Why Do Edibles Get You So High?

If you’ve ever eaten an edible, you know those little suckers are potent time bombs. At first glance, edibles don’t pose much of a threat. This innocent little cookie won’t get me too high, right? Oh, but it will if you’re not mindful of its super-marijuana powers.

Unlike smoking, edibles travel through our digestive system, resulting in a prolonged, intensified high. So, before you devour a whole bag of Mike Bites, let’s dive into the exact reason behind the intensity of edibles, tips for consuming them safely, and how to deal with an edible-induced panic attack.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Weed is full of cannabinoids, which are responsible for the plant’s psychoactive and therapeutical effects. The two types of cannabinoids in marijuana are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is responsible for getting you high (psychoactive), while CBD is responsible for pain relief and anti-inflammation (non-psychoactive).

Smoking or vaping these cannabinoids delivers THC to your lungs, where it immediately passes to your bloodstream and then your brain–hence the quick effects. But when we consume edibles, the process is a bit different.

Metabolism of THC in Edibles

Ingesting edibles sends the cannabis to your stomach, where it’s broken down and sent to your liver. Your liver then transforms the THC into an ultra-potent form called 11-Hydroxy-THC. This version is more powerful and longer lasting–don’t get this confused with a Viagra ad.

The super-THC then passes into the bloodstream and into your brain. If you fail to check the edible dosage, you may be in for quite the ride. In fact, 11-Hydroxy-THC can stay in your system for more than 24 hours. So, for those who are reading this after eating a 100mg edible…hold on tight.

Factors Influencing Edible Intensity

Edibles hit everyone differently. Here are some factors that influence the intensity of the experience:

· Product and Potency: Consuming an edible with a high dose of THC means you can expect a stronger high. Some edibles may be sativa dominant, while others are indica dominant, which can also dictate your experience.

· Tolerance: Someone who smokes every day will be less affected by an edible than someone trying it for the first time. If you’re a newbie, don’t try to keep up with your stoner friends–these are veterans you’re dealing with.

· Genetics: Some people are naturally more or less affected by THC than others due to genetics. That’s why it’s important to find a dose that works for you and only you.

· Mood and Environment: Where you are and how you feel can play a big role in your edible experience. If you’re feeling down or in an uncomfortable situation, you may feel more affected or panicky.

Tips for Consuming Edibles

1. Check the Recommend Dose

Read the package carefully. Each product should have a recommended portion size. Consuming twice the recommended dose is a recipe for a weed trip you weren’t hoping for. If you’re new to edibles, you may even want to cut the recommendation in half to play it safe.

2. Give it Two Hours

The reason why edibles get you so high is that they travel through the digestive system. That also means it takes longer to hit compared to smoking. As a rule of thumb, wait two hours after consuming an edible. We’ve all heard the stories of someone eating an edible, not waiting for it to kick it, eating more, and then spending the next few hours thinking they’re dying. Avoid that and be patient.

3. Don’t Consume on an Empty Stomach

The less food you have in your stomach, the faster and more intensely the edible will hit you. So, like alcohol or antibiotics, eat something first. The high will be more gradual, giving your mind and body a chance to process everything one step at a time.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and edibles should be done with caution. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels, causing your body to absorb THC faster. That means a more intense high in addition to the effects of alcohol. It’s not uncommon for the combination to make you sick. So, be cautious.

5. Consume in a Safe Place

Edibles are not to be trifled with. Consume them in a safe place around people you can trust. First-timers should have a support buddy in case the experience is a bit overwhelming. The last thing you want to happen is to be alone on an airplane, having a full-blown panic attack.

6. Choose an Edible with CBD

CBD helps the body relax and soothes anxiety. When you’re buying edibles, find one that contains both THC and CBD.

How to Deal with an Edible Panic Attack

Let’s face it; if you consume edibles, you’re bound to experience a panic attack or two. Before you call 911 and check yourself into the hospital, follow these steps to help calm yourself down.

· Remind yourself you’re not dying. Panic attacks may make you believe that you’re having a heart attack or that you’ve gone off the wagon. That’s just your mind playing tricks. Remember that it will pass and that you will be okay.

· Take deep breaths. When panicking, it’s easy to hyperventilate, causing you to become faint or tingly, making the whole experience worse. Slowing down your breathing can make you feel instantly better.

· Focus on something else. Take your mind off the experience by shifting your focus. Play some music, pick up a guitar, do a puzzle, watch funny clips, clean the house. The more occupied your mind is, the less you’ll fixate on being mega-stoned.

· Move around. Going for a brisk walk or doing some stretches is a great way to reduce blood pressure and release endorphins. It might not be the best time for a full workout, but try to move around and breathe fresh air.

· Drink water and have a snack. Edibles are notorious for causing a dry mouth, adding to your panic attack. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. Additionally, having a snack can help slow down the effect of the edible. One study found that food including terpenes, such as lemon, peppercorn, and pinenuts, may reduce a cannabis high. Eat up!

· Call a friend. When in doubt, talk it out. Not having to go through the experience alone will drastically aid your panic attack. Talk to someone who has consumed edibles before. Chances are they’ll tell you all about their own personal edible horror stories.

Why Do Edibles Get You So High?

Edibles are a wonderful way to consume weed, especially if smoking is not your thing. Just remember that ingesting cannabis is a different ballgame. The regular THC you’re used to gets transformed by the liver, creating the ultra-powerful 11-Hydroxy-THC. So, do yourself a favor and follow our edible tips for a safe, fun experience!