A Cautionary Tale: Asking the Right Questions At The Dispensary

By Ruth

Previously, I have asked for strain specific (Indica/Sativa) marijuana edible products at dispensaries. I SHOULD have also asked how many milligrams (mg) of THC each product contains per dose. I’m used to 5 or 10mg portions of cannabis edibles, then I can take multiples to meet the dose that works best for me of 40mg of THC, a moderate to high amount.

Edibles Heavy Hitters vs. MicrodosesRecently, I dropped the ball and didn’t ask about mg per dose or inspect the container’s label. I was in a Rush with no reading glasses on me. I ended up buying Incredibles Stimulating Ice Mints in microdoses of 2.5mg.

Microdosing works fabulously for folks that a very sensitive to THC. But not everyone. For someone that need a much bigger dose like me, I would have to eat 16 of these Altoid-like Mints to feel any effects.

Later, in an effort to “make it work”, I tried a mint to elevate an existing, waning high. Then I waited. Nothing. So I ate another Incredibles Stimulating Ice Mint. Nothing. They are merely the most expensive breathe mints in Colorado. I would pass on these.

Lesson learned.

1) Bring your reading glasses to the dispensary.

2) Ask your budtender about the strain and dosage of your edible.

3) Read the small print on the packaging before you get home.

(Trust me, you don’t want a container of $20.00 Altoids.)

Edibles Dosing Chart

Chart courtesy Leafly

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Cannabis Edibles Cost Per 10mg THC Dose Comparison

Ediblesby Alton

To understand my cost per dose of cannabis, I looked at prices for a small group of the edibles we have reviewed here on More Than Buds.

If you want to know what you are paying per 10mg dose, we’ve got the formula and some examples for you.

Prices in this example are from 2018 before tax and may not reflect current pricing. Prices are different all over, I recommend you keep your receipts and try the same comparison if you’re interested in a like-to-like comparison of what you are paying.

I used 10mg of THC or CBD as the standard unit of comparison in this example.

In this example, the cost per 10mg dose varies widely from $1.50 to $10.00. This is big difference if you are looking for a product to use often, as a thirty day supply of the $10 product costs $300. A thirty day supply of the product that costs $1.50 cents a day costs $45.

Product Name
Cost per
10mg THC
Dose
Product Total
THC/
CBD
Product Cost
Atlas Clusters
$3.0080mg$24
Cheeba Chews
Green Hornet
$2.50100mg$25
GummiCares$2.20100mg$22
Kanha Gummies
$2.205mg THC
95mg CBD
$22
Kikoko Tea
$6.0010mg$6
Kiva Chocolate Bar,
Camino Gummies
$2.20100mg$22
Kiva Terra Bites
Blueberry
$2.60100mg$26
Kin Slips
$2.80100mg$28
Korova Sativa
Toffee Cookies
$2.50100mg$25
Kushy Punch
$1.60100mg$16
Lagunitas Hi-Fi
$10.0010mg$10
SensiChews
$1.50100mg
$15
Somatik Goji
$1.0030mg THC
60mg CBD
$30
Valhalla
Gummies
$1.60$1.60$16

Track what you are paying per dose to help you find products that provide the best value for your money.

New to Cannabis Edibles & Topicals Guide

Whether you are interested or are beginning to try edible or topical forms of cannabis, we share are some good basics to know from our considerable experience. We share about effects, selecting, dosing, consuming  – and what to do in case you consume more than feels good.

Effects

If you have not smoked Cannabis before and are unfamiliar with the effects that smoking it creates, understand that you will likely be experiencing new sensations. Well known side effects of smoking Cannabis flowers include euphoria, relaxation, heightened senses, pain relief, dry mouth and “the munchies”.  These effects come from various chemicals in cannabis including CBD and THC.

If you have smoked pot, know that it is different than the almost immediate effects experienced when you smoke. The effects can sometimes take two hours or more to be felt fully. We usually feel effects from edibles within 45 minutes to an hour, but the effects can sometimes continue to increase up to 3 hours later. Every time is s little different. When compared with smoking flowers, it takes longer to feel it and much longer for the effect to fade. We have turned to edibles more as we want to smoke less. When we smoke, the effect can last an hour or so, sometimes two, but with edibles the effects keep giving!

Everyone is impacted differently, so make sure you have the free time to experience the effects – which may last up to 6 hours and for transdermal patches or large doses up to 12 hours. Ideally you are in a comfortable, familiar environment, preferably with someone nearby or in close touch who is supportive and experienced.

Eating or applying the compounds to your skin can have quite different effects. Some effects that we experience from smoking, like heightened senses or the munchies, do happen with edibles. Effects of edibles can include focus, energy and creativity with Sativa strains, pain or anxiety relief with Indica strains and anti-inflammatory effects with CBD rich strains.

Sativa, Indica & Hybrids

Indica, Sativa and Hybrid labeled glass jars

Indica, Sativa and Hybrid options. flickr: extensivlyreviewed

Cannabis comes in two main types – Indica and Sativa. Indica primarily effects the body – relaxing, anti-tension, and sometimes “couch lock” for stronger strains.  Sativa primarily effects the head, increasing focus, creativity, energy and sense perception. There are many hybrids that are dominated by one set of traits or the other and some hybrids that try to balance the effects of both.

Wikipedia: On average, Cannabis indica has higher levels of THC compared to CBD, whereas Cannabis sativa has lower levels of THC to CBD.[5] However, huge variability exists within either species.

In the case of CBDs anti-inflammatory and pain relief are the usual effects Taking CBD with THC is reported to reduce the power of THC or at least it helps limit how high you get. Some suggest taking CBD to combat taking too much.

Within the types – Sativa, Indica, Hybrid – there are many specific strains. Some strain names have become well known and we prefer edibles where the strain name appears, so we can look up the effects if it is an unfamiliar strain. Also, If I want energy and uplift in the morning, I might not want to take an Indica dominant strain like Grandaddy Purple or Gorilla Glue or Chem Dawg that will relax me. I want a Sativa dominant strain like Sour Diesel or Jack Herer or Blue Dream. Some of the CBD strains are AC/DC, Harlequin and Ringo’s Gift. Sites like Leafly and others have reviews that provide details and reviews of strains.

Selecting

With the effects in mind, select what you want thoughtfully. Get something that either comes in small doses or something you can easily cut up into the portion size you want. Brownies, cakes, chocolate treats and similar edibles are often easy to cut into portion sizes. Hard candies and suckers are not easy to cut up, so consider that when making your selection.

To find edibles that are a good fit for you, look for items in flavors and types that appeal to both your taste buds and the effects you desire from your experience. There is a wide variety of cookies, brownies, cakes, chocolates, hard candies and other portable edibles available, so look around at different dispensaries to find the ones that are best for you.

Some dispensaries offer small diary’s or logs for you to keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t. It is a great idea to keep some notes on what you like and don’t so you can refine your choices and see what is best for you.

JurrasicBlueberries abstract cannabis art titled Quadrillions 2015

Flickr photo: JurrasicBlueberries Quadriliion 2015

Dosing

Always start with a low dose, like 2 or 2.5 mgs (milligrams). Do not to use edibles that are not clearly labeled with the total amount of THC either in the whole thing or per item (like with gummies). You cannot tell potency by the size of the edible. A normal size brownie could contain 5mg or 500mg, you just don’t know.

While a typical dose is usually 10mg, if you are totally new to edibles you may want to start at 2-3mg. While sometimes the effects can take up to 2 hours to be felt completely, usually after 60-90 minutes you should feel something. With a new edible, always wait 2 hours to see what you experience. If you feel nothing or almost nothing, possibly add another 2-3mg and wait 2 hours again, or next time try 5mg if the lower dose was not too strong for you.

On The Rise 210mg Gingerbread

On The Rise Edibles Medical Cannabis Gingerbread

Do your math and plan ahead when cutting up edibles. The On the Rise Sativa dominant edible pictured has 210mg of THC and it says it is six (6) doses. That means each dose will have 35mg of THC each – way too much for most people. If you want 10mg pieces, how will you cut it into 21 sections? One way is to cut it in half then cut those pieces in half, then cut those pieces in half, but that means you end up with an even number of pieces. In this case you end up with 20 pieces of 10.5 mg each which is close enough to the target dose.

This was an old style edible before adult use became legal in California in 2018. Most edibles now and in most states where it is legal the standard required dosing is 10mg per dose, with some having higher limits for medical use, like 25mg per dose.

Consumption

How much food is in your stomach impacts the effects of edibles, and so does what you eat with it.  We notice a definite difference if we take the same dose of an edible with very little on our stomach or if we take it soon after a meal. We get a much more pronounced and often quicker effect when our stomach is near empty. If our stomachs are full, the effect is usually weaker overall and can take more time to develop.

What you take the edible with can boost its effects we have found. From what we understand, the THC binds with fats to be distributed into the body, so it helps to take the edible with food that has some healthy fats in it like an avocado, some nuts or some seeds like sunflower, sesame and chia seeds. Too much food, however, and you will loose the benefits of a little fat, so having a big meal with a lot of  fat in it isn’t a good choice if you want to feel the full impact.

Caffeine and spices that increase blood flow (like cinnamon, ginger or cayenne) can also help to boost the effects of edibles. If we are looking for an energetic experience, we usually take our edibles with some form of caffeine, be it coffee, tea, mate or cocoa. While Ruth is a black coffee lover, Alton prefers a modified cafe mocha made by stirring  cocoa powder into coffee with milk. Since he loves spicy foods, he will often mix cayenne and cinnamon into the cocoa powder and add that to coffee for a spicy mocha. We find caffeine and these spices boosts the effects of most edibles I’ve tried. A favorite edible, the On The Rise brownies, come in both chocolate and gingerbread formula. We find that with the gingerbread we get a slightly stronger effect than we do with the chocolate brownie.

JurrasicBlueberries abstract cannabis art titled Cookies 2017

Flickr photo: JurrasicBlueberries Cookies 2017

Hydration

Staying hydrated is always important and I find it more so with edibles. I usually need more water than usual when I use edibles as I often experience dehydration and dry mouth. I usually go through four or five 16oz glasses. It’s fine to drink other liquids, being aware that sugary drinks could reduce the impact of the cannabis you are using.  If you drink alcohol or caffeine or soda or all three, they do dehydrate you, so void them, limit them or pair them with regular intake of water – your body will thank you.

Overdose

It happens to most people at some point. With edibles it is possible to overdo it and feel like you have had too much. Sometimes this feels like you are ill but you cannot pinpoint what is wrong. Some folks get a feeling as if they are “dying” because they feel really bad, but don’t know what is wrong. We’ve experienced this as an all over feeling of being very uncomfortable, feeling nauseous in a way but not sick to the stomach. If we are inside, we can feel like we need to go outside for fresh air, and sometimes that helps. You are not actually sick, it just feels like it.

The easy antidote for too much THC edibles is to eat and drink. Sugar, protein and carbs are especially good at mitigating the effects of too much THC. Try having some form of protein, some cereal or some ice cream, even a sandwich. You may be feeling strange and it may feel strange to be eating, but do your best to finish what you are eating until you feel better. When we have the right dose, the taste of food is amazing, but if we’ve had too much eating is what has always worked to bring us down from an overdose of THC.

We have also heard advice to use products high in CBD’s to offset the effects, such as taking a high CBD tincture so it will bring down the THC effects. We do notice that we never seem as high with an edible that has a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio than one without. We have not tried taking CBD to combat taking too much THC it makes sense  – as long as it doesn’t add more THC to the mix.

Experiment

Everyone is impacted differently, so first try each new edible by itself and when you have the time to enjoy the effects, not when you have to be somewhere or do something soon. Trying different types of edibles over time and at different doses will help you to find out what produces the desired effects for you.

We are Ruth & Alton, two long time friends and experienced users of cannabis. With each post on this blog we share our experiences with different edibles, including taste, strength and details about the effects. We hope that our sharing can help you in your explorations.

You can also Contact Us for advice.

Happy exploring!

Transdermal Patches: An Introduction

Mary's TD Patchesby Alton

I first learned about transdermal patches from a good friend in Colorado whose son uses the CBD patches for pain management. For their privacy, we’ll call them Brenda and Woodrow. Brenda had the patches recommended by a doctor for Woodrow’s pain related to cerebral palsy. They are easy to apply and have much less side effects than opioids (and most other pain pills). The transdermal’s effects last up to 12 hours, so you don’t have to remember every 4 or 6 hours to administer another dose – or wake up to take them in the middle of the night. While other medications are necessary for his complete pain management, the CBD patches provide a more reliable and consistent foundation of pain relief than Woodrow has ever had.

Brenda then shared that she had used them for pain as well, including after she had knee surgery. When she went in for her 3 month checkup after the surgery, her doctor was surprised to see that the knee had healed as well as if it had been 6 months. He asked her what she had done to accelerate her healing and she shared how the CBD patches had helped manage the pain and must had had an impact on the healing.

She wears the transdermal patches herself as needed for pain relief and other effects.

The transdermal patch is something like a nicotine patch if you’ve ever seen one of those. It has an outer layer that often looks like a type of bandage fabric, a layer of medication in a medium designed to dispense consistently while worn, then a layer of adhesive to make sure it sticks to your skin.

Patches come in either single formula or a mix. They can comes as THC-Sativa, THC-Indica, THCa, CBD or CBN. There are slao patches with rations, such as CBD/THC 1:1.

To apply them, you find an area of your skin that is venous like the inside of your wrist or ankle. You can apply them close to a point of pain like a knee or hip as well, just try to make sure the area is free of oil, hair or scars. Use isopropyl alcohol to clean the area before applying the patch. Apply it firmly and evenly to ensure it adheres well to your skin. We like to use rubbing alcohol not only to clean the area but that it helps to remove the adhesive once you remove the patch.

Usually patches provide an even, long lasting effect as they release over time. As with edibles, the effects can be impacted by what you eat. If you feel the effects are too strong, try eating something to see if that reduces the effect. The effects can be boosted by using transdermal gels, edibles or smoking flowers. Always get to know your reactions to individual products first before combining them.

A favorite is Mary’s CBN patch, used to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. My local dispensaries sell out of them within days whenever they get them in. Read the Review: Mary’s CBN Transdermal Patch.