Why does it feel like everyone has a bad edible experience? Chef and TV personality Vanessa Lavorato dishes on how to find the right dose, why eating the pot is different than smoking it, and the difference between a body high and a head high.
Featuring Vanessa Lavorato, founder of Marigold Sweets and co-host of VICE’s Bong Appetit.
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Vanessa Lavorato: It used to be where you could only eat the ear of the gummy bear because they were so potent. Now it’s at least in states that are legal, it’s easier to know because there’s lab testing, and there are regulations in place that keep consumers safe.
April Pride: Welcome to High Five where we give you practical tips for how to do the pot. Hey, I’m April Pride and I do the pot. Nowadays there are many ways to consume cannabis, and edibles arguably elicit the most stories of doing the pot way wrong. Here’s what you should get straight before taking that first bite. Thoughtful ingredients are crucial to formulating a great tasting and well dosed cannabis edible. Today’s guest has cooked with cannabis since her days as a college student at Berkeley, where she was inspired by legendary Farm-to-Table pioneer, Alice Waters.
April Pride: Whether you’ve sworn off edibles after a bad experience or you have no experience, Vanessa’s practical tips for dosing yourself correctly are intended to restore your confidence that edibles can provide a most positive cannabis experience. For today’s High Five, Vanessa is going to dish on five things to consider when eating the pot. Number one, dosage.
Vanessa Lavorato: Dose wasn’t really taken into consideration until the market started becoming legal. Why? If everyone has a bad edible experience, so many people have told me about being a cookie casualty, why don’t they just put less weed into the edible? That was kind of the light bulb that went off in my head. “Oh, I’ll just put less hash or less flour into the butter and it won’t be as potent. It’s simple as that.” I think there’s this fear that it’s not going to work, but it does. I did some experiments, and I put a gram into a stick of butter, and I made a dozen cookies. In 12 cookies, one gram of weed made each cookie about 10 to 14 milligrams. That’s a lot for one gram.
April Pride: How you digest cannabis will have an effect on when your high will hit, which brings us to number two, digestion.
Vanessa Lavorato: The main difference between smoking and eating is that your liver is metabolizing the cannabinoids. It’s a different way into your body and that just has a drastically different effect. It lasts longer, which is great for people who need it for pain management or for sleeping. You’re eating it, you have to metabolize it. So, what’s your metabolism like? Everybody is so different. Some people can drink eight cups of coffee and they don’t feel it at all. Another person will take a sip of coffee and they’re bouncing off the walls all day. We experience things differently, and with edibles it’s the same thing.
April Pride: One of the things that’s different about eating weed versus smoking weed is known as creep. When you have no idea how much time has passed and you’re trying to figure out if you are in fact high. So that brings us to number three, slow onset.
Vanessa Lavorato: As far as eating edibles, it usually takes an hour or two to really start to feel the effects. Patience is a virtue, especially with edibles. I have many stories of warning people, “Do not eat the whole box. Start with one chocolate, maybe even half a chocolate, and then wait.” If you don’t feel anything the first time, sometimes if you’ve never had an edible before and you eat one, you might not feel anything. Then the next time you have that same edible, it might really hit you. I don’t know why that is, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, if you don’t know what your dose is or you don’t know what the edible is that you’ve been given, like how potent it is, I would just be cautious about it.
April Pride: This idea that if you take a gummy, and you leave it in your mouth, and you suck on it for a little bit versus chew it and swallow it immediately, that will affect your high.
Vanessa Lavorato: The theory is that when cannabis is absorbed sublingually, it takes effect faster. It passes the blood brain barrier faster than when you are eating it, and then having to process it through your liver. That takes a little bit longer. That’s why you’ll see tinctures that you drop underneath your tongue or sublingual strips.
April Pride: As Vanessa just explained, sublingual under the tongue administration of cannabis bypasses the liver unlike ingested edibles. So, the cannabinoids pass the blood brain barrier more quickly, like a tincture, which is an infused oil dosed with a measure dropper held onto your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds. You’ll feel the effects of a tincture within 15 minutes. Women love tinctures because they’re discreet, easy to use, and accurately dosed, like a new line of tinctures available at California dispensary’s called Moods by Chemistry available in a rainbow of formulations to get to your best cannabis outcome.
April Pride: Moods by Chemistry wants you to play chemist with your moods because cannabis is not one size fits every day. Moods by Chemistry is color coded by effect from green in 18 to one, that can be consumed daily like a supplement, to purple, a one to three that produces effects similar to Xanax. Moods by Chemistry is full spectrum plant medicine that is fully tested so as to be consistently dosed.
April Pride: To learn more about full spectrum plant medicine, please listen to our episode on CBD. Similarly, to learn more about CBD THC ratio formulated products, refer back to the pharma episode. Both episodes are from season one of How to Do the Pot.
April Pride: Just as when your high starts is unpredictable, so is how long you can expect to remain high, which takes us to number four, duration.
Vanessa Lavorato: Most of this information is anecdotal because it’s very difficult to do research on this topic. But I’ve found that if I eat more milligrams, I’m going to be high for longer. It can last a long time, especially if you eat a lot, definitely longer than when you smoke. Eventually, if you get accustomed to it and you figure out what works for you, if you feel too high, eat something that does not have any weed in it. That will help kind of dilute things in your stomach. I think, for me, the biggest thing as far as getting over the fear of taking edibles was when I figured out, “Oh, it doesn’t last forever.” You know you’re going to be okay.
Just put CBD oil like a tincture for 30 to 60 seconds under your tongue and you should start to feel better within 30 minutes. That brings us to number five, what does a body high feel like versus a head high?
Vanessa Lavorato: A body high usually for me feels like I’m jello. I want to just relax on the couch, and not think, or I feel really in my body. If I’m doing yoga and I’ve had an edible, I can just focus on what is my left pinky toe doing. You know, you could really kind of zone in on it instead of thinking about all of the thoughts that are in your head. Whereas, sometimes when you smoke something, your ideas might be more intense. From my experience, it’s being more in your body, having more body awareness versus being more cerebral, being more creative, having great ideas.
April Pride: So, here’s a recap of Vanessa’s High Five on edibles. Number one, dosage. Be aware of how many milligrams you are consuming. Our advice is to start with no more than two milligrams of THC. Number two, digestion. Eating weed can make you feel different than when you smoke it. Number three, slow onset, also known as creep. Be patient. It takes one to two hours for edibles to kick in. Set a timer. Number four, duration. The more milligrams you eat, the longer you’ll be high. Take it easy while you figure out how you want to feel. Number five, body high versus head high. Have you heard the term couch lock? That’s a body high. Great for pain relief, sleeping, and if you can get it on the front side, sex.
April Pride: Have you tried an edible? What was your experience like? Share it with us, and not just the bad. Email us a voice memo to HI, H-I @dothepot.com. Thank you for listening to our High Five mini episode. Thanks to my co-founder Ellen Scanlon, our marketing manager, Betsy Kabaker, and our producers, Eliza Lambert and Taylor Dankovich for Pod People. If you like the show, please share it with someone, rate and review us on Apple Podcast, and visit dothepot.com for more information on the topics covered in our episodes.
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