Although no one has died from a cannabis overdose, most of my friends and cohorts have suffered from the “I can't believe I ate the whole thing” edible issue. It's a real occurrence and it's happened to the best of us.
If you live in a region where cannabis potency info is readily available, avoid this unpleasant situation entirely by following some simple rules to finding your optimal dosage once you've made your edible.
When it comes to making edibles and consuming cannabis in food, which I wholeheartedly support, nothing is as important as knowing the potency of what you are making and consuming. Ingesting too much cannabis is extremely unpleasant -- not physically harmful, just a guaranteed miserable time that may last longer than desired. Experiences include dizziness, nausea, disorientation, and a “please let this pass” kind of feeling. Never eat more than is recommended. Too little is way better than too much.
Consuming marijuana, rather than smoking it, essentially doubles the potency and the time you are high. Everyone's tolerance is different and you need to find what is right for you. Furthermore, strains of the same strength can affect you differently due to the difference in cannabinoid and terpene ratios. It is always best to try a strain before you turn it into a large quantity of infused butter or oil.
Your body is a temple, and that temple is in some ways a mystery. You need to find your own THC potency that gets you to the place you like to be.
And you should get to that place by going slow, and gradually increasing until you feel the desired effect. A little THC goes a long way, and often less is more. One person's pleasant experience at 15 milligrams of THC can be someone else's nightmare. Moderation is key.
Consume in a Safe Location
When you are experimenting to find your dose, do so at home. It isn't a good idea to be somewhere that will require you to drive or operate heavy machinery. Plus, if you accidentally get too high, it's nice to be able to chill or just get into bed.
Calculate Your Dose
You can test your own tolerance by trying a very small amount of an infused base product such as coconut oil or butter. I suggest trying just a quarter-teaspoon, or 1.23 milliliters, of the canna-butter you made to start. Wait up to three hours to get the full effect. Sometimes, the effects kick in as early as 30 minutes. So be patient.
Once you know your dose, you will be able to avoid going overboard. If you make an infusion that you feel is too strong, dilute it with butter or oil, depending on your infusion.
If You Overdo It
Although medical patients may require very high doses to find relief, I have found that most recreational users are often quite happy with 5-10 mg of THC. Personally, I am good with a 10 mg THC dose. Although it may not make sense, sometimes a lower dose makes for a better time. If you get too out of it, you miss all the fun.
But overdoing it happens to the best of us. It's not the end of the world if you consume too much THC, even if you think it might be. Here are some tips to help reduce the undesired effects of THC:
- Take a dose of ibuprofen. It will take half an hour to kick in, but has been shown to lessen the effects of THC.
- Drink water. It will make you feel better and help process the excess THC.
- Citrus is thought to help relieve symptoms of being too high, particularly fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- Keep a high-CBD strain in your house. CBD is thought to lessen the effects of THC.
- Try to sleep. Get yourself as comfortable as you can and tuck yourself into bed. Keep your eyes closed and focus on rhythmic breathing.
Marijuana is non-fatal and there are no reported risks for an overdose. Remember that the “too high” feeling will wear off, just probably not as quickly as you would like.
Feature Image: Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps