When Cannabis Edibles Become Regretibles

A stack of 5 chocolate chip cookies sits next to a single bud of cannabis

It’s easy to overdo it with cannabis-infused edibles.

Stories of overindulgence are a dime a dozen, and the topic of “ODing” on marijuana food products keeps popping up in the news.

On one front, you have the eye-rolling first-person account of Maureen Dowd eating part of a pot-laced chocolate bar and melting down in a Denver hotel room. (Excerpt: “As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”)

On the other, there’s the very real concern that kids might eat such things—although there’s far less discussion about the responsibility parents have to keep edibles out of the reach of children.

Here’s the thing: Cannabis foods are here to stay, and they are made to taste good. That’s why you don’t see hashish haggis or OG Kush kimchi on the dispensary shelf.

Our country boasts the sobering statistic that one in three of our fellow citizens is obese, so it stands to reason that our broken impulse control over food will mix poorly with ice cream indicas and savory sativas.

Consumed responsibly, edibles can be a magic bullet for those with chronic pain and other medical issues.

But let’s be honest, they can also be a metric fuck-ton of fun even if you’re feeling fine. As edibles become legal for recreational purposes on July 1, it’s a good time to review how to consume wisely, and what to do if you fail.

First and most importantly, don’t be a pot piggy.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been smoking half an ounce every day for the past 20 years, THC affects your system far differently when it’s eaten instead of smoked. When in doubt, eat half. Better still, ask.

All edibles currently sold in Oregon’s medical dispensaries must be labeled for THC content. Read the label, Mabel.

Don’t mix with alcohol. No, dude, seriously… do not. Unless you seek the spins followed by vomiting.

If you did eat too much, it’s doubtful you’ll remember this, but there are a few things that can help.

Drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of sugar mixed in. Sugar is widely reported to help “bring down” someone who is high.

Others swear by large doses of vitamins C and B12, but no one dose has been consistently found to be effective.

Eating a sizeable meal often helps, as does a hot shower and exercising. No one’s suggesting a spin class while you have the spins—just some fresh air and a brisk walk.

An ER trip might get you an IV of Valium, but unless you think something is seriously wrong, going home and sleeping it off might be a better option. It does wear off.

Again: When in doubt, eat half.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies OregonCannabisConcierge.com and CaliforniaCannabisConcierge.com. His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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