Written by Craig Hauser, M.D.- CEO & Medical Director, Hauser Health and Clinical Director, Kannavis Dispensary

Have you noticed that marijuana is no longer a taboo drug reserved for the bohemian and free-spirited?

Times are a-changin’ and people from all walks of life — from athletes to work-at-home-moms are even making their cannabis edibles. In 2014, the state of Colorado sold 1.96 million units of edible medicinal cannabis-infused products and 2.85 million units of edible retail cannabis-infused products. It was roughly 45 percent of the total cannabis sales in the state that year.

Cannabis Edibles: What’s the Right Dose for You?

With that said, it’s worth noting that your body metabolizes weed edibles differently than smoking or vaping cannabis. If you’re new to marijuana edibles, this guide’s for you!

Start low and slow.

For many, it takes a while for marijuana-infused edibles to have an effect, whether it’s ginger ale or a tiny piece of brownie.  Plus, your response to a specific dose of edible cannabis can vary significantly, depending on your current gut health, body weight, state and sensitivity of your endocannabinoid system, and even the marijuana strain.

As a result, it’s all too easy to consume a lot before you find yourself overly high.

With that said, start low and slow. Stick to a single 5 mg serving of THC or even less (just to be sure!) until the high takes effect. The chart below is an excellent guide for newbies and experienced alike.

You can always go for another bite or drink if the high isn’t strong enough. However, if you’ve already eaten or drunk too much, there’s no way for you undo what you’ve consumed.

Just as you would do when you’re out with friends for some drinks, eat well beforehand and ensure you have fluids nearby.

Wait for at least two hours before redosing.

Be patient. It may take 1.5 hours (and another 2 hours) before you start feeling the early highs if you have a full stomach. Meanwhile, it may take more than an hour before you’ll notice the effects on an empty stomach.

If you feel overly high, do not panic. Drink more fluids, rest up, and consider having CBD before or after having edibles to ease anxiety.

Enjoy your edible in a safe space with a trusted friend or family member.

Despite its growing popularity, it pays to remain cautious when consuming cannabis edibles. For a start, don’t drive when you’re high. In addition, consider having a trusted friend or family around and enjoy your cannabis chocolate bar at home.

Know your source.

The cannabis industry is still in its infancy, and quality control for edibles is still on the works. It’s not uncommon to find infused sweets with no proper labels at an underground shop or some festival. With that said, find a reputable dispensary who can confidently tell you about their source.

Looking to try alternative treatments like medical cannabis in Maryland? Get in touch with Dr. Hauser.