Edibles are among the most popular cannabis products around and for good reason: they offer higher highs for longer periods oftime. While this is wonderful news for the marijuana lover, edibles do come with a metaphorical warning label (and a real one as well). This is because they are different than what some people are used to in regards to pot and dose plays a huge role. For years, smoking was the most popular form of cannabis ingestion and those who lit up joints or packed bowls were rewarded immediately: inhale, feel awesome, repeat. There was virtually no waiting time before the effects set in. Edibles are a different game: you keep waiting – waiting for your high, waiting for relaxation, maybe even waiting for Godot. So, exactly what do you do? Or, more accurately, how much do you take?

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The 10 MG Dose Rule

There are several things that impact how you’ll react to edibles. If you’re inexperienced with marijuana, you’ll likely find edibles much more powerful than someone whose bong has their own Instagram page. But edible doseyour metabolism plays a major role too: bigger people tend to have faster metabolisms – a 300 pound offensive lineman burns much more calories each day than the average Joe – and thus they feel the effects of edibles faster. Small people feel them as well, naturally, but the time between ingestion and awesome is longer; it may be thirty minutes longer or over an hour longer. Whether or not you’ve eaten is also a factor. Edibles should always be consumed when you have something in your stomach. You don’t need to have a four course meal, but make sure your system isn’t running on empty. Not only will this help reign in your high, but it’ll help keep the munchies at bay. Consuming pot via any route when you’re hungry is never a good idea. It’s how pet goldfish become California rolls.

Yet, even with all the variation shown above, the one thing that really impacts the influence of edibles is how much you take

Most people are instructed to begin with 10 mg and go from there. However, if you’re anxious about it or if you’ve had less-than-stellar experiences with pot in the past, starting at 5 mg may be more suitable. You can always take more but you can’t do the opposite. The rules may change if your edibles only contain CBD. Cheeba Chews, for example, are CBD edibles. Taking more than 10 mg won’t affect you the same way taking an extra dose of THC edibles would, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel anything. Many CBD edibles have some THC, two percent or so. In a dose, the THC level is too low to do much (but it’s included because THC enhances the effects of CBD). Take a couple more CBD edibles and the THC adds up; you risk getting high when that wasn’t your intention. What all of this means is that 10 mg is a good starting point, not matter what type of edible you have. If you feel as though it’s too low – and it very well may be – at least give it a chance to prove itself. Take 10 mg and wait. Give yourself at least an hour, but you might need more. Women, especially, may have to wait two hours before they understand why Mary Jane is indeed merry.

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If you do decide to ingest another dose, consider going lower than you initially did: don’t take another 10 mg, take 5. Then wait some more

You don’t want to reach the point of no return: popping edible after edible will get you there. And, while you won’t overdose the way people do on harder drugs (or alcohol), you’ll regret your decision. Plus, you might find yourself turned off from edibles for a very long time.

Other Edible Tips

Upon buying edibles, pay very close attention to the dosage instructions on the bottle or package. If you buy a chocolate bar with 80 mg of THC, that bar isn’t meant to be ingested in one sitting (though it’s the same Edible dose size of a normal candy bar); it’s meant to be eaten in segments. It’s the same thing if you buy something like sour gummies – don’t eat gummy after gummy the way you would Sour Patch Kids inside the local movie theater. Eat one gummy. One usually contains 10 mg of THC. Cannabis edibles are never designed to be eaten as if they’re regular food; you can’t mindlessly snack on pot brownies or suck on lollipop after lollipop. You can, of course, but not without a high that – more than likely – will soar to unintentional altitudes. Ideally, your first time trying edibles should be somewhere safe: your own home with some friends is much better than at a crowded concert or in your work cubicle. Because everyone’s body chemistry is different, there is no one-size-fits-all experience. Having someone well-versed in edibles by your side is also a good move; they’ll help make sure you don’t take too much and they’ll know how to help in the event you grow paranoid. Or at least they’ll pretend to know. Your alcohol consumption is another thing that warrants recognition. Some people can and do take edibles with alcohol and find the experience enjoyable.

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But if you’re new to edibles, bringing a beer along for the ride has a few downsides

Firstly, alcohol can potentiate the effects of THC, making you feel higher than pot alone. You may love this or you may hate it. Secondly, when you mix alcohol with cannabis, it can be difficult to figure out where your drunk ends and your high begins. This takes away from your experience with edibles by preventing you from discovering what they truly feel like. So, try edibles alone the first few times before you throw alcohol into the ring. You’ll avoid a hangover, as an added bonus. A final thought about edibles: they're not for everyone. Some people don’t like their amplified effects and others don’t like how long they last. If a quick, short buzz is more your style, just say no to noshing. Your bong will welcome you back with open arms.