As marijuana legalization finds its place in the U.S., more convenient ways to consume cannabis have also arrived. Sure, “special brownies” have been around for ages, but today’s legal market of infused edibles may surprise even the most experienced users. And with a vast amount of options comes a new crop of questions, like “what’s the right THC dosage for me?”

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One thing is for sure – edibles can provide a mysterious high that’s noticeably different than smoking or vaporizing. So whether it’s your first venture in consuming an enticing Alt Bar, or you’re a seasoned veteran of cannabis consumption, consider this THC Infused Edibles 101.

What’s the proper THC dosage?

First, it’s important to answer the question of whether you are experienced with cannabis or not, including smoking. That is not to say that if you are an experienced smoker your tolerance for smoking will be the same as your tolerance for edibles; you may have more familiarity with the euphoria associated with THC consumption, however. Remember that every type of edible will likely treat each person differently, which makes this a tricky subject.

If you’re a beginner, it’s important to start slow. The recommended serving size for an edible product is 10 milligrams of THC, especially for those trying one for the first time. Altai Brands edibles come in both 10mg and 25mg portions, so if you were to pick up a 25mg Bon Bon, we would recommend taking a single bite and waiting to see how it affects you before consuming the rest. 10 to 25 milligrams of active THC is more than enough, even for those with a higher tolerance. Just remember, you can always take more, but you can’t go back and take less, so be patient and see how one serving affects you.

What’s the onset and duration of an edible high?

This is where consuming edibles differs from smoking. With smoking, the euphoria typically kicks in within minutes and will subside as time goes by. Most smoking highs will last between 30 minutes and 2 hours, with the most intense euphoria felt in the beginning.

For edibles, the effects can start to take place between 15 and 90 minutes and the euphoric state can last much longer, depending on the dosage. Also, the peak effects of consuming edibles may be delayed up to 2 hours; this is very different from smoking’s peak, where effects can be felt as soon as 5 minutes.

When cannabis is eaten it is metabolized through the liver, changing delta-9 THC (the inhaled or smoked version of THC) into 11-hydroxy-THC, which results in the slower onset and more intense effects. This is why it’s important to ease yourself into the edible process. If you take too much in the beginning, it can drastically change your experience from a relaxing and comfortable euphoria to negative thoughts and feelings, including discomfort, nausea and paranoia.

Does every edible have similar effects?

Much like marijuana flowers and strains, different edibles come with varying effects. First, there is a wide variety of edibles on the market, from elixirs and teas to chocolates, gummies and hard candies. (Think of your favorite treat and odds are there’s a THC-infused version of it.) Second, there are many ways to infuse an edible with THC that can result in different potency levels.

Do some research before diving in. Shop around, ask your budtender what they recommend and sample pieces until you find your perfect match. As long as you remember to carefully test the waters, you’re bound to enjoy this innovative (and delicious!) way to consume cannabis.

Fortune favors the prepared mind.

Edibles not only provide a more discreet version of cannabis consumption, they also have the added benefits of better taste and longer highs. But as the saying goes, “fortune favors the prepared mind.”

Here are a few final tips before you enjoy a cannabis-infused edible:

  • When looking to try an edible for the first, second, or fifteenth time, always make sure it is properly labeled and professionally packaged.
  • It’s smart to take edibles in a safe and controlled environment, especially for more inexperienced users, as it will help reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Keep other “munchies” around to avoid over-consumption of medicated edibles.
  • Set a limit on how much you will consume in one sitting. It’s very easy to eat a lot of chocolate, not realizing how many milligrams of THC you may be taking in.
  • Never get behind the wheel. While cannabis is more likely to invoke creativity or relaxation, operating heavy machinery of any kind is not safe.
  • Keep your medicine away from children. Many cannabis-infused edibles look exactly like your son or daughter’s favorite snack, so it’s important to store them in childproof packaging and out of reach.