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Watch What You Eat: Edibles Options and Dosage

By Karen Lloyd | Last updated: May 11, 2021
Key Takeaways

Knowing the different forms of edibles and how long it takes the effects to kick in are essential for a pleasant experience when consuming these products, whether for medical or recreational purposes.

From citrus water and soft chews to iced tea and milk truffles, cannabis edibles have come a long way since pot brownies.

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The advantage of consuming cannabis-infused edibles is the ability to feel the effects of the weed without having to light a joint or vaporize concentrates. Edibles also make it easier to microdose, which is helpful especially for patients. Edibles with THC doses between 1-2.5 mg can offer mild relief from pain, stress, and anxiety, as well as increase focus and creativity.

It’s recommended that new consumers trying cannabis edibles start with 1-5 mg of THC and, in Canada, edibles packages must contain no more than 10 mg of THC.
The higher the dose of THC or CBD, the more symptoms will be addressed.

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Individuals looking for a good night sleep will enjoy 2-15 mg of THC, while 15-30 mg is ideal for anyone who has developed a tolerance. If you find 10 mg of THC is too low for your requirements, just double up on your next order. Once you go above 100 mg, the risk of adverse effects associated with THC — nausea, paranoia, and impaired coordination — increase, even for those with very high thresholds.

Edible forms of cannabis, including beverages and sublingual applications, can produce powerful, long-lasting effects. Since the various methods of consumption impact the body in different ways and at different speeds, it’s important to read packaging labels and follow guidelines.

Read also: Differences Between Smoking and Ingesting Cannabis

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Tinctures

Tincture dosages are easy to measure, making them practical for medicinal use.
Just a few drops (or 2 mg of THC) of cannabis tincture under the tongue is often a sufficient starting dose, with effects typically felt in less than 15 minutes. Apply more drops under your tongue or stop as your situation demands.

Cannabis-Infused Drinks

Take the edge off after a long week with a cannabis-infused beverage instead of a beer. Cannabis brands are coming out with a variety of soft drinks, sparkling waters, and THC-infused teas that promise effects in as little as five to 10 minutes.

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Beverages are available in a variety of flavors from lemon lavender and grapefruit rosemary tonics to decaf peach ginger green tea. Beverages offer anywhere from 0.05 mg of THC and CBD, all the way up to 10 mg.

Cannabis-Infused Oil

Cannabis-infused oils are a fantastic way to enjoy just about any dish that calls for butter or oil. In addition to baked goods, you can add cannabis-infused oil to pasta sauces, salad dressings, veggie dips, marinades, and so much more. Cannabis oils on the market come with droppers and communicate THC and CBD concentrations, making dosing simple. You can also infuse your own oil at home and use a calculator to figure out how much oil you want in your recipe.

Read also: Three Cannabis Edibles You Can Make at Home

Cannabis-Infused Candies

Chocolate bars and soft chews (formerly known as gummies) are two of the more popular edibles on the market today. Soft chews come in a range of flavors including grapefruit hibiscus, pineapple orange, and raspberry vanilla. In the chocolate category consumers have all kinds of options from cannabis-infused vanilla, chai, milk chocolate squares to dark truffles. Most candies come in a 10 mg package that can be divided for smaller dosing.

Sublingual

With the growth of edibles, it’s necessary to recognize the difference between them and sublingual applications — think strips, sprays, and tinctures. While both are consumed orally, sublingual applications bypass the gastrointestinal tract and metabolize at a much faster rate. Simply place a strip on your tongue and feel the effects within 15 minutes.

Distillates

Distillate is a potent cannabis extract, stripped down to one specific cannabinoid: THC or CBD. Runny, translucent, and devoid of any flavor or aroma, distillate is desirable due to its strength and versatility. It can be dabbed, vaped, or infused into edibles and topicals with complete precision for accurate dosing. A one-gram bottle of 98 per cent THC distillate could last quite a long time. The ideal edibles dose depends on the user’s tolerance, body chemistry, and the experience they’re looking for.

Caution on Timing

Because edibles (excluding sublingual applications) travel down into the stomach and through the gastrointestinal tract before being broken down by enzymes, it can take as quickly as 15 minutes or as long as three hours for effects to kick in.

Additionally, the effects can be more intense and last between four to six hours. As they say, start low and go slow.

A common mistake in cannabis dosing happens when a person doesn’t feel anything after one hour and decides to take another dose. After two hours, both doses come through along with the unpleasant effects of overconsumption.

If you don’t feel anything from an edible after one hour, try eating a light snack like an apple or an orange to get your digestive juices flowing. Bon Appetit!

Read next: How to Avoid and Survive Green Out

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Written by Karen Lloyd | Freelance Writer, Digital Marketing Expert

Profile Picture of Karen Lloyd

Karen Lloyd is a freelance writer, digital marketing expert and hippy at heart in the city with a small studio, spacious deck and enormous passion for all things cannabis, urban gardening and food equity in Toronto.

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