The reality is that some consumers do not feel psychoactive effects from edibles, and while science is still working to understand this phenomenon, there might be a few explanations at hand.
The right edible dose varies between individuals
Every person has a unique internal physiologic environment and can therefore experience different results with various medications. One person’s response to a dose of edible cannabis can vary significantly from the next, even more so than other medications or herbs.
Cannabis is known to have an incredibly variable effective dose range – meaning that some consumers will feel effects at 2.5mg of consumed THC, some will not feel effects until they reach the 25mg range, and some may take 250mg and still feel no effects.
Due to this wide variance in the dose at which effects are felt, it’s very hard to establish a baseline for what dose will produce certain effects. So it could be that some consumers have a THC tolerance of 300mg, but because a standard dose is currently set at 10mg and they’ve tried 3 at a time with no effect, they’ve never actually consumed a high enough dose to reach their ideal effects range, so they believe that edibles cannot effect them at all.
There is also the First-Pass Metabolism effect to consider – First-Pass Metabolism is how your liver filters out foreign compounds from your bloodstream before the blood circulates throughout the rest of the body, and just like standard digestive metabolism, it can be stronger or weaker than “normal” depending on the individual’s body. Generally speaking, when an edible is ingested, a large percentage of the active THC is wasted out by the liver before it circulates to the brain and can cause an effect, but the amount of THC that gets through this metabolism process is usually still strong enough to cause noticeable psychoactive effects.
However, it may be the case that an individual has such a strong First-Pass Metabolism that the remaining THC is too diluted to have noticeable psychoactive effects once it reaches the brain. For these consumers, even extremely high doses of THC may be filtered out by the liver, leaving edibles essentially ineffective on them.
The most important factor in whether or not a marijuana edible will get you high is its potency, and the dose that you decide to take.
When purchasing edibles from a state where marijuana is legal and sold in stores (or in the case of Canada also sold online for delivery), this is much easier to determine the overall potency of an edible and what the THC and CBD contents are of each serving.
Typically marijuana edibles sold at licensed marijuana shops fall between 5m and 50mg THC, though some products get as high as 100mg. For medical marijuana dispensaries, sometimes these are much higher, up to 250mg (though some states put a limit on the amount of THC allowed in each edible product).
If you had a dose that was less than 5mg (say, you ate half of a 5mg gummy). it’s very possible it would have no noticeable effect on you and you wouldn’t get high. This may be the answer to why an edible didn’t get you high. This is particularly true if you only had 1mg or 2mg. Some people, however, do get high off of around 2.5mg, especially if they are new to marijuana.
For those who consume marijuana on a regular basis, typically 10 – 20mg is a standard dose.
If you’ve thought to yourself “why don’t marijuana edibles get me high?”, try the sublingual edible consumption method and see if you get noticeable cannabis effects from smaller edible doses taken sublingually.
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