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The CULTA Blog

How to Safely Dose Cannabis Edibles

cannabis edibles in gummy form

Edibles are a popular way to consume cannabis, but they can be very intimidating for newbies. We’ve all heard stories about people who eat a little bit too much and wind up having an anxiety attack or, worse, heading to the emergency room. Since marijuana edibles take longer to kick in than flower that’s smoked, it’s important to educate yourself on proper dosing. In this blog, we’ll provide a few edible dosing tips to assist you in your journey. 

Tip 1: Edibles take longer to kick in 

This is an extremely important thing to remember, and the difference in how quickly cannabis edibles take to kick in (vs other forms of consumption, like smoking) comes down to science. When you eat an edible, it must make its way through your digestive tract before it can be absorbed into your bloodstream and transported to your brain. While cannabis you smoke travels into your lungs and circulatory system almost immediately, an edible can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours to take effect. 

Tip 2: Wait at least 2 hours to take more 

Dosing marijuana edibles is one area where patience is key. Many cannabis users who are accustomed to smoking and feeling the effects right away may rush into taking a second edible before the first edible has had time to fully enter their system. Check your edible packaging for dosing guidelines -- it’ll often state something like “Wait __ hours before taking an additional dose.” When in doubt, and especially for first-timers, wait at least 2 hours before taking an additional dose, and 2 hours after that for the next dose. 

Tip 3: Expect the effects to last longer 

The effects of cannabis last much longer with edibles than they do with other consumption methods. While the exact duration depends on the THC content and your body’s unique metabolization, it’s safe to expect the effects of the edible to last at least 1-2 hours. People with faster metabolisms often have a shorter experience, while those with slower metabolisms can experience its effects for 3-4 hours. Everybody is different, so start with a low dosage until you’re able to determine how cannabis edibles interact with your own body. 

Tip 4: External factors can impact your experience 

There are a few external factors that can affect your experience, so even your own experience with edibles can vary drastically from day to day. The type of edible, in addition to your tolerance, body weight, metabolism, and the type of food you’re eating it with (if any) can all impact how the edible will affect your body. Take detailed notes about what you ate (and how recently you ate it) and compare how you felt when you ate the same edible on a near-empty stomach. 

Tips for dosing your first edible 

If you’re ready to try your first edible, here are some basic steps to follow: 

  • Start with 2.5mg THC- Your first edible experience should always start with a low dosage. For a first-time user with a low tolerance, 2.5mg-5mg is a good place to start. 
  • Wait at least 2 hours before taking more- Since your body takes longer to metabolize cannabis edibles, wait 2 hours before taking an additional dose. 
  • Don’t panic if the effects feel intense- If you feel overwhelmed, don’t panic. Take deep breaths and move to a calming and comfortable environment. 
  • Try again another day- If you tried a cannabis edible for the first time and had a pleasant experience, try that same dosage another day to see how you feel. If you feel like it was a positive experience the second time, you can consider increasing the dosage slightly the next time. Edible dosing is trial and error, so take notes and adjust accordingly. 

Edible dosing FAQs 

Below are some common questions our budtenders receive about edible dosing. If you have questions and would like to speak to someone in person, head to our flagship or partner dispensaries to speak to someone face to face.  

How much should I take the first time?

We recommend starting with 2.5mg THC. 5mg is typically considered one dose, so 2.5mg is a half-dose and a great place to start if you’ve never taken an edible before. 

What is a good dosage for regular smokers? 

If you’re a frequent smoker, you’ve probably built up a tolerance to the effects of cannabis. As such, you can start slightly higher (5-10mg) and gradually increase as needed. Just remember: edibles take much longer to kick in than smoking, so wait at least 1 hour before taking more. 

How much THC is in an edible?

THC content varies from edible to edible, which is why it’s incredibly important to thoroughly read the edible’s label. Typically the label will include the total THC for the entire package (ex: 100mg THC) and how many edibles are included in the package (ex: 10.) Using this example, each edible dose would have 10mg THC. Opt for cannabis edibles that can easily be cut in half or quarters while you’re figuring out how the edible affects your body. 


How long do the effects of an edible last?

Although this depends on a variety of factors (THC content, type of edible, your metabolism, etc.), you can generally expect the effects of an edible to last from 1-2 hours. 

Should I eat before taking edibles? 

Since eating marijuana edibles on an empty stomach can intensify its effects, it’s best to eat a balanced meal before taking an edible. 

What happens if I take too much?

If you’ve accidentally overindulged and need help managing your symptoms, this blog can help. Please note: the tips in the blog are not intended to replace medical advice. 

Can you overdose on cannabis edibles?

There are no reports of any deaths associated with consuming too much cannabis. Regardless, eating too many edibles can result in many unpleasant symptoms, including anxiety, paranoia, and dry mouth, and is best avoided. Most people won’t require emergency care, but listen to your body -- if you feel like you need medical attention, seek it immediately. 

Is it safe to mix cannabis and alcohol? 

Absolutely not! The effects of mixing alcohol and cannabis can range from uncomfortable to dangerous and should be avoided. 

CULTA: High-quality edibles from a trustworthy source 

The most important things to remember about dosing edibles are to start low and slow, and to always listen to your body. Purchasing high-quality edibles from a trusted source is an essential first step. Our selection of edibles is expansive, and includes gummies from Robhots and our new grass gummies, hitting shelves soon. You can browse our menu for today’s edible selection, or head into one of our dispensaries (CULTA Baltimore, CULTA/Greenhouse Wellness, CULTA/Kannavis) to speak with a budtender.