How to Safely Consume Edibles if You Haven’t Tried Them Before

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How to Safely Consume Edibles if You Haven’t Tried Them Before

Maybe you saw a treat at a dispensary that you just had to try, or maybe you just watched the episode of “That 70’s Show” when the parents eat brownies. But you may have also read about marijuana overdoses in Colorado. That excitement and apprehension is commonplace among first time edible users, so let’s take a look at how to safely consume edibles if you haven’t tried them before.

Start Slow

If you haven’t eaten a marijuana edible before, there will be no predicting how a dose (or doses) will hit you once consumed. It is usually recommended to start yourself slowly with half of a recommended dose (depending on the brand/type of edible) and waiting up to an hour and a half to feel an effect before consuming any more. This way you are at least somewhat able to gauge your tolerance level before increasing your dosage. The idea is to always have some idea of how medicated you will feel per dose.

Of course, every person’s tolerance is different and likewise, most edible marijuana products are different. Different products will affect different people in different ways. Average doses in well-known edibles are usually between 10-25mg THC. This amount of THC may come in an entire cookie, or a small piece of a brownie, or two sips of tea. Always be sure to read the dosage information on the label!

Once you have familiarized yourself with your dosage tolerance, you can start to experiment with higher doses in subsequent sessions. Try adding one dose each time you consume an edible to find your optimal dose, whether it be for pain relief, insomnia, or otherwise. However, for insomnia, some recommend consuming your maximum therapeutic dose (once you have established your tolerance) to achieve anti-insomnia effects.


The most common problem associated with edibles in legal marijuana states has been over-consumption. Some edibles simply taste really good. But most of them are packing more of a punch than they look, smell or taste like, and if you’re not an experience marijuana user, you must pay close attention to the size of each particular edible’s “dose.” Some edibles on the market contain up to 1,000mg (not a typo!) of THC. That 1000mg brownie is about the size of your fist. Moral of the story: size is rarely, if ever an indicator of potency of an edible. Read, read more, and pace yourself!

Luckily, the worst potential side effects for most users of edible marijuana are stomach discomfort and dizziness, which reliably subside after relaxing, slow breathing, drinking water, and/or in some cases, consuming CBD, which is known to counteract many of the potential negative effects of THC over-consumption.


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