Over the past several months I’ve talked to a lot of people about edibles. While many people enjoy them, almost everyone has a horror story to rival that of Maureen Dowd.
The problem is, prohibition makes it nearly impossible to determine the potency of homemade edibles. Most people have little choice but to make some cannabutter with the untested cannabis they have on hand and hope for the best. The delayed onset of edibles can make it appear that the first dose was ineffective, prompting people to take an unnecessary second dose that pushes them beyond their comfort levels.
Fortunately, prohibition is on the way out. For those of us in legal states, this means we can buy tested products and send our own edibles off to the lab instead of using ourselves as guinea pigs. Knowing exactly how much THC is in each serving is essential to making an informed decision about how much you’re going to eat.
Start Low and Go Slow
Once you know how much THC is in your edible, what do you do with that information? First, decide how much you want to consume. If you’re new to edibles or haven’t eaten them recently, start with a low dose. Five to ten milligrams is considered low, so that’s a good starting point. Keep in mind that a high tolerance for smoking does not mean you’ll have a high tolerance for edibles.
While you could feel the effects as soon as 30 minutes later, wait two full hours before taking a second dose. That gives your digestive system enough time to metabolize the edible and get the THC into your bloodstream. The amount of time that process takes varies by individual and can be affected by everything from your body composition to your gender to your stomach contents. Be patient; be the tortoise.
How To Portion Edibles
So you’ve decided to start with 5 mg, but your delicious truffle is 40 mg. How do you cut that down to the appropriate dose? Many edibles, including our truffles, are marked for an easy division, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be portioned the way you want them.
So how do you portion that 40 mg edible? You could cut it in half and then cut those halves in half and then cut the resulting quarters in half, giving you eight 5 mg portions, but that can be difficult to do with any degree of precision.
A better option is to determine what percentage you want to eat and weigh out the correct portion. A 5 mg portion of a 40 mg edible is 12.5%. Let’s say that edible weighs 20 g; that means 2.5 g of that edible will give you 5 mg of THC. Throwing an edible on a kitchen scale is much easier than trying to eyeball an eighth of a truffle.
Managing the Munchies
A well-known side-effect of cannabis is an increased appetite. Honestly, this can be awesome. Many medical patients use cannabis to help stimulate their own appetites, and I love few things more than eating yogurt after I have a Goo Drop. (The combination of the fat and calcium in the yogurt and the THC in the edibles puts me right to sleep.)
However, using more edibles to satisfy your appetite is a bad idea. Instead, put away any leftovers immediately after consuming your initial dose. Take the time in between eating the edible and feeling its effects to prepare something to eat so you have it ready when you want it; this will decrease the likelihood that you’ll binge on an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Instead, try this granola from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s higher in fiber and lower in sugar than most store-bought granolas and it’s absolutely delicious. I put it on my post-edible, pre-bedtime yogurt.
- 2 and 1/2 cups (200g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (100g) slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (60ml) melted coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (yes, tablespoon)
- Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Toss the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup and coconut oil together until combined. Whisk in the almond and vanilla extracts. Pour over the oats and toss to coat. Make sure all of the oats are moistened.
- Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow granola to cool completely – the air will help the granola obtain a crunchy texture.
- Make ahead tip: Granola is the perfect recipe to make ahead because it stays fresh for so long. Store this in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
How do you determine your dosage when taking edibles? What are you favorite healthy munchies?