My first experience with edibles was nearly 15 years ago when we were living in Vegas. We attempted to make our own cannabutter from the shake from our low-quality brick weed. It worked out fine, even though the cookies I baked tasted more like weed than batter. If you’ve never tasted homemade edibles, then just know that you might as well lick the inside of your pipe if you’re looking for flavor.
Throughout the years, edibles have never been my favorite way to get baked. It’s never as efficient as smoking or vaping for me. Then there’s the difficulty of self-regulation that you don’t have with smoking. But, I was never that adverse to eating them. That is, until a couple of years ago when MMJ was legalized here in Fort Collins.
Now, I’m not going to deny the fact that when MMJ was legalized, product hit the streets and people were selling their prescriptions. Hell, we bought them! We bought cookies and a few rice crispy treats in addition to different strains of flower. These tasted much better than the ones I made myself, but I discovered that they were very difficult to dose. The first few times I ate about half of the square, when we were told to eat a quarter. Nothing happened. So after two failed attempts, the next time we had one, I ate the whole thing. I’m pretty sure it was 100 mg, but that’s guessing at this point in time.
I remember feeling disappointed that edibles weren’t working for me again, gathering that THC levels were inaccurate and there’s no way to tell otherwise, and so my husband and I hit the sack to watch TV in our room before going to sleep. We were watching Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Made Easy. The next thing I know, I’m full on tripping balls and hallucinating with paranoia on level 20 on a scale of 1 to 10.
“Um, I’m tripping. I’m going to sleep,” I told my husband as I pulled the covers up and over my head. Word to the wise, this doesn’t work if you’re having audible hallucinations, too. You can still hear the annoying trumpets in your ears with the covers over your head. He laughed, of course, because I am the worst hallucinator ever. Which while sober, sounds hilarious. Not that we did it often, but I’ve had enough of this kind of experience in Oregon to know that it’s not my thing. I also hallucinated on Ambien about 6 years ago when I was at PVH for pre-term labor contractions while I was pregnant with our second son. It kicked in while we were driving home (they make you take the pills at the hospital), and once again I told Bill, “Well, I’m tripping,” and proceeded to take out my contacts before it was too late, tossing them on the floor of the car. So, apparently it’s an easy thing for my brain to do.
But, the good part about my hallucinating on edibles is that I have had plenty of previous experience, I already knew what was happening, and I knew that I just needed to ride it out.
This is where the painfully inexperienced national reporters “trying it out” for the first time screw up, and the community consumers who call 911 and end up in emergency rooms for being too high. It’s not that they don’t know how to dose edibles, because it really is difficult, even for the experienced cannabis users. They just don’t have the experience of being too damn high and how to ride it out. Or the friends with them have never had to talk someone down, so they freak out too. That’s not helpful.
Just like we have education about alcohol poisoning, we desperately need public education on edible consumption. Not just how much to dose, but what you need to do if you find yourself in the land of unbridled paranoia. Mainly? Drink some water and breathe. You’re going to have to ride it out like the Mind Eraser at Elitch Gardens. This isn’t a ride that you can ask the carny to stop in the middle. There’s no getting off mid-loop.
After a night of trumpets, bells, weird altered sounds, and seeing Zane Lamprey’s interview subjects suddenly become little people, I decided that was the end of edibles for me. Thanks, but no thanks. If I want to trip hard like that again, I’ll just eat something else (and I don’t want to).
So, here I am, writing a weed blog, which means that I’ll have to eventually suck it up and write about edibles. A little while back I asked some Budding Fort Collins readers for their edible suggestions. Dixie Elixirs came highly recommended (pun not intended).
Last weekend we were in Denver for Westword Showcase and decided to hit up The Giving Tree to see how a Denver dispensary compared to what we have up here in NoCo, and to get some new strains and edibles before the show. We picked out the Dixie Rolls, which were just like Tootsie Rolls with a 50/50 balance of sativa and indica effects (pretty much like the hybrids we love to vape). The budtender told us the proper dosage of 10 mg. each and once we got back to our hotel room, we measured out one of the two rolls for a proper single dose. The packaging says that it has a 30 minute activation time, but could be delayed by 2 or more hours. This seems to mostly be there to cover their ass. That’s a large range of time. So, you see how nobody knows what the hell to do just from reading the instructions.
I ate my 10 mg. at 5:00pm. It tasted like a tootsie roll with the same kind of consistency, but it also had a heavy cannabis flavor, similar to the homemade cookies I used to make. It wasn’t bad, but there’s no mistaking what you’re eating. This is another journalist peeve of mine. There are a plethora of reports out there about people “mistakenly” eating edibles thinking that they were candy. No, these people are idiots. It’s like drinking vodka thinking that it’s water. The minute you bite down on an edible, you know well enough that it’s not candy. And if you’re “mistaken” you’re a dumb ass for not spitting it out.
Now for kids? That’s different because they’ll eat random things that they find on the floor and not care. Speaking as a cannabis-consuming parent, if your kids get a hold of your edibles, you’re a dumb ass for not keeping them out of reach. Be responsible. Have a conversation with them letting them know that they are “grown-up” foods, just like you have grown-up drinks that they can’t touch until they re 21. Tell them that it’s not good for them and what would happen if they did eat it. And then keep it in something they can’t open. OtterBox makes dry cases that I can barely open myself.
The night goes on and we get to the show. We’re shoulder to shoulder with people getting ready to see 2 Chainz (I love 2 Chainz) and I’m not feeling anything. Once again, I feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick with edibles. 7:30pm rolls around and still nothing. Meanwhile, Bill is feeling great (that’s the understatement of the year).
“Jesus, maybe I should take more?? What the hell?!” I tell Bill. So, instead of taking a full second dose, I cut it down to 5 mg. 8:30pm comes, Diplo starts his set, and immediately we’re in action. Three and a half hours later. THREE AND A HALF HOURS. Although, not enough to really make a difference and it wasn’t long lasting. What I didn’t feel is my blistered aching feet from wearing wedges to a show. Bill had jacked up his back at Krav Maga the week before and had been having trouble with pain that Ibuprofen couldn’t touch until the edibles gave him some serious relief. So, there were plenty of medicinal benefits.
But, we’re not medicinal users. The difference between medicinal effects and recreational effects are on completely opposite ends of the “high” spectrum. It’s like comparing the effects of indicas to sativas – totally different with a similar goal. Edibles are more of a body than a head high because the THC breaks down in the liver as it’s being metabolized. In fact, it’s so much body-centric that I’m clear-headed and feel pretty much sober. I’d say this is why they have such a strong fan base in the medicinal community.
This most recent experience with edibles has lead me to a few conclusions, especially for novice cannabis consumers who are trying things out for the first time…
- You need to fully understand how your body reacts to all different kinds of substances before venturing into the world of edibles. Are you a lightweight and get drunk easily? Do you experience the adverse effects of prescription medications? (as prescribed by a doctor, I’m not advocating taking pills for recreational uses – that’s beyond stupid and deadly). If you are sensitive to substances, you’re going to be sensitive to cannabis. Don’t throw caution to the wind without being prepared for the consequences.
- We all need to understand that everyone metabolizes substances differently. The instructions on the packaging of edibles is a vague guideline that they have to put there. This is why the activation time is listed as “30 minutes but could be delayed by 2 or more hours.” To become fully aware of how much you need to dose, and the timeline to work with, it will be exactly like your experimentation with prescribed prescriptions from your doctor. Your doctor will often start you on a medication and dosage, see how you do and adjust accordingly over time. Cannabis edibles are the same way. You need to start with the 10 mg single dose recommendation to see how you do, and over time, adjust your dose after knowing how your body metabolizes. This could take a couple of weeks, depending on your usage.
- I’ve been seeing a trend that new cannabis consumers are attracted to edibles because they seem like the most harmless and inconspicuous way to consume THC, when in fact, I think edibles are more appropriate for experienced smokers.
Despite the very delayed effects, I actually liked trying Dixie Elixirs out to see what would happen. I thought they tasted alright for edibles, and I felt like they were a quality product. Considering that we have a lot of the rolls leftover, I’ll be eating some more out to see if three and a half hours is my standard metabolizing time. But, I’m not giving up on my PAX vaporizer any time soon.