UNITED STATES—For many people, cannabis edibles are the first choice. Not only do they come in a variety of delicious flavors and products, but they are easy to consume.  No pipe. No grinder and no mess.  Simply open the container or zip-lock, and you are ready to go.

If you are a patient that has just received your medical card, you may be curious about edibles.  You have probably heard about them and looked at some products online at local dispensaries.  But before you head to your dispensary to load up on edibles, there are a few things you should know.

No matter how great the edibles taste, they are still THC-infused.  And one of the big mistakes patients make is consuming too much edible cannabis.  It is effortless to do.  How do you navigate “the munchies” when you have already taken some edibles? Definitely by putting your edibles away and reaching for something else. Trust us on that one.

What happens when you consume too many edibles, and what does it feel like?  If you are thinking about trying edibles for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to avoid having negative symptoms after consuming them.

Yes, you can smoke too much cannabis and feel awful afterward. Consequently, it is possible to take too many edibles in a short window of time.  And while there has yet to be one single case of fatal marijuana overdose globally, the symptoms are unpleasant.  So unpleasant that you want to avoid them entirely by starting with a low potency edible.

Do Edibles Produce a Better Body High for Pain Relief?

Some people may tell you that edibles are likely to create a body high versus a cerebral effect.  It is a myth.  Edibles on their own do not create a specific type of body or head high.  It all depends on the type of cannabis used to produce the edible.  And the effect of the many different terpenes and flavonoids in that strain.

Why do people insist that edibles only create a body high? The chances are that their local dispensary favors a certain strain that provides the cerebral experience.  A head-high includes feeling light-headed or vacuous.  Speech may be slurred.  Memory can be impaired, and it can create a drowsy or sedated state.  Pain? What pain?  Indica dominant strains can do more than reduce pain; they can obliterate it.  And send you straight to bed.

If you took a cannabis edible that is made from a Sativa dominant strain, chances are you would feel a euphoric state. You may experience high energy, a happy and talkative mood. Still relaxed, however, but creative with a more active mind.  

Sativa edibles are frequently used by creative minds like musicians, writers, painters, and designers.  It can help reduce stress and anxiety, bring a sense of mental clarity, and stimulate practical problem-solving.  You’ll sleep when you’ve figured out how to create world peace.

How Edibles Make You Feel Is Random: The Entourage Effect

Have you heard of the entourage effect?  The profile of each strain of cannabis varies in terms of how it will make you feel. And how your body reacts to the unique combination of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids in the strain.  

It is like the DNA of cannabis.  There are more than 200 cannabinoids and over 20,000 natural terpenes. Your age, weight, and cannabis edibles on an empty stomach can also contribute to variant psychoactive effects. Dehydration also plays a factor in how your body responds to THC edibles.

Some studies suggest that chronic dehydration can cause a condition called “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome” (CHS). It can trigger episodes of nausea and vomiting. Researchers have discovered that there are many molecules in the digestive tract that binds rapidly to THC.  Individuals who have used cannabis multiple times daily and for years are more prone to it.  And the condition can last for days to months in duration.  Some patients with severe symptoms can require hospitalization.

Interestingly your mood can also impact how your body and brain react to cannabis.  For instance, if you feel a little under the weather, it may be hard to get high with a cold or influenza.  Again, don’t overdose on your edibles when you don’t get the full spectrum of experience you were looking for.  Wait patiently because it may be thirty minutes or as long as an hour before you feel the full effect.

Will Edible Cannabis Stay In Your System Longer?

When you consume THC infused edibles, the cannabis can stay in your body for an average of 3-12 days.  Because cannabis consumed in edibles has to travel through the digestive tract, it is absorbed differently.  By comparison, a pre-roll can stay in your system for about three days.  If you smoke or consume cannabis daily, it can take a month or longer for marijuana to leave your system.

Remember, your cannabinoid receptors like cannabis.  And your tissues can hold on to it longer than you think.   Consider that fact if you are looking for a new job and may be required to take a drug test.  Medical cardholders are not exempt from employer anti-drug policies.

If you have eaten a serving of edibles, you may be waiting for the effects to start.  This is where a lot of first-time patients get into a bit of a problem. Do not consume more. Relax.  Wait for it to ‘kick in’.  And if you purchased a very low dose and it has been more than an hour, you may wish to eat another edible.

How Does It Feel After Eating Too Many Edibles?

The symptoms are likely to be bearable. Uncomfortable, but tolerable.  There is not a lot you can do once you have consumed too many edibles.  Your body will continue to metabolize the THC.  And you can’t speed up that process.

Symptoms of too much cannabis can include:

  •   Dry mouth (grab some water)
  •   Fatigue
  •   Nausea
  •   Increased heart rate
  •   Lower blood pressure
  •   Paranoia
  •   Muscular tremors

The realization that you have taken too much cannabis will hit you unexpectedly.  It is usually an instant collection of symptoms at the same time.  You may have only one or two of the symptoms.  But it doesn’t feel right. And you are not going to want to go anywhere.

What to Do If You Eat Too Many Cannabis Edibles

One of the most frustrating things for patients is exceeding that comfortable limit.  Getting “too high” sounds funny until you are actually in that situation.  And you will want to get back to normal as soon as possible and get rid of the unpleasant symptoms.

While you can’t rush your body while it metabolizes the edibles you ate, there are a few things you can do to make yourself feel better.  

  •   Drink water.  It can help your body flush the byproducts of cannabis faster. It will not reduce your “high” quickly, but it can help reduce symptoms of dry mouth.
  •   Smell some black pepper. Or even chew on a black peppercorn.  Guess what quality pepper has inside? Terpenes! And the ones in black pepper can help settle down some of the effects of the THC.
  •   Take a walk.  Seriously? We know you aren’t feeling good, and the couch probably looks better than putting your shoes on and heading to the sidewalk.  But when you exercise, it does speed up your metabolism. It can reduce the duration of your uncomfortable high.
  •   The couch may not be a bad idea—many people who feel extreme fatigue will couch crash and sleep it off.
  •   Take some CBD oil. Keep some full-spectrum CBD oil with your medical cannabis supplies. Believe it or not, CBD helps block cannabinoid receptors.  It can help moderate the effects of the THC in your system.

If your symptoms are inducing panic or you feel you may be in danger, call a friend, family member, or emergency services for help.  Calling a friend to come over and ride it out with you is a good idea if you feel you are not in danger.  Just really (really) unhappy you ate too many edibles.