When consumed properly, edibles can be amazing for both recreational and medical users. However, when not taken correctly, edibles can cause more undesirable side effects than any other intake form. It’s important you get the dosing correct in order to have an enjoyable experience, which is why we created this dosing guide with an edible dosage chart.
Edibles can come in many forms, including sweets, food, capsules, mints, beverages, and more. While they’re safe and you can’t really overdose to the point that it would you’d experience long-term consequences, it’s not hard to take too much and have a really uncomfortable experience.
Here’s our guide on how to dose edibles safely and effectively.
3 Factors That Influence How High You Get From Edibles
While you may think the only thing that will determine how high you get is dosage, that’s actually not true. There are several factors involved.
Clearly, everyone is unique. Everyone’s physiology is different, so no one will react exactly the same way to the same substance. What may make one person happy and invigorated may make another person feel anxious and paranoid.
Environment and Expectations
Make sure you take edibles in a comfortable environment. Nothing can mess with your high more than feeling like you’re not in a safe and comfortable environment.
No big surprise here. The lower the dose you take, the less high you’ll get, while the higher the dose you take, the higher you’ll get. You’re probably thinking, “Thanks Captain Obvious!”
There’s a trap many of fall into. We take a dose that makes us feel really good. Then we think, “Well if this much makes me feel ‘really good,’ if I take more, it will make me feel great!”
There’s a sweet spot, and if you exceed your sweet spot, you won’t feel great anymore. You’ll feel downright awful.
Edible Dosage Chart
Here’s a handy little chart courtesy of Leafly and Dr. Dustin Sulak from Healer.com:
Edible Dosage Chart: How To Properly Dose Edibles
In a scientific article on harm reduction published in the Journal of Addiction Research and Theory, the authors of the paper make the case that “being knowledgeable, thoughtful and well-prepared for using drugs, pretty well any drug, minimizes the risks and dangerousness of the experience, and maximizes positive aspects of the experience.”
That’s sound advice. Nearly everyone who has used edibles has had at least one experience where they experienced some discomfort for one reason or another, but with a little knowledge and preparation, you can ensure that your experience is enjoyable. (If you want to read the article in full, here’s the link: “Reducing the Risks of Drug Use: The Case for Set and Setting.”)
1. Consider Your Cannabis Experience & Tolerance
How much experience do you have with cannabis? What about edibles? How sensitive are you to THC? All of these questions are important to consider. Generally, you want to start with a low dose, wait and see what happens, and incrementally increase from there.
If you have a lot of experience with cannabis, you’ll probably be fine starting with a standard dose which is 10 mg. However, if you’ve never tried edibles before, you haven’t had a lot of experience with cannabis generally, or you have a high sensitivity to THC, you’ll want to ease into it. That may mean you won’t end up feeling much your first time. That’s ok! It’s better than taking too much and having a bad experience.
2. Read the Packaging Carefully
Remember the days when “edibles” only meant “hash brownies?” You know, something one of your buddies cooked up and you had no idea how much THC was in each brownie? Thankfully, those days are behind us. Now we have precision dosing and lab-tested products.
To reap the benefits of this, though, you want to read the packaging closely. It can get tricky, however, because not every edible in a package comes in a standard dose (e.g. 10 mg). You may buy some gummies and have to calculate how much THC is in each candy, only to find each candy is some odd number, like 17 mg. The best advice is to buy products that use standard doses for each unit. For example, you can find cannabis mints dosed at 5 mg or 10 mg. This makes it really easy to start with a 5 mg and increase from there, rather trying to do some hardcore math! (Don’t forget to reference the handy edible dosage chart included in this article.)
3. Don’t Consume Edibles on an Empty Stomach or with Alcohol
Some people like to consume edibles on an empty stomach or with alcohol because the THC will hit more powerfully on an empty stomach or with alcohol. We don’t recommend that strategy, though, because it’s much harder to predict what sort of outcome to expect.
Instead, make sure you’re well-hydrated, fed, and aren’t on any other substances that could amplify the effects.
4. Prepare for the Worst
If you follow our advice, you should have an enjoyable experience. Don’t expect the worst outcome but take precautions. You’ll want to have plenty of water (for hydration) and a few items on hand in case you do consume too much and you want to temper the effects.
Two essential items are CBD or black pepper. If you feel too high, you can smoke or vape a high-CBD strain, and it will ease the intensity of the THC. Same goes for black pepper. No joke. (Don’t smoke the pepper!) You can chew black peppercorns and feel relief within an hour or less.
This isn’t an old wives tale. It’s backed by scientific literature. Black pepper has terpenes that can attenuate the effects of THC — but don’t take our word for it. In “Taming THC”, an Aug. 2011 article in the British Journal of Pharmacology, scientists explain how terpenes can contribute positively to the “entourage effect,” and how there are terpenes in pepper that can ease the effects of THC.
5. Consume in a Comfortable Environment
When you consume an edible, especially if it’s your first time, be sure to do it in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable, like your home with friends around (preferably ones who’ve used edibles before). Avoid consuming edibles in environments that are unfamiliar to you that could negatively impact your experience.
6. Start Low, Go Slow
This is the most important advice when it comes to edibles. Start low and go slow. You can always increase the dose later, but it’s harder to reverse the dose after you’ve already consumed it.
The standard dose is 10 mg. People who use edibles a lot will laugh at that dosage because there are plenty of people who have no issues consuming 100 mg, 200 mg, or even more. If you get to a point where you need to consume at least 100 mg to feel anything, you’re using too often and should probably consider taking a break. Sure, there are exceptions, but from a scientific perspective, 100 mg is a lot of THC. Chronic pain studies have shown that the ideal dose for most people who are looking to relieve pain (and not necessarily get high) is under 10 mg.
If you’re pretty experienced with cannabis, you should be fine starting with 10 mg, a standard dose, less if you’re female. If you’re a newbie or THC-sensitive, start with half or a quarter of a standard dose. Again, don’t mix edibles with alcohol or other drugs, including over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit. We can’t stress this enough: have the edible dosage chart handy before you imbibe.
7. Be Patient
This one’s simple. Be patient. Unlike smoking cannabis which affects you near-instantaneously, edibles take a while before you feel the effects. It really depends on your weight, metabolism, and diet, but it can be as fast as 15 – 30 minutes and as long as 90 minutes.
We hope this guide allows you to enjoy your edibles experience! Remember to review the edible dosage chart before you embark on your journey.
We’re Here to Help!
You’ve got the guide. You’ve got the edible dosage chart. Still not sure which edible to start with? No problem! Talk to one of Have a Heart’s dedicated budtenders for some recommendations based on your desired effects! Visit our locations page for menus (and directions) from all our dispensaries.