10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Cannabis Edibles

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People have turned to cannabis edibles during the COVID-19 pandemic. They figure wisely that edibles are an effective alternative to smoking. For many, cannabis edibles are a new thing. They have little experience in shopping, using, or making edibles. And, they risk making common mistakes that can be harmful.

To avoid 10 common mistakes when using cannabis edibles, you should start with some research. You should not just pop things into your mouth at will. You should not just throw some ingredients in a bowl and hope it works out. There are right ways to consume and risky ways, so let us look at some of the frequent issues:

  1. There is no hurry. The body processes the cannabinoids in edibles differently than when you smoke. The lungs do not process the cannabinoids into the blood system. Instead, the liver metabolizes edibles more slowly into a very potent 11-hydroxy-THC.  The suggested dose for starting edible use is 10 milligrams of THC. That is not much, and you will not feel an immediate effect. You will not feel the influence for up to two hours, so that wait will tempt you to try more. Until you have some experience with edibles, you must resist that temptation.

  1. Titrate with experience. To avoid harmful effects, you should titrate the experience. That is, you start with 10 milligrams and increase the intake slowly in one of several ways.

    1. You can titrate by moving on to 15 milligrams. However, you should avoid increasing the milligrams until you are amazingly comfortable with the results at 10 milligrams.

    2. You can titrate by shortening the wait between consumption. Once you experience a pattern of 10 milligrams every two hours, you may test the effects at every 1.5 hours.

  1. Don’t mix. Social event hosts have been known to serve varieties of edibles for guests to pick over. Guests choose several to eat as if they were canapes or hors d’oeuvres. They then pop them in their mouths as they mingle with others. On such occasions, chances are they are enjoying cocktails at the same time. The alcohol will fill the time as you wait for the edible impact. However, mixing alcohol and cannabis will complicate the effects. It will mess up the cannabis influence and increase the potential for intoxication.

  1. Do not eat on an empty stomach. Cannabis edibles are not processed in the stomach. However, an empty stomach will intensify the experience. That does not make sense when the purpose of edibles is a low, slow, accumulating experience. More important, if you are trying a high THC edible, you may find the results too much to handle. You will enjoy the cannabis edible experience much more if you eat them after a full meal. The edible ingredients will mingle with the meal’s elements to provide an increasingly pleasant experience. It also helps to hydrate heavily with fluids other than alcohol.

  1. It is no joke. Edibles left on a table or otherwise accessible will tempt children. Gummie Bears, for example, and pot-chocolate bars look just like candy children know and love. The 10-milligram candy that works for you could put a child in a hospital emergency room. It is also not funny to slip an edible to a friend without telling them. They will not handle the surprise well. They have a right to know what is coming their way. That is not to say you should not share, but you should not sneak an edible into your neighbor’s treats. There is a reason for labels. If you purchase your edibles at a dispensary or online, you should read the label carefully and thoroughly. It should tell you what cannabis strain went into the yummy. Some are high in THC, high in CBD, or balanced. You can expect some excitement from the THC, some calm from the CBD, and a moderate buzz from the balanced hybrids.

  1. You should avoid offers of edibles without labels or from people you do not know. The existence of a label is at least one sign of quality control, but it also contains information about ingredients that might trigger an allergy.
  1. Do not use it alone. Until you know what you are doing and are confident in the results, you should not use edibles alone. You should let others know what you are using and what results you expect. You should have enough straight CBD handy to offset any extreme experience. The CBD will counter the THC and should bring you down. You should also depend on those friends to keep you from driving when under the influence. For most people, the experience does not lead to concern, but until you know what happens in your case, you should not try edibles without company.

  1. Edibles are not for work. Again, with research and some trial and error, you can find an edible that you can use throughout the day. You want to find the edible that improves focus and creativity. Once you are comfortable with that type and dose, you can use repeatedly throughout the workday so long as you respect the necessary gap between use. However, even when you know what works for you and keeps you centered, you do not want to consume edibles and operate machinery. You do not want to use it if your work environment could mean testing.

  1. Be careful in the kitchen. The high price of cannabis prompts more people to make their own edibles. With reading and practice, you can get quite at cooking cannabis. However, you should remember a few things:

    1. Cannabis is fat-soluble, not water-soluble. Adding water to a recipe will not make good edible treats. You must use butter, oil, or milk to make it work.

    2. Because of the price, you will want to start with some lower-cost cannabis anticipating that you will waste some while you practice.

    3. Dosing is difficult. Just because you add cannabis to your brownie mix, for instance, does not guarantee that the effects spread evenly throughout the resultant cake. You must look for recipes that coach you on dosing correctly.

  1. Power lies in the decarb. Decarboxylation the cannabis releases the potency in cannabis. You do not simply blend cannabis leaf into the mix. Decarboxylation converts THC-A of cannabis flower into THC. You cannot metabolize THC-A, so you must make the change before baking.  Decarboxylation occurs when you spread your cannabis across a cookie sheet and bake it at -300°F for about 30 minutes. That effectively imitates the combustion that happens when you smoke.

Edibles are a great alternative to smoking cannabis, especially under the threat of viral infection. You can buy them or make them. But you should do so with some research and awareness of these common mistakes to avoid when using cannabis edibles.