Edibles offer patients a potent way to take high doses of medical cannabis, all neatly wrapped up in one delicious package. But, an edibles experience can feel so much different than that of an inhaled one. Suddenly, the blissed-out relaxing time shifts into a challenging and highly uncomfortable state of being.
A few guidelines are in order if you’ve discovered weed edibles for sale and want to jump right into the fun. Edibles, at the right dose, are an immensely enjoyable experience. But in the wrong dose, everything can go sideways.
In this guide, we will put everything out on the table: the good, the bad, and the ugly of an accidental edible overdose. Most importantly, should you find yourself heading into the deep end of an edibles experience, we’ll also detail how to recover.
Why Edibles Feel Stronger Than Other Routes of Administration
The way you decide to consume cannabis matters. Smoking and vaping are much different from what happens with edibles. Why? Because it comes down to where the cannabinoids go when they enter the body.
When you puff on a joint or pull on a THC vape pen, the THC travels through the respiratory tract and instantly absorbs through the lungs into the bloodstream. Once there, it quickly travels to the brain where the THC binds to your cannabinoid receptors. Once the receptors lock onto the THC, you’ll begin to euphoria, stress relief, and happiness. This entire process takes less than 10 minutes. Smoked effects last for up to four to six hours.
But all that changes if you find weed edibles for sale and start munching. This time the THC travels to your digestive tract. Once there, your stomach gradually digests the food, sending nutrients, vitamins, and other compounds to the liver for processing. This includes the cannabinoids. The liver metabolizes valuable compounds into new compounds called metabolites. THC, for example, transforms into THC-COOH.
Only once the liver has done its job do the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream and head to the brain. Unlike a joint, it can take upwards of two hours to begin to feel the effects of an edible. Plus, THC-COOH creates a much stronger and long-lasting experience than any inhalable will.
What is Greening Out?
Because edibles can surprise people in their potency, many people have had a bad experience with them. But this almost always comes down to home-made edibles with an unknown THC content, or mistakenly going back for seconds when the first hasn’t hit yet.
Greening out describes what happens when too much THC enters into the system. Medically it’s called acute marijuana intoxication. Although greening out causes no long term effects, the short term effects can be challenging to manage. They are uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and often scary for the person experiencing them.
Generally speaking, all highs start off positively. You’ll feel happy, giggly, euphoric, and all the lovely feelings of being high. But as more and more THC enters the bloodstream, your system is overwhelmed. If you begin greening out, you may experience fear, intense anxiety, paranoia, increased sensations of pain, and more.
Much of this experience is a mental one. However, there are reports that acute marijuana intoxication leads to low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and other temporary physical symptoms.
Are Edibles Dangerous?
All of this sounds extremely dangerous, doesn’t it? The good news is that there is no known lethal dose of THC. It is physically impossible to consume enough THC that it would kill you. To that end, there are no known deaths from cannabis.
Edibles are dangerous only because they make it so easy to overindulge. When there are THC-infused brownies, candies, and gummies lying around, it’s hard to say no. Especially if you already have the munchies, it’s so easy to eat one more!
If you find yourself greening out one day, rest assured that you will make it through to the other side. It may feel frightening, but the worst of the experience will last only a few hours.
So how do you make it through the worst of it?
How to Recover From Edibles?
You’ve already completed the first step to overcoming a powerful edible experience — you’ve learned the scientific explanation behind it. You know that edibles can feel more powerful because of how they interact with our bodies, but they do not have adverse long term effects.
But what are some other ways you can recover from an acute marijuana intoxication?
- Long Deep Breaths
One of the common side effects of too much THC is difficulty breathing — or at least the sensation of this. Remember, nobody has ever died from cannabis, which means nobody has stopped breathing. Repeat positive thoughts while taking long, deep meditative breaths. Count for four seconds while you inhale, hold for four seconds, and then exhale for another four. Continue for as long as needed.
- Having Company Around
Hopefully, if you green out, you have a supportive friend nearby. Better yet, if they have greened out before and can guide you through this experience. They can sit beside you while you go through the worst of it, and keep your mindset positive. Having someone to talk too can be immensely helpful during the first few hours.
- A Cold Shower
No friend around? Try taking a cold shower. Many people report this can help reset the system and quickly move you from negative spiraling thoughts into a new mindset. Greening out is all mental, so to take a cold shower can help jump start you out of the worst of it.
- Sleep it Off
A surefire way to get through acute marijuana intoxication is to sleep it off. Grab your coziest blanket, turn on the night light, and crawl into your bed. Sooner than you expect, you’ll find yourself deep in THC-induced sleep. You’ll wake up hours later feeling groggy, but you feel none of those negative experiences.
Dose Carefully, Know the Science and Learn to Recover Quickly
With so many weed edibles for sale these days, it’s easy enough to go crazy. But remember, the first step to an edible recovery is dosing correctly in the first place. That means starting with a slow dose, and only going back for seconds after two or more hours.
But even if you routinely take big doses of THC, just knowing why edibles work differently can help make the experience much less terrifying. You’ll know that the negative effects will dissipate in a few hours, and there will be no long-term consequences.
Finally, remember to take long meditative breaths if you green out. Grab a friend to talk it through with you, or jump in a cold shower. Worst case scenario, you can always sleep it off.