In every cannabis lover’s life, there comes a time to explore the frontiers of one’s tolerance for edibles.
Being able to hone in on an ideal THC dosage level, measured in milligrams, is useful knowledge for any stoner to have, but I honestly didn’t know mine, aside from knowing it was “a lot.” I purposely set out to push those boundaries and discover just how high I could get.
Determining Your Dose
The last time I had gotten uncomfortably high was during judging for a HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup edibles competition years ago, well before the days when lab results on labels were the rule and not the exception. With the understanding that I have an extremely high tolerance, I did discover my effective dosing range through the process of researching this article, but I am not going to share that number with you. That is MY number. Your effective dose is likely to be VASTLY different from mine. What gets me high is likely to differ from the average person by 100 milligrams or more!
Consuming cannabis is not a contest to determine who can ingest the most, so it is far more important for you to determine your ideal range than compare it with someone else’s. There is no standard marijuana dose*, or even dosage range, that suits all individuals. Body type, weight, diet and metabolism all play a role in how different people experience edible cannabis. The amount one person can comfortably consume could make another paranoid, disoriented, and nauseous.
(*The State of Colorado defines “1 dose” as equal to 10 milligrams of THC, a relatively small amount intended to guide new recreational users.—Editor)
While overdoing it with edible marijuana isn’t usually dangerous and has never been fatal, it can be mighty uncomfortable. When experimenting with high dose edibles, it’s always a good idea to keep some CBD handy, since this cannabinoid acts like an antidote for those who have consumed too much THC. A few sprays of Bhang’s CBD breath spray and my uncomfortable, overly medicated high mellowed itself out almost instantly.
More importantly, don’t over-medicate in the first place. Start small and go slow, consuming only 10 mg. or even less if you consider yourself a lightweight or are eating cannabis for the first time. Wait at least 4 hours to see how you feel before eating more, since it takes time for cannabis to fully digest, especially if you’ve eaten a large meal that day. Try increasing the dosage by 5 to 10 mg. each day, continuing to go higher until you find a place where you are comfortable. Remember, you can always eat more but you can’t eat less!
The Benefits of Mega-Dosed Edibles
High-dose edibles have a small but dedicated fan base, and these patients tend to purchase edibles more often than the average casual user. It’s no surprise that these consumers include seriously ill patients fighting the ravages of cancer and other debilitating diseases along with those dealing with severe, chronic pain. Several budtenders noted that high-dose edibles are popular with insomniacs and others seeking sleep aids.
Surprisingly, one particular demographic group is buying lots of high-dose edibles, but not for the reason you might think. Aaron Justis, proprietor of Buds and Roses Collective, explains that senior citizens are by far the biggest consumers of high-dose edibles, but they’re using these potent products to micro-dose throughout the day.
“Our clientele are not buying high-dose edibles to get super high,” Justis claims. “They’re eating just a little at a time and are typically making that edible last for a week or more.”
It makes sense because not only is it far less expensive to buy one high-dose edible as opposed to 10 moderate or low dose products, but the patient can also eat less to achieve the same results. When it comes to most marijuana edibles, that means less intake of unhealthy ingredients like sugars and fats.
Many of the high-dose edibles consumers I talked to, especially women, favor this option due to a desire to eat less and stay fit. “I don’t want to waste my calories eating a big medicated cookie or brownie that is never going to taste as good as an unmedicated one,” explains attorney Mara Felsen. “I want something that will deliver a powerful dose in a bite or two.”
None of the edibles in this article are meant to be consumed in a single session; especially not the 1000 milligram brownies! For most people, eating that much THC will make you feel ill. (Or you might just sleep for 12 to 24 hours.)
In order to be as fair as possible, I tested these edibles under the same conditions—at the same time of day, on an almost empty stomach. I also left a minimum of four recovery days in between trying another edible. In doing so I learned:
- Not all the labels claims and lab test results were accurate, judging by the strength of the effects. For instance, a 175 mg. Cheeba Chew put me over the “this is no longer fun” edge, while a 200 mg. Starr gummy got me pleasantly buzzed.
- Sometimes there were dosing variations within a single product. This could be because the product was not adequately mixed, or it could also be that the edges of a pan of baked goods decarboxylate more than the interior (an edibles-producing friend once lab-tested his brownies and confirmed that this phenomenon can occur). It could even be due to differences in my metabolism on that day. Nonetheless, it is possible to experience small variations within a single edible divided into smaller portions.
So stock your fridge with plenty of unmedicated, healthy snacks to combat the munchies, have lots of ice water on hand in case of cottonmouth, and get ready to take a trip beyond buds. Starting with 175 milligrams of Cheeba Chew and working up to the most psychedelic edible ever created—a 1000 mg. brownie—let’s explore some of California’s most popular high-dose products.
Cheeba Chews Deca Dose | cheebachews.com
175 milligrams of THC
It’s amazing that 175 mg. of THC is packed into a single bite-sized chewy taffy piece, and this edible comes on strong and fast. They come packaged one to a box, but it would not be too difficult to cut into smaller pieces; and I highly recommend doing just that. The taste is undeniably grassy, leaving no doubt that you are consuming a very strongly-dosed marijuana edible. Thankfully, you don’t have to eat a lot! With a stellar reputation for consistency, you can be confident that every time you get a Cheeba Chew, you’ll have a predictable experience.
Hashman Infused Sativa Dark Chocolate | hashmaninfused.net
200 mg. of THC
It’s nice to have a choice between sativa and indica varieties when choosing edibles, and Hashman’s doesn’t disappoint. This sativa chocolate inspires a lively high perfect for late-night creative work. The newly redesigned packaging makes it easy to understand how much you’re consuming, with a wheel of chocolate artfully divided into 10 segments of 20 mg. THC each. With a slight cannabis undertone, this chocolate is high-quality and tasty, suitable for when you’d like to treat yourself!
Starr 1 Purple Star Gummies | Twitter: @starr1redstar
200 mg. of THC
Unlike a lot of THC-infused gummy candies, the medicine in these is actually incorporated into the candy, not sprayed on it. The flavor was acceptable, not too sweet with the only hint of cannabis flavor being a slight bitter undertone. The dosage, which claimed 200 mg. per gummy, did not seem accurate. These gummies are strong, I ate one small candy and was pleasantly buzzed for hours, but 200 mg. would normally have had me running for the CBD spray — and no such rescue measures were necessary.
Punch Bars | punchedibles.com
225 mg. of THC
When I first saw this miniature box of chocolate claiming to contain 225 mg. THC, I was skeptical, but Punch lives up to its name. Divided incrementally into nine tiny pieces of 25 mg. each, it’s easy to break off a dose that makes sense for you. With a nice creamy texture, the chocolate does taste strongly of cannabis, but the amount you need to eat is so small that it hardly matters, anyway. Dosing seemed consistent throughout the bar as well, as from bar to bar. The milk chocolate and peanut butter variety had some nice sweet and salty flavors happening.
Topanga Harvest Mini Muffins | Instagram: @topangaharvestco
280 mg. of THC
My new favorite edible! I liked everything about these little mouthfuls of medicated yumminess. With a nice fruity flavor, the blueberry variety wasn’t overly sweet and barely tasted of cannabis at all. Eight bite-sized muffins containing 35 mg. come in the package for a total THC dose of 280 mg. It is easy to titrate your dose by eating just a few of these tiny muffins — but they taste so good, you’ll be tempted to eat more! The THC buzz came on quickly and left me feeling relaxed all day long.
Waska Medical Cannabis Cookies and Cream Hemp Milk | chocowaska.com
300 mg. of THC
The staff at Buds and Roses claim this is one of their most popular high-dosed edibles, especially for people with sleep problems. The small 2-ounce bottle packs 300 mg. of THC into a few sips of vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO hemp milk. I wanted to like this product, I really did! It’s well made, well labeled, is reasonably healthy, and is made from hemp, but the taste was both cloyingly sweet and extremely herbal. It was potent, though, and I slept well. Try diluting it in tea or adding it to a smoothie for a more agreeable taste sensation.
Day Dreamers | daydreamerschocolates.com
Dreamcatcher 360 Chocolate
360 mg. of THC
An industry leader, this high-dose chocolate is divided into six individually-packaged segments of 60 mg. THC each, making it very easy to titrate your dose, even if the candy melts! While there is a bit of a cannabis flavor, this product is very effective and seems to be dependably dosed for a consistent experience every time.
Voodoo Sours Gummy Ribbons | Instagram: @voodoosours
375 mg. of THC
This package of gummy ribbon candy claimed to contain 375 mg. of THC, but after I ate half the bag, I barely felt a thing. Overall, the candy tastes alright, but some ribbons had a strong flavor of cannabis while others had none, meaning even within the package the product is not consistently dosed. Even when choosing a bag to buy at a local collective, the budtender remarked that the Voodoo Sours packages often get quite oily inside, so it seems like these were medicated with added oil.
Venice Cookie Company | venicecookiecompany.com
The 4.20 Brownie – Cookies & Cream
1,000 mg. of THC
Yowza, 1,000 mg. of THC in a single, normal-sized brownie! While I talked to a lot of folks who thought such a notion was absurd, actually these brownies are quite convenient to stash in your freezer. Since you get so many doses out of a single bar, they also end up being a good bargain for those on a bud budget. This brownie boasts a rich, creamy texture that allows you to cut it into proper portions with minimal crumbling, plus the cannabis was evenly distributed throughout the baked good. Considering the immense dosage, the herbal flavor was strong but not overpowering.
Korova Black Bar Brownie| korovaedibles.com
1,000 mg. of THC
Almost as good as the Venice Cookie Company 4:20 brownie, this product was a tad drier and a little more crumbly… but I am splitting hairs here. A pungent aroma usually portends a strong herbal flavor, but thankfully the scent of this brownie was stronger than its flavor. Delivering a strong dose in a tiny bites is important, but I did notice slight variations in the effects from piece to piece, meaning the cannabis needs to be more consistently incorporated into the overall batter.