5 Things to Know Before Trying Edibles

Are you thinking about trying edibles for the first time? It's a whole different ball game compared to smoking or vaping cannabis. Edibles can offer a longer-lasting and more intense experience, which is fantastic if you're seeking extended relief or just want to enjoy a deep, full-body relaxation.
view icon


like icon
comments icon

Table of Contents

Before you dive into your first edible, there are a few key things you should know to ensure a positive and safe experience. This includes understanding how edibles work in your body, proper dosing, and what to expect during the experience. Here are five critical points to consider that will help you navigate the world of cannabis-infused foods confidently and safely.

Copied to clipboard!

Start Low and Go Slow: The effects of edibles can take longer to kick in (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours),

Begin with a low dose (typically 5-10mg of THC or less) and wait at least two hours before considering taking more.

Understand exactly how much THC is in each portion of your edible. This helps avoid consuming too much by mistake.

Don’t rush into taking more because you think it’s not working.

Settle In for the Experience: Make sure you’re in a comfortable setting when trying edibles, especially if it’s your first time. Being in a familiar, relaxed environment can enhance your experience.

Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol: Keep water handy as “cottonmouth” is common, and avoid alcohol which can intensify the effects unpredictably.

Cannabis edibles, including weed-infused treats, are nothing new but are experiencing a resurgence with hundreds of new, innovative foods that are being infused. This resurgence highlights the diverse cannabis consumption methods available today. You can enjoy cannabis infused edibles like bbq sauce at your next cookout, drizzle infused olive oil over your salad greens, sip an infused wine at dinner, and for the sweet tooth, the dessert options with edible cannabis are limitless.

As edibles gain new traction and popularity in the more mainstream markets, there are several important things to remember to ensure a safe and fun experience – particularly if you’re just setting out to explore infusions.

1. The High From Cannabis Edibles Hits You Differently

When you ingest cannabis that’s been infused into food or beverage you MUST remember to pace yourself. It typically takes about an hour, and sometimes up to two hours, for the effects to kick in so it’s important not to eat too much too fast or you may find yourself feeling worse than before. Compared to when you smoke cannabis, where the effects can occur within 15 minutes, edibles require patience due to the THC being processed by the liver. Do not eat an entire cannabis chocolate bar if you are new to edibles. Start with a small piece and then sit back and relax, wait to see how you feel before eating more. Edibles offer a different experience from other cannabis consumption methods, providing a more prolonged effect compared to the immediate but shorter-lived high of smoking cannabis. Start low (5mg of THC is a lot for many people) and go slow.

Cookie monster enjoying some cannabis cookies.

2. With Edible Dosage, a Little Bit Goes a Long Way

Someone who uses cannabis frequently will likely experience edibles differently than someone who is more cannabis naive so if you’re dining with a regular user, don’t try to keep up with them. Pace yourself and remember the importance of finding the correct edible dosage to achieve the desired effects without adverse reactions. Remember the embarrassing story of Maureen Dowd, a New York Times writer who either ignored the advice of professional budtenders in Denver or didn’t ask enough questions when she attempted to try THC edibles for the first time.

Maureen ate an entire candy bar, consuming too many edibles, and then proceeded to have an anxiety attack that couldn’t have been any fun at all. She would have avoided this if she had paced herself responsibly and been mindful of the THC edible dosage.

3. A Brownie Is Still a Brownie – Don’t Go Overboard With Too Many Edibles

Processed sugars are empty calories that provide no nutritional benefit so if you’re looking to medicate with edibles why not consider eating something that will not only act as a delivery mechanism for your medication but will also nourish your body?

Check out this The Herb Lifestyle article written by Leighana Martindale about reducing the amount of bad-for-you ingredients in common edibles.

You should also meet Aly Francis who recently completed a successful Indiegogo campaign to launch The Baking Supply Co, a mail-order service that provides you with recipes and ingredients to bake your own sugar and gluten-free infused treats.

4. You Will Not Die, Effects Can Take Up to Two Hours

At least not from the direct effects of consuming cannabis. So if you eat too much and are having an anxiety-riddled horrible experience take heart knowing that you will not die from it. I say this with confidence because no one has ever died from cannabis consumption. Ever.

It has been said that a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying. That would probably be the equivalent of someone trying to smoke a pyramid’s size worth of pot and take some serious dedication to pull off.

775b31d1 dc72 4d46 b44b 574af62f9f1e cannabis image

Cannabis infused food and cannabis infused foods offer a variety of safe edible options, ranging from gummies and chocolates to baked goods and beverages, providing a consistent experience.

Overdosing is a possibility (see #s 1, and 2) but a cannabis overdose is not like an opiate overdose. In this case, “overdose” simply refers to taking too large a dose which may potentially give you an increased heart rate (problematic for those suffering a heart condition but not unlike ingesting higher levels of caffeine). The challenge of dosing with homemade edibles highlights the importance of understanding dosage, as it’s not always easy to determine the THC content or proper dosage, unlike pre-packaged edibles with labeled serving sizes.

5- If You Feel Anxious, Take a Nap


Eating cannabis in the form of edibles like a big cannabis brownie can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety if consumed in excess. When you consume cannabis through edibles, the effects can be more intense and longer-lasting compared to other methods, due to the way the body processes THC. THC in edibles comes from the cannabis plant, extracted and infused into various products.

Weed edibles, including gummies, brownies, and cannabis-infused drinks, offer a variety of experiences but can cause anxiety if not consumed responsibly. If you begin to feel weird, or anxious, experience an elevated heart rate, or any other symptoms that suggest you’ve overdone it, the first thing you want to do is take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you will be just fine and that you will not die. Try to calm down and take a nap to sleep it off if you can.

If sleep isn’t going to happen, try drinking some water. Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water will help flush the THC from your body. Try a soothing herbal tea (just not a cannabis-infused herbal tea).

Take a bath or a shower or go for a walk or get some exercise to release endorphins. The goal is to relax and distract yourself so if going outside seems impossible maybe you could cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie or listen to a podcast (my favorite way to chill out).

If you just need to come down from your high RIGHT NOW take a page from Neil Young’s book and pop a couple of black pepper balls into your mouth to chew on. This Leafly article will explain the hows and whys of this particular trick but essentially it boils down to both black pepper and cannabis binding to the same receptors in your brain leading to a calming effect. If all else fails and you’re feeling yucky it’s worth a shot.

Share Your Thoughts: Join the Discussion Below
About Author
Author Photo Andrew Peters

Andrew has already carved a niche for himself in the cannabis community, thanks to his deep-rooted passion and substantial experience with the herb. His journey began in his late teens,... Read More

You May Also Like
About Author
Author Photo Andrew Peters

Andrew has already carved a niche for himself in the cannabis community, thanks to his deep-rooted passion and substantial experience with the herb. His journey began in his late teens,... Read More

Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive more updates
Follow us on
Scroll to Top