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This Infused Life – Advice for Optimizing the Edible Experience

The Leaf offers up important edibles info on dosage, serving size, safety and more.

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This holiday season, get ready to fly as high as a reindeer with our annual Edibles Issue! To avoid crashing and burning like Rudolph after a long night of whatever keeps his nose so red, check out our edibles advice for living your best infused life. While most of this information is for new consumers, it’s always great to get a refresher course – and to keep sharing with friends and family before embarking on a journey into the holidaze.

For the first timer…

Go slow! You can always eat more, but never less. Start with a single serving of 5-10mg, wait a couple hours, and enjoy the feeling. Pay attention to how your body reacts and remember: One plus one, doesn’t equal two. Everybody reacts differently to servings, and you might feel great at 10mg and feel sick and out of control at 20mg. So take it easy, start slow, and build a tolerance and dosage range that works for you over time.

What’s a serving size? How do I decide on dosage?

Looking at the label on an edible might seem confusing, but there are a few simple tricks to figuring it all out. The two most important things to note are the serving size and total cannabinoids/potency. Most states define a serving as either 5mg or 10mg of THC. Potency will always be based on milligrams. The total potency could be 50mg or 100mg, depending on regulations, but it could also be as high as 1,000+ milligrams if it’s a tincture or high-strength option. Reading this and knowing your dosage is the difference between a fun time and a neverending rollercoaster of THC.

For most people, eating a single serving is going to be perfect. People with low tolerances might find medicinal relief at just two or three milligrams, but a sweet space seems to be 10mg. Once you feel comfortable there, explore by adding a serving per edible experience so you can expand your comfort zone.

It’s also common to have a personal range when it comes to dosing. For this writer, 10-20mg is a daily relaxer and anti-anxiety tool, 50mg does the trick for pain but makes it hard to focus, and 100mg is a full-blown, drooly edible trip. But this is just me – I’ve seen people eat 250mg and reach for the next cookie. So take it slow and find your sweet spot when it comes to dosage … you’ll have fun and feel great!

Can I overdose on edibles?

Here’s the good news about eating too much THC: You can’t die! The only way edibles could kill you is if a loaded crate of them fell on your head in a tragic weed warehouse accident. But that’s where the good news ends. 

Do you remember the first time you got too drunk? Most of us have at least a few college-age, puking-in-random-places memories that we’d like to forget. That said, consuming too much THC or other cannabinoids can result in serious discomfort similar to alcohol overconsumption, with symptoms including nausea/puking, paranoia and the spins. In extreme situations, the high level of psychoactive effects can lead to crazed behavior.

The only cure for over consumption is time and water, which is why you should avoid wasting a medical professional’s time at a hospital getting fluids and a large bill. If you or a friend end up too high, grab the Gatorade and a weighted blanket, and plan to sit it out. This might mean silence and darkness or putting on a favorite movie – but rest assured that it will pass and once you fall asleep, you’ll be on your way to a fresh start the next day.

The Edible Hangover

While edibles are much safer than alcohol, they can still cause a hangover that can be incredibly unpleasant. Imagine being stuck in a sort of mental quicksand and having every movement slowed down 30%, while feeling like the dehydrated SpongeBob that tried to hang out in Sandy’s air environment. Like a fish out of water, eating too much can leave you gasping … and there’s not a lot to help but coffee and fluids. 

Our best advice to prevent a hangover is to go slow, and make sure to eat edibles with enough time to activate and have effects before sleep. And if your goal is sleep, don’t wait until your bedtime to pop the CBN. Giving the cannabinoids time to kick in will help with either fun or sleep, and allow for a restful night without effects clouding your mind the next day.

In Budtenders We Trust

Last but certainly not least, trust your budtender when you have questions, concerns or experiences to share. Don’t be shy: They’ve heard it all and probably love helping with advice! If they don’t, pick a more enthusiastic budtender and dive in. Getting trusted info from the source is always clutch, especially before dropping money on a new product or trying something different. And for the best advice possible, always tip your budtender for good service. It will definitely pay off!

About Wes Abney

Wes Abney is the founder and CEO of the Leaf Nation brand family, which began in 2010 as Northwest Leaf magazine. Recognized as the first Cannabis publication in the region, Northwest Leaf defined and developed the medical and recreational Cannabis communities in Washington with free publications focused on quality content and truthful journalism. The model’s success has led to Oregon Leaf in 2014, Alaska Leaf in 2016, Maryland Leaf in 2019, California Leaf in Spring of 2020, and Northeast Leaf in Fall of 2020. Wes’s writing and publishing background began with his college newspaper, The Ebbtide, which included a love for multimedia and creating content on many platforms. The nickname “Bearded Lorax” came after years of publishing millions of free magazines, using his voice to speak for a plant and those that benefit from it. Wes is an activist not only for Cannabis but for alternative medicine treatments, ending the drug war and freeing prisoners who have been wrongfully incarcerated for non-violent crimes. His passion for reaching people with written and spoken words led to the concept of Leaf Life Podcast in partnership with Mike Ricker, which began development in 2018 and launched in January 2019. With the combined passions of Cannabis and a love for broadcasting, the creation of Leaf Life was a natural progression for Leaf Nation as it spread roots across the United States. With over 100 shows recorded, and printing over 100,000 monthly copies, Leaf Nation has become the world’s largest Cannabis media company, while still celebrating the humble roots and truthful journalism that the model was founded upon. Beyond leading a team of 40+ passionate Cannabis creatives, Wes is the father to two beautiful daughters and two furry cats. He lives in Seattle, drinks coffee, and enjoys Cannabis daily, and hopes to eventually transition from a successful Cannabis journalist to a classic coffee shop author as the Leaf continues to grow in the coming decades. In true Lorax fashion, he enjoys hikes in the forest, communing with nature, and reminding people that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

This article was originally published in the December 2022 issue of All Magazines.

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