Cannabis edibles have recently become federally legal across Canada. This is an exciting new time for Canadian cannabis users. Weed (dried and cured cannabis) became legal in October 2018, and edibles (ingestible infused with cannabis oil) became legal a year later in October of 2019. A Modern Guide to Cannabis Edibles will help you to navigate the landscape of edibles. So, here’s what you need to know about cannabis edibles.

What is a cannabis edible?

Cannabis edibles are edible food items that have been infused with an activated cannabis oil. These food items usually come in the form of hard candy, gummies, baked goods and chocolate, but it can really be infused into anything edible. We’ve seen infused maple syrup, olive oil, coconut oil, nutella, peanut butter, and even popcorn.

Are they safe?

The great thing about cannabis edibles is there are no health side effects the way there are with smoking cannabis. Smoking, obviously, effects your lungs, while edible cannabis does not have any direct negative side effects to your health. The only potential health issue for fervent cannabis edible users is the high levels of sugar often associated with edible treats. Besides that, the only common noticeable side effect is that edibles make you feel tired and sleepy.

How long does it take to kick in?

This is an interesting question because it varies for a number of reasons. To be safe, we can say the effects kick in between 30 minutes and two hours. That’s certainly a wide range of time, and it really depends on you. How quickly cannabis edibles take effects depends on a number of factors.

1. When is the last time you ate?

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD bind to fat molecules for absorption into the bloodstream. Therefore if you’ve eaten high fat foods before you’ve ingested cannabis edibles, or afterwards when your body is still digesting them, the effects will come on faster and stronger.

Conversely, if you’ve eaten a bunch of carbs or low fat foods, the process may take longer to uptake because your body is also working on digesting the food as well as processing the cannabinoids.

2. Do you have high, or low body fat?

This seems to also effect how quickly the effects are perceived when ingested and digesting cannabis. We noticed that users who are overweight, or with a higher body fat percentage, feel the effects of edibles less strongly.

3. Sometimes it just depends on the person.

As much as we try to determine what makes a person more or less tolerant to edible consumption, there are always exceptions that force us to take another look, or throw out our hypotheses. Sometimes someone with a high fat diet who eats buttered toast right before ingesting cannabis feels mimimal effects. Sometimes a really skinny individual with extremely low body fat seems to be impenetrable to edible cannabis. So really the only way for you to know is to try it out yourself and figure out your parameters and limits. The best way to do this is stick to the mantra: start low, and go slow.

What is start low and go slow?

Start low and go slow is a slogan or mantra designed to help novice or first time cannabis edible users. Much too often users consume too much THC their first time with an edible experience. They get too high, lose control, and never want to do it again. This is a direct result of a dosing problem.

Start low and go slow advocates starting with a small dose, 5 mg or 10 mg THC at the most. Wait an hour. By this time the effects should have kicked in. If you feel absolutely nothing, take another 5 mg THC. Continue this dosing method until you have reached the desired level.

What you do NOT want to do is take 50 mg or 100 mg THC the first time you try edibles. That is a sure way to never want to do it again! Imagine you’ve never smoked weed before, and your first time trying it, you smoke a 7 gram blunt all to yourself, full of top shelf weed, kief, shatter and THC distillate. Our guess is you’d get way too high and not want to smoke again. This is the same idea as taking 50 mg or 100 mg THC edible the first time you try edibles. So remember, start low and go slow.

What is a low dose, and what is a high dose?

Cannabis edibles can range in potency from as low as 2.5 mg THC (known as a micro-dose) up to 800 or 1000 mg (known as a high-dose). This is a massive range, and makes it difficult to figure out where you fit. As a novice or first time user of cannabis edibles, a safe place to start is 5 mg – 10 mg THC, and move up from there. This outline may give you a better idea:

Edible Dosing Chart

  • 0 mg – 10 mg — mirco-dose
  • 10 mg – 25 mg — low dose
  • 25 mg – 75 mg — moderate dose
  • 75 mg – 200 mg — high dose
  • 200 mg + — extreme high dose, very potent

What are the side effects of cannabis edibles?

They make you tired

The most common side effects noted from edible cannabis users is that they make you feel tired and sleepy. The effects are mostly felt in the body, and at higher doses the effects can have an opiate-like effect, which is truly sedative. Although this may seem like a downside for recreational users, many medicinal cannabis users who suffer from chronic pain, PTSD, migraines, or insomnia are huge advocates of edibles for this reason.

The effects can sometimes be too strong

Another common complaint about cannabis edibles are that the effects are too strong. This can usually be avoided by actually paying attention to your dosing. If you’re a new user, follow the guidelines of “start low, go slow”. The best way to use edibles is slowly work up to the effect you desire, instead of trying to bite off more than you can chew (pun intended).

Hopefully, this Modern Guide to Cannabis Edibles will assist you in making informed decisions about your edible cannabis use. Here is a brief summary of important points for you to remember:

  • Cannabis edible products are now federally legal in Canada
  • High fat food makes effects uptake quicker and stronger
  • Start low, and go slow
  • Cannabis edibles can make you tired
  • Cannabis edibles are an excellent alternative medicine option

Enjoy the rest of your radical day and stay lit! If there is ever any cannabis subject you’d like to learn more about, drop a comment in our comments section and we’ll be sure to write a blog post about it!

Always the best,

CANMEDi