Edibles For Rookies

Tell the truth, there are lots of folks who haven’t sampled weed since college. In the wake of cannabis’ legalization in 29 of 50 states, so many have become canna-curious, but they are intimidated because they don’t want to seem uncool. Also, they don’t want to smoke because their kids or neighbors might notice it. However, after reading article after article about the healing effects of cannabis, they are more than curious. Also, in their adulthood, they realize that weed is a naturally sourced remedy. It’s not manufactured in any lab. Unlike, prescription mood enhancers, anti-inflammatory, pain, or anxiety medications, cannabis has no additives. To that end, while they may not be tempted by smoking, edibles seem like a solid solution.

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But, before you engage in an edible fest here’s some advice to ensure that your experience isn’t weak or one bad trip. There are some things that can go wrong. More than likely it’s one of these things:

1) You spend a lot of money and get nothing.

Many people spend hundreds of dollars on marijuana only to screw up the extraction process. Matt Gray, CEO of The Stoner’s Cookbook, cautions, “when cooking with weed, it is very important to use fat (oil, butter, milk) because THC is fat-soluble and not water-soluble.” “If you want good extractions, you have to put the time and attention into following the proper steps.” Most recipes you’ll find leave out the most important step, says Gray.

“The first mistake many people make is they forget to decarboxylate their cannabis. A lot of times at home chefs make a mistake and skip this important step. Instead, they put the plant directly into the oil or butter.

Decarboxylation removes the CO2 molecule from THTA, turning it into the THC molecule which your brain loves so much. To do this, put the ground cannabis in the oven at 240 degrees Fahrenheit for about 90 minutes. After the cannabis has decarboxylated, it is ready to be infused into oil or butter.

2) You eat way too much and end up having a PTSD-inducing trip.

“You can always eat more edibles, you can’t eat less,” says Gray. “It’s important to go slow and give your body time to react to the THC in edibles.” He recommends having other (clearly labeled) foods that contain no THC, so that people who are still hungry can eat that without getting more medicated.

Remember: It can take up to two or three hours before the drug takes hold, so don’t wait 45 minutes and chow down on more.

3) You don’t know how to sober up.

Drinking coffee induces a nice counterbalancing effect for drunks, but what about people who are too high? There are indeed some antidotes for THC, besides simply sleeping it off. Gray,

who cites the British Journal of Pharmacology, says there are two acute ways to reduce the effects of THC. They are:

• Eating pistachios or pine nuts. They contain pinene, which is a chemical that helps with mental clarity.

• Eating the citrus acid found in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Make sure you eat the pulp!

4) Mixing Marijuana with Alcohol

Combining edibles with alcohol should only be attempted by those who have mastered both substances. Smoking a joint while throwing back a beer is a completely different vibe than inhaling a pot brownie when you’re already lit. Keep in mind that a few glasses of Pinot will magnify the effects of cannabis-infused chocolate significantly, potentially causing nausea and dizziness, aka “the spins.”

5) Eating Edible on an Empty Stomach

Edibles are much more intense when consumed on an empty stomach. Do yourself a favor, eat a filling, nutritious meal before taking your THC dose.

6) Making Plans

Save your edibles until you’re at home, ready to relax and rejuvenate. Don’t consume cannabis and then try to drive three hours to your grandma’s house for her 80th birthday. Not a good idea at all… trust us!

7) Storing Edibles in a Common Place

Store your edibles in a locking cabinet or box. At an appropriate age, educate any minors about the effects of edibles and make sure they understand these substances are for adult use only. You don’t want to have to rush your kid, niece, nephew, or cousin to the emergency room because they ate all the “gummies” that were on the kitchen table in one sitting. Yikes!

8) Forgetting CBD

CBD, another important cannabinoid with healing properties, is known for its confounding effect on THC. Meaning that CBD can lessen the paranoid, panicky feelings that come on after ingesting too much THC. Keep some CBD-rich cannabis on hand for smoking, as well as high- CBD capsules, as antidotes that will take the edge off and return balance to your high.

9) Going Down the Rabbit Hole

If you do happen to overindulge on pot-laden treats, remember that you will recover just fine. Retreat to a safe place where you can lay down, and most likely you will drift off to sleep for 10 or 12 hours. Upon waking, you will feel incredibly rested, if not a little groggy.