Edibles Can Be Awesome, But You Gotta Know How To Do Them

by Holly Garcia
Scary Mommy and Creative-Family/Getty

Last year for my birthday my youngest brother (who I’ve got about 10 years on) gave me a brownie. Yes, one of those brownies. It was the first time I had tried an edible. My experience was meh, but according to my brother, it was because I was doing it wrong. Cannabis (which is what makes those brownies–those brownies) popularity has jumped leaps and bounds since the 1960s and 70s and is being used for everything from self-care to help patients undergoing chemotherapy with nausea and poor appetite.

Today, we’re going to delve into everything about edibles. How to get started, best practices to avoid an unwanted trip, and how indulging responsibly can benefit mental health conditions like anxiety. Something tells me this isn’t what Mom had in mind when she told us to eat our greens. But hey, when Mom is happy, the whole house is happy, so let’s get to feeling good AF.

Edibles have been around forever, and no, I’m not exaggerating. I’m talking like 15th century (I am a history buff–sorry, not sorry), where it was used in tea and other drink recipes. Hardly anything lasts long, so it would be a crime to not uphold this +600-year-old tradition. Well, literally, it is a crime in some states. Currently, Idaho and Nebraska are the only states who are absolutely in no-way-shape-or-form on the cannabis bandwagon. Make sure you double-check your state and local laws, but chances are, if you have a dispensary nearby, you should be good to go.

Take it from your local bud-ista (after all, these are the professionals, people) it’s easier to consume more edibles to reach your perfect mellow than it is to wait out an off-the-rails high. Which can include rocking back and forth, sweating, with your heart pounding out of your chest, all while fighting an anxiety attack. The tricky thing with edibles is that because the cannabis is baked, mixed, or rolled into your favorite no-bake cookie bites, your body processes it differently than it would if you were inhaling it.


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Consider starting off with a low dosage, somewhere along the lines of 1- 2.5 mg, for your first time. This should be enough to give an idea if this is your kind of chill mode or not. When you smoke, the high will hit sooner but be shorter-lived, compared to the high you have with an edible. With an edible, it’s vice-versa. This is where the potential for a bad trip, or just falling asleep as I did with my brother’s birthday treat, comes into play.

Because the high takes longer to take effect, you might not feel anything right away. And you may be tempted to continue consuming more edibles to make it happen faster. Don’t. Don’t do it y’all. Good things come to those who wait, including the kind of experience you can have with an edible. While it takes longer to feel the effects, the effects also last longer. Like, 2 to 3 times as long (up to 12 hours) compared to smoking. Clear your calendar, making sure you’ve got nowhere to be and nothing to do. Remember, whatever you’re feeling before indulging will only be magnified by the edible. A few best practices to keep in mind when trying an edible for the first time are to be hydrated, start small, and, be around people you trust who are ready for a good time. Or, worst case, will be able to support you if things go awry (please see rocking scenario above).

If you tried out THC edibles and they just aren’t your jam, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits cannabis has to offer. Maybe try CBD instead. There are a few differences between THC and CBD, so it’ll be easier to decide which you want to use based on what results you are looking for. CBD is used more by people who aren’t necessarily looking for a high but need a little assistance with the whole relaxing thing. CBD is like THC’s older, more chill sister. Consuming it can help with anxiety, insomnia, and different kinds of chronic pain. While there are tons of legit benefits you can expect to experience when using CBD, like any other drug, it can have interactions with other medications you are using. Double-check with your doctor before adding anything additional to your regularly scheduled program.

Edibles can be amazing AF as long as you’re using them responsibly. But just like everything else we love (please see wine, bread, and coffee), too much of a good thing can leave you with an unpleasant experience (JK, you can never overdo coffee). If you’re looking for better sleep, anxiety relief, or just to have a damn good time, edibles might be just the recipe you were looking for. Speaking of which, I’m off to go give my little brother a lesson in cooking while he gives me a lesson in cutting loose and basking in all the chill vibes. Yes, we’re gonna spend some quality bonding time using the Edibles Cookbook I got him for Christmas because, ya know, research.