some tips to help:
- Drink a large, cold glass of water;
- Drink some orange juice, eat some fruit, or take some vitamin C;
- Get some fresh air;
- Distract yourself with a television show, journaling, or an easy video game;
- Practice some basic breathing exercises: inhale for a slow count of five, hold for a slow count of five, and exhale for a slow count of five. Repeat for a full one to two minutes;
- Call a friend. Sometimes a sober companion can help ground you and put your mind at ease. Simply explain you’re a little too high and need someone to just keep your mind occupied;
- Lastly, remind yourself that everything is going to be okay. Say it with us: I’m just high, it will be over soon, and everything is going to be okay. Repeat.
Think of being high like being on a road trip. There are bends in the road, hills to climb and descend, traffic to sit through,–but there is no getting out of the car until you’ve arrived at your destination. Pick a good playlist, have a snack, stay calm, and cruise. You’ll get there safe and sound, don’t worry.
4) Safety Notes
Storage: With any candy or chocolate usually comes fun, colourful, and enticing packaging. And sometimes it’s not made clear that it is infused with cannabis! To reduce the potential of unwanted exposures to curious children or unsuspecting adults, please store your edibles in a safe, out-of-sight-and-reach location. While there has never been a reported “overdose” of cannabis, there have been plenty of incidents in which both children and adults have unknowingly consumed and been hospitalized with panic attacks, heart issues, dizziness, nausea, psychosis, and hallucinations—basically being way too high—and it can cause severely negative associations with the plant. And if your pet consumes THC, it is toxic and can actually be fatal. Do your part to protect the people around you and store your edibles in a safe and secure location.