Have you ever been on the wrong side of a poorly dosed edible? I’ve been let down by underdosed edibles that I ate then, after waiting and waiting, realized would never deliver the relaxation I sought. On the flipside, in over fifteen years of cannabis use I’ve had lots of experiences where a cookie, brownie, or gummy turned on me. Undesired effects ranged from full on panic attack to voracious hunger followed by mouth-open, drool-on-pillow, dead-to-the-world sleep for days.
Despite the disappointment and discomfort of these situations the physical risks associated with over-ingesting cannabis are extremely low. So, if cannabis won’t hurt you why does dosage matter? Well, as Joe Rogan once said, “I think we can all agree that a gummy bear shouldn’t be able to steal your soul.” Consistent, accurately dosed edibles give users greater control and lend themselves to more enjoyable, predictable, and restorative experiences.
There are a number of ways to guarantee the cannabinoid content of your edibles—the easiest of which is making them at home using a lab tested extract. The simplest method is dripping extract or distillate on top of your prepared food or drink. We use this method when making our Pumpkin CBD Dog Treats as well as with our CBD Shirley by measuring out the oil in a pipette then dropping the preferred dosage on top of the food or beverage.
Alternatively, you can replace some of the vegetable or olive oil in one of your favorite recipes with a lab tested cannabis oil. This technique requires a bit more math and leaves some room for error. To add to your own recipe, you’ll need to determine how many units or treats you’ll be making, how much of a cannabinoid you want in each treat, and what the concentration of your cannabis extract is. Then follow the below formula to calculate how much extract to add to your recipe. Check out this video to follow along as I work though the math!
When you come to the stage in your recipe that calls for oil, simply add the appropriate mL of extract to your measuring cup then fill the rest of the way with your vegetable or olive oil. For more ideas on how to add cannabis to your cooking, check out our DIY Recipes page for recipes you can try at home!
If you don’t care for cooking or baking at home, you can consider purchasing edibles from reputable companies which adhere to FDA standards within their facilities and provide a certificate of analysis (COA) for their products. When looking for pre-made edibles it’s important to ask how they are made. Some treats have cannabinoids batch sprayed after production while others mix extract directly into their recipes, just like when making edibles at home. Edibles that are showered with cannabinoids after production have a higher risk of being inaccurately dosed. Check back for upcoming blog articles on how to shop for the highest quality cannabis products.
Once you have an accurately dosed edible the question becomes, “What is the right dose for me?” Like Goldilocks, cannabis users often find themselves on a mission to find the dose that is just right. The needs of each user vary greatly and outside factors will influence how an edible may affect you. When ingesting any cannabis product, it is important to consider things like how often you use cannabis, how recently you have eaten, what other medications you take and if you have any psychiatric issues which may be exacerbated by high levels of THC.
There is no hard and fast rule for an effective dose of any cannabinoid so conventional wisdom suggests that we “start low and increase slow,” meaning start with a low dose, monitor effects, and increase dosage slowly until you achieve the desired effect.
While there is still lots of research to be done in the way of finding effective dosing, we can assess what is a comfortable dose for ourselves. This begins with knowing the cannabinoid content of what we are ingesting. Making or seeking out properly dosed edibles is just one way that we can moderate and control our cannabinoid intake while ensuring the best possible experience.