How to Safely Proof Edibles: A Beginner's Guide (2023)

Edibles have come a long way since people put weed in their brownie batter.

Cannabis-infused edibles have become a multi-billion dollar market in California, with edibles showing up at weddings, cooking classes, health retreats and more. And while smoking remains the most popular way to consume cannabis, a market report from New Frontier Data, a company that monitors the marijuana industry, shows that consumers are increasingly choosing to eat their weed.

It is now legal for adults in California to use cannabis just to get high, thanks to voters who legalized recreational marijuana in November. That means some people who didn't smoke marijuana seven months ago are now considering edibles for the first time.

However, consuming cannabis-infused edibles can be difficult. In fact, if you've ever heard a story involving someone falling into terrible misery from marijuana use, like Maureen Dowd's infamous story of lying on the floor of a Colorado hotel room for eight hours, believing that it was dead, so it probably started with food.

"I'm not a big fan of edibles," says Dr. Allan Frankel of GreenBridge Medical in Santa Monica.

Frankel built his practice to help medical marijuana patients take precise doses of carefully selected cannabis strains to alleviate their specific ailments. In his opinion, given the way food works in the body, it is too difficult to control the dosage.

There are no reports of anyone dying from too much weed. But horror stories whispered by friends or shouted by New York Times columnists can chill people who have never tried edibles. Or people who haven't had them since they ate that particular brownie in college. Or people who have had their own Dowd-esque experience and vowed never to taste edibles again.

"Many patients and enthusiasts avoid edibles altogether," said Julianna Carella, CEO of Auntie Dolores, an Oakland-based food company that makes cannabis-infused nuts, caramelized corn and other edibles.

Is there something that could make you change your mind? Health problems associated with smoking joints and bongs, perhaps particularly in California, which paved the way for anti-tobacco laws.

(Video) The Official Guide To Edibles

"For many people, smoking or inhaling doesn't come naturally," says Mike Heller, co-founder of Oakland-based MJ Wooly, which helps the company add cannabis to its food and beverages.

While current research suggests that smoking marijuana isn't as dangerous as smoking tobacco, Heller believes that inhaling something into the lungs isn't beneficial over time. Studies show that chronic marijuana smokers are more likely to suffer from bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. And medical marijuana patients whose immune systems are compromised due to cancer or other conditions may be particularly vulnerable to such conditions, making edibles a more attractive option.

Edibles are also a more discreet way to drink without the neighbors complaining or worrying about secondhand smoke.

And if adults understand how cannabis-infused edibles work in their bodies and use them wisely, the three experts say they could be a viable option for both medical marijuana patients and recreational users who prefer to eat their weed rather than smoke it. .

Understand how it works in the body.

Ultimately, the feeling people get when smoking or eating cannabis is pretty similar. But how they ingest the plant determines how the body processes THC, the compound in cannabis that makes users feel high. And that affects everything from how long it takes for the weed to kick in to the intensity of the high.

"When you smoke or vape, you absorb all the THC and other cannabinoids through your lungs," Heller said. These compounds go directly into the bloodstream, which means that smokers are likely to feel the effects within five to ten minutes.

With edibles, on the other hand, the body has to digest the food or drink. It is absorbed from the stomach, passes through the intestines, and ends up in the liver, where the THC is broken down and released into the bloodstream. This means that it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours before you feel the full effects.

As with the use of other drugs or the consumption of alcohol, the effects of edibles are very individual. Someone who weighs 200 pounds and hasn't eaten that day is likely to feel the effects more than someone who weighs more and has eaten a large meal recently.

A person's metabolism and previous experience with cannabis can also play a role, though even seasoned smokers are sometimes surprised at how hard edibles hit them.

"There is a very wide range of tolerance limits," Carella said. "Some people can do it with 5mg THC, others need 500mg."

(Video) New To Edibles? - A Quick Guide on Dosing For Beginners With A Korova Cookie

The type of edibles a person consumes also plays a role, Heller said, since the body can break down the tiny THC molecules suspended in drinks faster than it can digest the sugar and other ingredients in a heavily baked good. Also, some THC is absorbed through the mouth when people drink flavored drinks or suck on flavored candy.

The liver also converts THC into a different type of molecule than the one absorbed by the lungs. And Heller said the molecule is up to 10 times more psychoactive than what THC smokers experience. So while THC dosage is the biggest factor in how high users get, Heller said that using cannabis can make the high more intense.

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There is also a huge difference in the duration of the high when smoking weed and when eating.

"It lasts much, much longer and is more effective," Frankel said.

Smokers can expect some effects for about three hours. Food binds to body fat and may not completely disappear for eight or even ten hours.

As such, cannabis use is the preferred method of sleep for many people, as its psychoactive effects can give them that much-desired eight hours of sleep. But it also means that people need to organize their schedules and find a place they feel comfortable in before trying cannabis-infused food or beverages.

"Some people find it difficult to go public," Heller said. "Make sure you don't have to go anywhere. And definitely don't drive.

Start low, go slow

That's the motto for food newbies.

The accepted recommendation is to start with an edible that contains no more than 10mg of THC, with most experts recommending a dose of 2.5-5mg the first time.

Almost all malnutrition experiences follow a similar pattern. Beginners can start slow and just nibble on the lemon square. They wait half an hour and still don't feel much, so they eat some more of that treat. However, since the edible high can take up to two hours to kick in, they quickly realize they've eaten too much.

(Video) Your Brain On Edible Marijuana

"That's probably the biggest problem with edibles," Heller said. “I know many people who have overmedicated in this way. And that can be a very scary experience.”

To break this stereotype, experts recommend waiting at least two hours before consuming more cannabis. Even better? Wait a day and the next time start with a slightly higher dose, increasing by about 5mg at a time until you find a concentration that produces the desired effect.

"It really pays to be patient," Heller said. “It may take two or three attempts before you are successful. But that's a lot better than taking five times the amount you need at one time and having a panic attack."

Another beginner's mistake is making edibles at home. This seems like an attractive option as it makes consumers feel in control of what they eat. In fact, however, precisely infusing edibles with a specific amount of THC is quite a challenge.

"When people bake it at home, I think most have no idea what's in each piece," Frankel said. "It's hard enough for professionals to figure that out."

That's why many experts recommend beginners buy their first groceries from the pros.

what to buy

Before you start shopping, keep in mind that while it is now legal under Proposition 64 for adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, medical marijuana buyers still require a doctor's recommendation to purchase products. Until recreational marijuana sales begin on January 1. 1.

Adults with this recommendation can use websites like Weedmaps and Leafly to find the nearest pharmacy or order delivery on platforms like Eaze and GreenRush. The key is to look for a store that sells lab-tested products, something not yet required by California law.

It is not uncommon to find fortified sweets at a festival or in a speakeasy that do not have any labels. But big-name companies like Auntie Dolores have volunteered for years to lab test their products and package them with branded labels indicating the amount of THC they contain. (New California regulations say all cannabis products must be tested by an independent lab and labeled starting next year.)

Consumers should buy the products they need early, with 10mg or less THC, Heller said, so they can stick to the "start low, go slow" motto. He said it was a personal preference.

(Video) How to make cannabutter

What to do if you eat too much

Suppose something went wrong and someone ends up on the bathroom floor in a Dowd-like trance. What are you going to do now?

"Go to bed," Heller said.

Remind consumers that there are no toxic levels of THC. This means there is no need to go to the emergency room unless there are factors that put the consumer at risk, such as pregnancy or heart disease.

Either way, there is no magic bullet for rapidly clearing cannabis from the body. People who go to the ER after consuming too much weed are usually lying in a hospital bed with an IV that delivers fluids. So Heller recommends that most people skip the expensive bill and stay home, drink a lot and sleep late.

There are some home remedies designed to relieve negative feelings in people who have overindulged. The team at Irie Wedding & Events, who plan cannabis weddings, bring chamomile tea to calm anyone who gets too high. And many people, including Neil Young, swear that inhaling or chewing black peppercorns instantly relieves anxiety, and some research supports this method.

Both Heller and Frankel said the trick with real science is taking a dose of pure CBD, another compound found in cannabis that can crowd out THC in your system. Frankel said anyone experimenting with edibles might want to keep a 15mg CBD product on hand for balance.

The most important thing, Heller said, is to stay calm.

Because cannabis is a psychedelic substance, how people react to it is largely important. By reminding themselves that they cannot die and that the feeling will eventually pass, they are often able to talk about the experience without experiencing Dowd-level panic and misery.

“Know that what you are doing is safe. "You can't overdose," Heller said. "As long as you keep telling yourself that, you'll be much better off."

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How to Safely Proof Edibles: A Beginner's Guide (1)

(Video) 5 Easy Ways to Make Edibles at Home


How do you guide edibles for the first time? ›

Start low, go slow. That's the motto for edibles newbies. The accepted recommendation is to start with an edible that has no more than 10 mg of THC, with most experts advising a dose of 2.5 to 5 mg the first time out of the gate. Almost every bad edibles experience follows a similar pattern.

How do I make sure my edibles are safe? ›

Start low and go slow.
  1. Start with a single serving of 10 milligrams (mg) of THC, or even less.
  2. Don't eat or drink more of the marijuana edible until you have waited at least 2-4 hours. ...
  3. Eating too much of a marijuana edible too soon may lead to unwanted effects.

How long does it take for 5mg edibles to wear off? ›

You will feel effects within 30 minutes to 2 hours of ingesting. Full effects can peak within 4 hours. Effects can last up to 12 hours after use. Some residual effects can last up to 24 hours.

How do you lab test edibles? ›

Edibles are actually hard to test reliably. One of the best ways to test THC levels with precision is by using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) – a very sensitive device that analyzes chemical components.

How many mg is a good beginner edible? ›

Step 1: Start With 5 Milligrams of THC

Remember, everyone's body metabolizes edibles differently, so it's better to start with too low of a dose than one that's too high for you. For a first-time edible user with a low tolerance, a 5 mg edible is the perfect place to start.

How many mg is a good start for edibles? ›

The standard “dose” of an edible is 10 mg of THC. But if it's your first time, it's better to go with less than 5 mg. If you don't feel anything, don't up your dose for the first two hours. If you do choose to have more, increase your initial dose by 5 mg.

What are the cons of taking edibles? ›

Unlike smoking cannabis, consuming edibles does not generally result in rapid relief. The length of time it can take for edibles to take effect is the major caveat against this method of administration. If you need immediate relief, the best option is typically to smoke.

How long do edibles last sitting? ›

Research shows that the effects from an edible take up to about 1 hour to kick in but can last for 6 or more hours. In contrast, the effects of smoking or vaping THC tend to last 1–4 hours. Edibles also do not carry some of the risks of smoking cannabis, such as chronic cough and phlegm production.

Does edibles affect liver? ›

Like anything in life, it comes down to moderation. There is some speculation that cannabinoids, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can harm the liver when present in high concentrations for extended periods, similar to the effects of alcohol.

Is 5mg edible too much for first time? ›

What is a safe first time edible dose? For most people who are completely new to cannabis and have no tolerance to the plant's effects, starting out with a dose of 5 mg of THC is a solid place to start. Take 5 mg, then wait 2 hours before taking another 5 mg.

Why am I not feeling anything on edibles? ›

Many people who find that edibles aren't getting them high either aren't waiting long enough, are using the wrong kind of weed to make edibles, or are using edibles that aren't intended to get them high. In some cases, absorption issues may impact the way edibles work with your body.

Can security scan edibles? ›

Although they can detect food items, airport scanners cannot tell if they are edible. Whether the airport security staff considers the edibles to be suspicious varies. The edibles' packaging and odor could be giveaways. The edibles will appear in the scanner with the same orange color as every other organic material.

Can drug dogs detect edibles? ›

Even below the dog's confidence level, he'll still show some slight changes in behavior. Dan Hayter, founder of K9 Global Training Academy and a former chief of the military drug dog trainer, agrees that edibles aren't impossible to trace.

Can you fail a drug test for CBD edibles? ›

CBD use can lead to a positive drug test result if the CBD product consumed contains higher levels of THC than the label indicates—a discrepancy that's not as uncommon as you might think. “CBD products are largely unregulated and may contain unwanted contaminants, including THC or other illicit drugs,” says Dr.

Do edibles make eyes red? ›

Yes, edibles can make your eyes red, if they contain THC. It doesn't matter how THC gets into your body. Whether through a vape, joint, drink, edible, or other smoking apparatus, cannabis will make your eyes red if it has THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Redness happens because of the effect THC has on your eyes.

What does an edible high feel like? ›

For some people, edibles can cause scary symptoms like a racing heart, anxiety, and hallucinations.

How strong is a 10mg gummy edible? ›

Typically, 10mg is considered a moderate dose for a Delta 9 edible. You may feel effective relief from pain, nausea, and anxiety symptoms, as well as increased feelings of euphoria and bliss. A 10mg edible is definitely strong enough for the average cannabis consumer to feel some intoxication.

How strong is a 50mg gummy edible? ›

30 – 50 MG THC

If you do not regularly consume THC, this much edible THC will likely produce strong euphoric and psychoactive effects. You can also expect stronger stress and pain relief, an increase in appetite and deep sleep.

Is 600 mg of edibles a lot? ›

You will see many of the edibles packages advertising the THC contents as 600mg – which is the equivalent of smoking 50 joints! However, the sweets have been found to contain more THC than advertised, making overdose even more likely. One sweet (on average) contains 10-15mg – an average joint contains 12mg.

Are edibles bad for kidneys? ›

Cannabis does not seem to affect kidney function in healthy individuals.

Do edibles make you lose weight? ›

The first thing that we need to make clear is that cannabis edibles aren't a magic bullet for losing weight. If you've experienced significant weight gain, you'll need a long-term diet and exercise plan to help you get back on track.

Do edibles have to stay in the fridge? ›

As with any other food you want to preserve, edibles should be refrigerated or frozen and kept away from oxygen and light to prolong their shelf lives.

How long does it take for edibles to kick in and wear off? ›

With edible cannabis, the intoxicating effects or “high” do not kick in for about 30 minutes to two hours and peak at about four hours. The effects can last up to 12 hours after use and residual effects can last up to 24 hours, so you could be affected into the next day.

Should you keep edible gummies in fridge? ›

Keeping your edible gummies in the refrigerator can extend their shelf life by one to two weeks. If you don't plan on consuming your gummies within a week or two, consider storing part of your batch in the freezer. Edible gummies can last for months if properly wrapped and stored in the freezer.

What is the first pass effect of edibles? ›

Often referred to as the “first-pass effect,” the liver's initial metabolism can mean that the effects of the edible won't work. To resolve this, try eating a meal prior, as it can increase the concentration of cannabinoids up to threefold and overall last longer as well.

Is Delta 11 stronger than Delta 9? ›

Delta 11 is nearly 3 times stronger than Delta-9 THC and commonly produces a feeling of intense euphoria. Both Delta-9 THC and Delta 11 most commonly last anywhere from 3-5 hours.

Can I cut a gummy edible in half? ›

Factors You Should Consider Before Buying THC Gummies

Instead, start yourself with a low dose- 5-10 mg is ideal if you're a total beginner; cutting your thc gummies in half is fine. To minimize side effects, don't use too much. THC gummies take about one hour to kick in, and the effects last longer.

How many CBD gummies should I eat? ›

Here Is What Experts Recommend. Eating 1-5 CBD infused gummies daily usually does the trick for most people. However, the exact number of gummies dosage will depend on your body weight, digestive system, and other crucial factors.

Do edibles work better without food? ›

Regardless, edibles are safe to consume whether taken on an empty or full stomach, but the effects will be noticeably different. When you consume edibles on a full stomach, the effects will take longer to kick in and last longer. On an empty stomach, you will experience faster, stronger effects.

Why do I feel more high with edibles? ›

Edible cannabis travels first to your stomach then to your liver before getting into your bloodstream and brain. The liver converts THC into a stronger form and this combined with the THC from the original product adds to the intensity of the high.

Why don't you feel edibles the first time? ›

Because edibles can take two hours to kick in, people sometimes take two or three doses before the first one kicks in, thinking the edible isn't doing anything. They are later surprised by how high a dose they took, and sometimes it's unpleasant, anxiety producing, or even traumatizing depending on how much they had.

What happens if you take an edible then go to sleep? ›

Edibles' effects last 6-8 hours

Edibles are an amazing tool for sleep because of this; they will continue to break down and fully absorb in your bloodstream throughout the night, flooding you with a continuous stream of cannabinoid goodness. Remember, it takes awhile for edibles to kick in.

What to do while waiting for edibles? ›

Drink water, eat snacks, and relax while you're waiting. Always listen to your body! That said, even if you have smoked and vaped before, you should expect different effects from edibles, which are slower but stronger.

How much edible is equivalent to a joint? ›

Edibles are processed differently in the body, but a general rule is that smoking a 1/2 gram joint is the equivalent to eating a 10 mg THC edible.

How long will I be high on a 10mg edible? ›

The effects can last up to 12 hours after use and residual effects can last up to 24 hours, so you could be affected into the next day. This timing differs from smoking or vaping cannabis, where the effects start to be felt within a few seconds or minutes and peak at about 30 minutes.

Can you wake up high after edibles? ›

The “meat” of an edibles high usually lasts between 4–8 hours, depending on the dose and your constitution. However, the after-effects of edibles can last well into the next day, with some highs reaching close to 24 hours in length. So yes, you can wake up high after eating edibles.

What is the best edible for anxiety? ›

Yes, I would recommend CBD edibles such as gummies, capsules, and chocolate bars for treating anxiety and depression. CBD edibles can help to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve mood and sleep. Additionally, CBD edibles can help to reduce inflammation, which can help to improve overall health.

Do edibles work faster if you don't eat? ›

Consuming edibles on an empty stomach will likely produce faster effects. How should I consume cannabis for a longer-lasting effect? Consuming edibles on a full stomach will likely extend the entire process and offer longer-lasting effects.

What not to do after eating edibles? ›

Anything but drive a car or operate machinery (even a blender!) Seriously, do not drive while high on edibles. Avoid drinking alcohol before or after eating THC, since booze can magnify the effects and make you feel too high.

What helps edibles absorb faster? ›

Empty Stomach - One of the best ways to make edibles kick in faster is to consume them on an empty stomach. This will help the edible to be absorbed into your bloodstream quicker. This is because when you have food in your stomach, it slows down the absorption process.

What should I eat after eating edibles? ›

You should choose nutritious food like complex carbohydrates, nuts, and fruits. Not only do these foods help decrease the effects of the edibles, but they also provide the energy your body needs to metabolize them.


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