BY: TANNER HEWITT
If you're an avid pot smoker, you've probably tried a marijuana edible before and have your own experiences to touch on. However, I know there are probably more people out there who have smoked a little pot in their day but have never eaten an edible. This article won't be about how to make any edibles; you can find that information anywhere on the Internet (or go buy Jeff the 420 Chef's new recipe book).
Instead, I want to share advice and precautions for those new to the edible realm, since the experience of eating marijuana-infused foods is different than smoking pot.
Why edibles and why now?
After missing their chance in 2012 with Proposition 19, Californians finally got the marijuana legalization they were asking for last November. Millions smoked in celebration that night, but they also voted on the same ballot (and by a wider margin) for a $2 tax increase per pack of cigarettes and vape products. The message there is clear – give us our bud, but get rid of the butts.
Smoking will always be the quickest and most common way to consume marijuana, and research (over a seven-year study) actually shows that smoking up to a joint per day has no effects on lung capacity. Regardless, smoking in general isn't allowed in many places anymore, including CSULB and dozens of other campuses across the state that have already banned smoking and vaping.
As it stands now, there are plenty of establishments that people can go to and enjoy a drink, but there's virtually nowhere to enjoy smoking pot – unless you want to eat it. If you want to go out and have some weed, edibles are the only way to go for now.
So here's some things to remember before you eat your weed:
- Check the dosage: Pot is sold in grams, while most edibles are sold with the dosage in micrograms. The most common dose for edibles are between 1mg to 30mg per serving.
- Convert that dosage: Let's try and visualize how much pot you're used to smoking. A half gram of pot is roughly the size of a bottle cap. That half gram dose of flower is equal to about 5mg to 10mg of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an edible. This is because burning marijuana includes a lot of variables that affect the actual amount of THC you’ll get on a per hit basis. Edibles share that variance, but most edibles are sold with easily divided sections and known dosages for a particular amount, which cuts back on those variables.
- WAIT: Smoking pot will affect you immediately, but edibles are absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract, so it may take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to take effect. When you inhale marijuana smoke, the THC instantly reaches your bloodstream along with the oxygen you breathe. Think of swallowing a pill – sometimes it takes a while to work. In my experience (mostly with chocolates), it's almost always 75 minutes. It's important not to eat more of an edible before you feel its effects, or you could get more high than you planned for.
- Plan accordingly: Edibles not only take longer to affect you, but they will usually keep you high longer. It's important to plan to be stoned for around five to seven hours compared to the one to three hours you might be used to with smoking, even after you've converted your dosage. This is especially true for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, but your body high will likely last longer and be more intense than with smoking too. If you use marijuana as a medical pain reliever, take note that relief will not be immediate.
- Record and remember: You won't truly know what marijuana edibles are like until you try one for yourself. Remember what kind of edible you took, what the dosage was, and how long it took to affect you. These things will make your next pot meal a breeze and will keep you safe.
With those tips in mind, go out there and have some fun! Be safe and obey any marijuana laws. Check out all kinds of marijuana recipes online (there's a lot more than brownies and Rice Crispy treats out there nowadays.) Find something that makes you happy and try it out.