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A beginner’s guide to edibles

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Disclaimer: Cannabis consumption is not recommended for those under the age of 19. This article is based solely on the opinion of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the those of the MPS. This article should not replace the recommendations of medical professionals.


If you were to imagine cannabis as a family, edibles would be the mother: sweet, soft, and nurturing, but can totally put you on your ass. So here are the five basic things you should know before embarking on an edibles journey.


Are edibles safe?

Edibles are preferred by seniors and those who want to avoid smoking, and are a generally well-received delivery method for cannabis. This makes edibles a particularly safe choice. Depending on how much you consume, the high can shift from therapeutic and euphoric to very, very, uncomfortable — we’re talking head spins, anxiety, and possibly puking. Check the label carefully for dosage information, or seek advice from your dispensary before consuming. That being said, it’s highly unlikely that over-consuming edibles will have adverse long-term consequences after the high, beyond the significant discomfort you might experience. But chances are — you won’t make that same mistake twice. And for that very reason, you should probably avoid Steve-from-Soci’s homemade cookies, no matter how lit he says they are.


How much is a regular dose?

A standard dose of THC is around 10mg. A person who is completely new to cannabis may want to start with a 5mg dose and go from there. An infused chocolate bar may contain 100mg of THC total, so it’s important to do the math (preferably before you’re stoned) or follow the dosage information. Individually-wrapped gummies are a good place to start, usually offering a single serve. As consuming edibles is a much slower way to get high than either smoking or vaping, wait a full 60 to 90 minutes for the full effects to kick in. Don’t be tempted to consume more thinking it’s not working. Plenty of impatient people have double dosed on this logic, and it hits them like a freight train.


Can you mix edibles and alcohol?

There’s this old saying: Beer and grass — you’re on your ass. Grass and beer — you’re in the clear. This is rubbish. It’s hard to balance edibles and alcohol safely. Granted, sometimes it works. But when it doesn’t’, it’ll make you that special kind of sick where you’re sure you’re dying but for some reason, can’t fall asleep. Leave the booze and brownies to someone else.


How can edibles help me?

Everybody has a different reaction to cannabis, and it’s certainly not for everyone. Edibles impact the body and the mind, and have been therapeutic for long-term cancer patients, those with injuries, mobility issues, inflammation, and pain. Some choose to consume edibles as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, including opiate pain relievers. In correct doses, and depending on the individual, THC may alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. With legalization on its way, it’s appropriate to discuss the benefits and risks of cannabis use with your doctor.


Are edibles legal?

According to the Supreme Court of Canada — yes. It is your right to consume medicinal cannabis in the form that you choose, provided that you are over the age of 19. In a 2015 case brought by a Victoria-based edibles maker, the Supreme Court granted reasonable access to medical marijuana for patients, and this includes edibles. However, edibles sold through legal storefronts remain a sticky issue. Canada-wide total legalization of recreational cannabis came on Oct. 17, though edibles will take longer to officially approve as they require VIHA approval. For first-timers, it’s worth waiting for quality, lab-tested edibles to hit the shelves.