A new study was made to better understand why people get too high from strong cannabis edibles. This article analyzed cannabis labeling and consumer understanding of THC levels. It was revealed that dividing the edible products into approximate portions helped users to dose the edibles more safely. Furthermore, according to the University of Waterloo, many of the consumers do not understand the indicators of THC level that are present now on the packs. That probably lead to a lot of people buying strong cannabis edibles without realizing.
Why do people buy such strong edibles if they cannot handle them?
In the cannabis community, stories about really long and psychedelic trips on strong cannabis edibles is not something new. We all have a friend that ate too much edibles, or another friend that is not a regular consumer and has a bad start with edibles. While the effect of those cannabis edibles also differ from individual to individual it is important to be able to properly label THC levels.
The researchers determined that the users are not able to classify the current labeling standards, meaning that they do not know if they are mild or strong, even if the THC quantity or percentage is included. Symbols indicating whether the product is strong or mild were found to have helped the customers understand the potency. Dividing the products into approximate portions was another element that helped the customers. Around 1,000 Canadians participated in the study and it is said that most of them had hard time knowing if an edible had “high” or “low” levels of THC.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”
The cannabis packages are listing the ingredients, product types, potency and percentage of THC (and/or CBD, other cannabinoids). The down side is that there is nothing to compare these percentages to in order to find out if the product is a strong or mild one.
How to determine the how strong edibles are?
Generally speaking, raw cannabis flower averages between 10-30% THC. This means that a gram (1000mg) of cannabis has between 100 and 300 mg of THC.
The table presented here shows some ranges of highs an edible might have based on THC quantity. Those levels are an approximation! For certain users that are more used to THC or have higher tolerance those levels might not apply. For new users, it’s better to start in the first 2 levels. If you never smoked stick to the first one and only increase if it feels okay to do so.
Many people who are just starting out with edibles had the idea of making them at home. Sometimes this can go wrong because they do not calculate the amount of THC per servings. We wish to increase awareness of the potency of edibles and how to dose them properly. Edibles are less harmful than smoking, and the effect is unique and different!
How to dose home-made cannabis edibles?
We will try explaining how we dose our edibles when we make them by providing a step – by -step example. The first step is extracting the THC from the flowers into butter or an alternative. The buds need to be crushed and the THC has to get activated through decarboxylation. While doing this we keep in mind the number of grams we mix in the butter. So lets think that for this example we would use 10 grams of some lighter weed with only 10% THC. Out of 10 grams (10000 MG) of cannabis we will be able to extract 1000 MG of THC approximately. The next step we do is to pour the butter into an ice tray with 20 spaces. While doing that we ensure that each butter cube contains around 50 MG of THC.
After we have the approximate amounts of THC it is easier to calculate how strong the edibles will be. So if for example I want to cook some brownies for me and another 4 friends, I will use 4 cubes (50 MG each of us) and I will split the end result in 4 equal parts. This is a good way of dosing edibles and experimenting to find the right amount.
For more experienced consumers that already are accustomed to consuming cannabis, doses higher than 50 MG are usually working better!
For starters, it is wiser to start small and increase it slowly until you find the desired effect!