Cannabis edibles are rising in popularity as an alternative to traditional smoking for many medical patients in Colorado Springs.  Edibles are now carried at almost every medical dispensary in Colorado, including Hightops Premium Cannabis. As the popularity of edibles has grown, there has been a correlating rise in edible-related emergency room visits in states where cannabis is legal. We want to take this opportunity to put the stigma about edibles to rest. In this article, we want to share five important things you need to know about edibles that will ensure you have a pleasant experience and the desired relief every time.

Many of those who are new to cannabis-infused foods (also known as edibles) fall victim to the same mistake: they eat too much. Edibles are a great choice when consumed responsibly; they’re potent and body-focused, meaning they’re perfect for people who suffer from pain, nausea, or lack of appetite.  However, disaster can strike if one takes too much. Uncomfortable feelings of being too high can lead to paranoia and can turn one off edibles for good. When consumed responsibly and with care, edibles are a solid medical choice for the relief needed. 

1. How Long does it take for edibles to take effect?

When smoking or vaping cannabis, the effects felt from the flower can be felt almost instantly. Because of this, one can easily monitor and keep track of how much they are consuming. It is easy to determine how much is too much when smoking traditionally.  When you consume cannabis through eating or drinking, these instantaneous signals disappear.

Edibles are absorbed into the body through different systems and at different rates. After eating an edible, your body will take some time to digest and metabolize what has been consumed before the effects can be felt. If someone consumed their THC with a tincture under the tongue, they will feel the effects quicker than someone who ate a brownie. This is because the tincture was absorbed directly into the bloodstream, whereas the brownie was absorbed through the digestive system. Before you consume too much, take this into consideration.

2. Proper Dosing of Edibles

There are many factors to consider when determining how much is enough to consume.  If new to consuming edibles, it’s important to do a little bit of homework. Most states (including Colorado) have strict dosing guidelines. These guidelines limit dosing to 10mg of THC per dose. For some patients, 10mg is not a lot, but there is a good reason behind these regulations. For the beginner, half that would be a good starting point for sought after relief. The tolerance for THC grows over time as the patient consumes on a regular basis. 

Another thing to think about before you ingest cannabis edibles is if you’ve eaten or not. At Hightops, we recommend eating a decent meal before you eat an edible. On an empty stomach, edibles pack a bigger punch and you might not get the result you want. Once ready to eat or drink an edible, remember to start slow and introduce THC to the body slowly. Microdosing the first few times is also recommended until the best dosage is achieved.  

3. Avoid Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis Edibles

Avoid uncomfortable sensations like spinning by refraining from mixing edibles with alcohol. Used together, alcohol and marijuana can also create paranoia, causing people to make flawed or even fatal choices.  Alcohol and marijuana are both depressants, which work by slowing down the central nervous system. THC is absorbed much faster into the bloodstream when alcohol is present. The magnified effects of using these substances together can be very unpredictable and may cause panic, anxiety, or terror for people who use both substances in the same period. Many emergency room visits are attributed to mixing alcohol and cannabis edibles irresponsibly.

4. Look at The Label

Because the cannabis industry is so new, it is still considered illegal under federal law. Because of this, cannabis edibles are not currently subject to FDA regulations. This can lead to inconsistency in products. In fact, many patients struggle to find edible products that have consistent dosages and results. At Hightops Cannabis in Colorado Springs, we ensure consistency for our patients by thoroughly vetting out the brands we choose to carry. We only carry reliable and quality brands that give our patients the best possible experience. We make a point to support companies that take the initiative to create clearly labeled, quality packaging for their products. These brands always take extra steps to ensure their products are consistent, safe, and honest.

Here is a tip from us: read the label on your edible to determine the correct portion size for the dose that works best. Always look for products with clearly labeled packaging. This can be a challenge where cannabis is very newly legalized. Utilize your budtenders in this situation! Ask questions and get solid recommendations from our friendly staff.

5. Took too much of an edible?

Since edibles deliver larger doses of THC than inhaling, novice users have the biggest risk of overindulging. Ingesting too much can lead to extremely uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, paranoia, jitters and more. This explains the rise in marijuana-related emergency room visits in Colorado and other legal states. The increase can also be attributed to the greater accessibility of edibles. Some ER visits are child or animal-related and can end up being a drain healthcare resources. It is extremely important to keep your edibles and all cannabis products out of the reach of children or pets. Even though edible-related tragedies are very rare in general, responsibility of the purchaser (that’s you) is key.

Sometimes, even when ingested correctly, anxiety and other side effects may still be felt. It is not uncommon to feel this way, and it is nothing to be overly-concerned about. If you are feeling weird, try to relax and remain calm. Drink some water, sit down, close your eyes, and take a nice deep breath. Remind yourself that no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis. Just try to stay comfortable and know the bad experience will be over soon. Note how much and what type of edible you took, and if you decide to give it another shot, go with a lower dose and wait at least an hour before consuming more.

Our best advice for starting a journey into the world of edibles is to start low and go slow. If you feel like you may have gone a little overboard with consuming edibles, don’t panic. Remember, symptoms subside within a few hours. Stay calm and use the experience to help determine your best dose. Next time, you will have a much better idea of what you need for relief. Our budtenders at Hightops Dispensary are also a great resource to guide you along the way when shopping for edibles. They know the products and hear consistent feedback from other patients. Don’t hesitate to ask for their expert advice.

Browse our edible selection at Hightops Royer and Hightops Powers.