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Let me start this post by saying that I love cannabis edibles. They provide a discreet, convenient way to medicate without inhaling smoke, and the variety of treats that can be made or purchased these days are mind-blowing. Bakers, confectioners, chefs, and culinary artisans have provided wildly creative ways to medicate. A few short years ago the most a patient could hope for was a stale brownie or oily cookie. Now there are entire gourmet dinner courses infused with cannabis! You may have never considered trying medicated smoked salmon, or a bountiful caesar salad with THC-infused dressing, or even mouthwatering, heady, lemon custard tarts. For patients looking to explore new options, there has never been a better time to start. By no means am I disparaging edibles!

If you think you’ve eaten too many edibles, first remember it is nearly impossible to ingest a fatal dose of THC. Drink as much water as you’re able to. Many patients immediately try to lie down, but experience dizziness from staying in a sleeping position. Instead, try to sit upright with your back against a pillow and extend your legs. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly and steadily. Don’t panic! You’re certainly not dying, though you will likely start to feel very tired as the discomfort passes. A solid nap or a single night of early bedtime is often all that is needed to reset yourself. Some of our staff have had good results smoking or vaporizing a CBD-only strain when they are overmedicated. CBD can ease anxiety and lessen the effects of a ‘high’, making it easier for a patient to to relax if they’ve ingested too much. You can also try chewing on a peppercorn to ease the effects of an edible.

HOW CAN I MEDICATE WITH EDIBLES SAFELY?

Read the labels on your edibles carefully. Inspect the dosage on each individual piece of candy. Each label should display the THC content for the entire package as well as THC content for each individual piece inside the package. Let’s say you’ve just bought a pack of ten medicated gummy bears. The label needs to show how much THC is in each gummy, not just the overall content. If you’re unsure how to read an edible label ask a patient consultant to examine it with you and confirm its dosage at the time of purchase.

Consuming too many edibles at once isn’t going to cause irreparable damage to your body, but it can be a tremendously unpleasant experience. Many patients report anxiety and paranoia as the two main unwanted side effects. Some commonly known effects include feeling extremely sluggish and ’lifeless’, experiencing dry mouth and nasal passages, and feeling cold or hot flashes throughout your body.

This same variety and market demand also means there is enormous fluctuation in dosing and potency. Two identically-sized candies from different edible makers can contain completely different concentrations of THC. A low dose (say, around 10mg) will leave most newcomers feeling pleasant, but what would happen to a patient who unknowingly consumed 60 mg at once? With so much ingredient fluctuation how can patients keep tabs on their individual tolerance levels?

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