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There are many great things to say about cannabis edibles. They are discreet, easy on the lungs, and tasty. But what most people notice right away is that edibles are powerful. Eating cannabis edibles, from gummies to brownies, can have a profoundly different, all-encompassing, and longer effect than smoking or vaping. If your first experience with cannabis edibles was too intense, or even negative, you’re not alone. But that first experience also isn’t the only kind of experience you can have.

Cannabis edibles come in different strengths, strains, recipes – and ways of enjoying them. If edibles seem like the practical answer to your cannabis situation, but you are nervous about trying them after an experience (or even just hearing about  the potential negative reactions), we are here to help with a little advice on how to use cannabis edibles and prevent, avoid, or stop a negative reaction.

Let’s go into how cannabis edibles react in your body and how to take control of that experience to get the best results for you.

How to Prevent a Negative Reaction to Edibles

  1. Start Slow
  2. Take With Food
  3. Wait 30 Minutes
  4. Chill At Home
  5. Try different strains.

The best way to prevent a negative reaction to edibles is to take it slow. Don’t rush yourself, give your body other foods to process, and make sure your day will be relaxed as you explore a new strain or edibles recipe. 

Woman eating chocolate

1) Start Slow: Small Bites and Low Doses

The single most common mistake made when trying edibles is going too fast. Edibles are often sweets, they are tasty, and the cannabis makes you want to eat more. It’s all too easy to consume more cannabis than you are prepared to process, simply because it is tasty and slow-acting. 

To avoid accidentally going out of your comfort-zone, go slow. First, look for cannabis edibles with lower dosage per food serving, or larger pieces per serving. Eat half a gummy to start with, or only a quarter of a cookie or brownie. Then give yourself time to process before eating more.

Woman eating food bowl

2) Don’t Try Cannabis Edibles on an Empty Stomach 

If you need to feel a cannabis edible faster and more intensely, eat on an empty stomach. But if you’re trying to soften the experience, combine it with a big meal. Eat a hearty lunch, then have half a cannabis gummy for dessert. This will make it take longer to metabolize the cannabis and ensure that you’re also processing other things through your digestive system at the same time.

Wrist watch

3) Don’t Feel It? Wait 30 Minutes Before Eating More

It can take between 15-45 minutes for your first cannabis edible to start taking effect. This timing depends both on your metabolism and if there is other food in your stomach. The cannabis can then last for up to 6 hours, so take it slow.

It’s very, very easy to say “I don’t feel anything” in the first 15 minutes and accidentally double your dose by eating more. Give it time. Give your body at least 30 minutes before you take another bite, especially if you have had an intense edibles experience in the past.

Woman holding a sleeping dog

4) Stay Home and Prepare a Relaxing Environment

Finally, make sure you have a relaxing place to chill. Stay home, and set aside an entire afternoon and evening to try out a new cannabis edible experience. If you’re not sure how your body will react, cancel your plans, put on soft music, and don’t stress yourself out while you explore the potentially 6-hour high. Being able to relax is key if you are worried about a negative reaction.

Cannabis strains in glass jars

5) Try Other Strains

Everyone reacts to particular cannabinoid blends differently. Some terpenes may make you jittery or chill, munchy or sleepy, relaxed or anxious. If your first cannabis edible experience wasn’t great, it might be that you disagreed with the strain or the recipe. Try other things. Switch between Indica vs Sativa or use a different CBD/THC ratio. Try a CBD blend, or a different profile of terpenes before you give up on edibles altogether.

How to Handle Getting Too High on Edibles

  1. Eat Something
  2. Drink Water
  3. Exercise and Shower
  4. Chill with Music
  5. Go to Bed

What do you do if you accidentally took too much or too strong of cannabis edibles? If you are freaking out right now – or perhaps have a friend who is not having a good time – here’s what to do: Eat food and drink water. If you can, exercise and shower to help process the cannabis faster. Then chill down and sleep it off. Cannabis edibles are not dangerous, but too much can be stressful or upsetting.

Girl eating with a food bowl

1) Eat Something Substantial

Just as you shouldn’t try a new edible on an empty stomach, eating after an edible can help soften the experience. Give into the munchies and eat some heavy food like spaghetti or french fries. Give your stomach something to process other than the edible.

If you’re nauseous – as can sometimes happen, try a fruit smoothie or a bowl of soup instead.

Woman drinking water

2) Hydrate: Help Your Body Process

Cannabis processes through your body using water. The more you hydrate, the faster your body can process an edible out of your digestive system and your bloodstream. Water is the key. If you can’t stand water – or your tap water is just nasty – fruit juice and sports drinks are both good alternatives. So are big bowls of soup and ice-filled smoothies, whatever is most appealing.

Woman doing gym at home

3) Exercise and Shower: Pump Up the Canna-Sweat

Anxious and jittery after an edible? Drink lots of water while exercising, then catch a shower (as many showers as you want). Cannabis can excrete out of your bloodstream into sweat, so working up a sweat can actually help you sober up faster, and helps to push your metabolism along as well. Pumped music aerobics at home or – if your neighborhood is safe – going for a run can really help. 

If you just want to sit in an endless shower, this is also a good instinct and can help you feel better after an intense edible.

Woman on a sofa listening to music

4) Darken the Room and Listen to Soothing Music

Feeling nervous or uncomfortable after a cannabis edible? Try creating a more soothing space. Dim the lights, lay down on the couch, and put on some chill music.

From direct experience, we can tell you that the music you choose matters. Your favorite beats may feel too intense or mechanical. Classical music might be too emotional. Switch around until you find the right mood and tones that help you relax in your altered state.

Sleeping with a dog

5) Sleep It Off

Finally, you can almost always sleep off a too-intense cannabis high. If your edibles didn’t agree with you and you don’t want to “ride out” the next six hours of metabolization, simply put yourself to bed. Put on your jammies, turn off the lights, and allow yourself to drift away. You might fall into a deep and restful sleep. But even if you find yourself lightly dozing or gently imagining, it will likely be more relaxing than trying to get through the day in a non-ideal mental state.

Can’t sleep? Put on a movie you’ve seen a million times and let yourself zone out in a blanket on the couch with a hydrating drink nearby. If you have a pet or a partner to snuggle, all the better to help you relax and chill until your edible wears off.

Close up of small cannabis leaf on hand

Discovering the Right Edibles Experience for You

Everyone’s metabolism and response to cannabis strains are a little different. What’s perfect for a friend or an online reviewer might be different for you, and that’s okay. If you’re hoping to find the right edible experience and avoid a negative reaction to cannabis edibles, Planet 13 is here to help. Ask our knowledgeable budtenders about how to find a mild edible that suits the high you want to achieve, and we’ll do our best to help you explore the strains, flavors, and intensities available, plus pro tips from personal experience.

Contact us today to learn more.