An Introduction to Medical Marijuana Edibles

An Introduction to Medical Marijuana Edibles

Edibles 101

Marijuana Edibles have earned their ranking as some of the most growing popular cannabis products in the regulated cannabis industry. The idea that these seemingly innocent morsels are similar to smoking or vaping couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, edibles have gotten a bad reputation in recent years as a result of people not being educated in how edibles differ from smoking cannabis. Many of us remember when Maureen Dowd wrote about her experience with legalized weed. As more states legalize cannabis, more people fall victim to the classic mistake of over-eating these tasty treats. This cannabis snafu is all too easy to fall into with the delayed onset of edibles, plus, they just taste so good. Over consumption is seldom a good time, and is easily avoidable. Let’s get into the basics of edible consumption to avoid turning that package of cookies into what could be, what we call, a regret-able. Because at the end of the day cannabis edibles can be a wonderful experience.


How much should I eat?

In the days of homemade edibles, prior to regulation, dosage was far more difficult to nail down. Those brownies your college roommate or cool aunt used to make were like a game of THC roulette where even a quarter of one brownie could send you into another dimension or to sleep for the better part of what would have otherwise been a productive day. In today’s highly regulated cannabis industry, potency labeling is mandatory, and for those trying to find the correct dose, is insurmountably helpful. Every package of edibles is required to state the potency in terms of mg of THC. The label will list the total mg for the package and/or the mg dosage for each individual piece. Your Clovr budtender can give you specific details on the many edible options in the dispensary. It’s recommended that newbies begin with anywhere from 5-10 mg. A recreational serving size is 10mg of THC. For those who are new to edibles, low and slow is the name of the game. Someone can always consume more, but someone can never un-eat an edible. As the saying goes, “You bought the ticket, you’re going on the ride”! The “correct” amount will vary from person to person, so don’t worry if one edible or even half is or isn’t enough.

When will I know that it’s working?

Not all edibles are created equal in terms of how they will kick in or how they will make you feel. There are two general subcategories of edibles, ingestibles and sublinguals. Ingestible edibles are the most common and are eaten normally like brownies, cookies, gummies etc. These edibles can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to kick in with effects that can last up to 4 hours. THC infused beverages are a great option for those who don’t want to wait to experience their edible. Drinks will kick in around the 45 minute mark since our bodies break down liquid faster. Sublingual edibles are hard candies and tinctures that deliver THC into the bloodstream through the veins in the mouth. This method bypasses digestion, shrinking the onset to from 2 hours to about 45 minutes. It’s important to note the onset of any edible to avoid over consumption. A common mistake that people make with edibles is not allowing enough time to pass before enjoying their next edible.

How do edibles work?

The perfect amount of THC will vary from person to person. For some, 5mg will be more than enough, while others have to eat over 100mg to experience the benefits of edibles. The reason for this inconsistency is purely chemical. When all food is ingested, the body uses enzymes to break food down into other chemicals called metabolites, the same goes for the ingestion of cannabis. When THC is ingested orally, enzymes convert the THC into a different chemical called 11 hydroxy metabolite, or 11-OH-THC. When 11-OH-THC is produced, it can also be heavily amplified making it five to seven times more psychoactive than THC. The reason for variation has to do with each person’s enzymes. If someone doesn’t have enough enzymes to convert the THC, they won’t feel the psychoactive effects as easily as someone with more enzymes. About 20% of people lack the enzymes that convert THC and don’t ever feel the psychoactive effects of edibles. For those unfortunate souls who are part of that 20%, sublingual edibles are a great choice since they bypass the digestive system and are absorbed into the bloodstream.

What if I eat too many edibles?

If you bought the ticket, but the ride is too intense, there are some things you can do. In the event of over-consumption it’s important to remain calm and comfortable. There have been no fatal marijuana overdoses, so the chances are that you’re not experiencing anything life threatening.

  • Stay hydrated – Drinking water will help your body flush the THC from your system. For this reason, grab something with electrolytes if you can.
  • Black pepper – it may sound strange, but you can chew on a few black peppercorns. Neil Young has been suggesting this for years as his go to for curing marijuana related paranoia and anxiety. It looks like the rock legend was onto something. Black pepper has a terpene called beta-caryophyllene that reduces anxiety.
  • Distract yourself – Put on some of your favorite movie or the happiest movie you can think of and get comfortable. The distraction will help pass the time until the THC is out of your system. The change of tone could even turn your mood around leaving you to enjoy the experience.
  • Relax – Make a pillow fort or set up camp on the bed or couch. It will help to calm anxiety and help you sleep. Remember, it will take a while to clear your system, but it is only temporary.
  • CBD – CBD can help calm the effects of THC as they bind to the same receptors in our bodies. CBD is also commonly used to alleviate anxiety.
  • Call a friend – Talk to someone that you trust. Talking about your experience can help ground you. We can’t guarantee that whoever you call won’t make fun of you for it later though.


If consumed responsibly, edibles can be a delicious and discrete method of consumption. In general, start small, be patient and enjoy the experience.


Rio Kaplan for CLOVR

Headquartered in Kansas City, Clovr is a vertically-integrated (meaning it works with the cannabis from growing it from a seed to selling it in a dispensary) cannabis companionship that believes in safe, consistent, and quality cannabis products for Missouri’s medical marijuana patients. 

Image courtesy of CLOVR