Know Thyself: One dose is based upon an average, medium weight, 150 Ibs person. Where are you in relation to that? Does cannabis affect you stronger than others? Have you eaten or is your stomach empty?
Titrate: Titration is the fine art of determining your dose and the strength of the edible. The amazing thing about cannabis is that it affects all of us differently, but you do not want to eat too much. Try just a quarter to a half dose of the edible if you are new to eating cannabis. Remember to wait: Give at LEAST an hour to an hour and 1/2 before eating more. Remember the effects of eating medicine takes longer to take effect, and it will last much longer as well. Eat non-medicated snacks if you get the munchies!
Relax: No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose, but if you eat too much, you certainly will regret it! Cannabis in fact has the safest, second highest lethal dose known to us at this time. If you feel overmedicated, drink water and eat something with sugar to help move the THC out of your system.
Enjoy: Healing can be fun! The euphoric effects of medicinal cannabis are quite strong in edibles. This is partly due to the cooking and extraction process, partly due to the fat process, and also due to the method of ingestion – eating cannabis will give you a deeper, longer more intense effect. When you first try edibles, we suggest you stay home and notice how it makes you feel.
Learn: Keep a record of what works best for you and what you found unpleasant. Write down the time you ate your edible, and what it does. Pay attention to the effects of different edibles and other forms of ingestible medicine. Becoming an edible expert can be tricky at first, but it is very rewarding.
Amount consumed: ____________________________
Time ingested: ________________________________
Time when effects began: ________________________
Description of early effects: ______________________
Time effects peaked: ____________________________
Time effects wore off:____________________________
Description of total effects: _______________________
Notes for future use: ____________________________
All patients have different levels of understanding of their medicinal cannabis use. New patients may be relatively inexperienced and uneducated, while others that have years of experience may also have years of misinformation. It is a cooperative effort between the patient and the dispensary staff to find the most suitable medicine for that patient’s individual needs. In order to do this properly, it is important to establish a language that can easily and effectively describe the way cannabis makes you feel. Labels like Sativa and Indica are often misunderstood, and two adjectives are hardly enough to describe the infinite spectrum of medicinal qualities found in cannabis.
Sativa strains are known to have a more potent effect on the mind, and Indica on the body. This does not mean Sativa strains are uplifting and Indica strains are sedating- many Sativas have sedating effects on the mind and some Indicas can have invigorating effects on the body. These effects can be divided into four basic categories: Heads Up or Heads Down (Sativa qualities) and Body Up or Body Down (Indica qualities). These descriptions can help you discern how a particular strain might help meet your individual needs. Many patients understand their needs in terms of one of these four designations (ie. I need my mind to feel uplifted, or I want to relax my body), but all strains exhibit BOTH head and body effects, so it is important to consider any side effects that might hinder your ability to maintain a functional lifestyle. If you are a patient who needs a Body Down medicine, consider if you will be medicating during the day or during work time, a Body Down / Heads Up will help relieve bodily discomfort while also allowing you to be alert and functional during any activities you might need to participate in.
Alternately if you are someone who needs to calm down an excess of nervous energy, you might benefit from a Heads Down medicine that also has a Body Up quality to counteract the mental sedative. Heads Down / Body Down medicines tend to have narcoticlike effects and are suited best for home or private use, medicating severe pain or insomnia. Heads Up / Body Up medicines can be good for daily functioning but sometimes difficult to manage for the more sensitive patients. Within these four combinations are also grey areas, for instance a medicine that has a strong Heads Up might only have a Body High Down, which is good for someone who needs to feel good mentally during the day but does not want to become too tired or physically slow.