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The first time in a dispensary can feel like scoring a golden ticket to the inside of Willy Wonka’s factory. So many options, and so many new things to try. But if you haven’t already had experience with some of the more exciting forms cannabis can take, you might be in for a wilder ride than you imagined. A little dab will do you, but for edibles, the situation becomes a bit more complex. Whatever your level, keep these edibles tips in mind.

1. Read the label

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A cookie is just a cookie… unless it comes with THC inside. Depending on the concentration, a bar of chocolate could be one dose or 10. Know your dose before you ever open the wrapper.

2. Start off slow

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Edibles react with your system in a different way than good old fashioned smoking. This comes from the fact that the THC absorbs through your stomach lining, before entering your bloodstream to travel to the brain. Whereas the high from a bowl or joint will come on fast, edibles might easily take a half hour or more to come on.

Only take a small dose at first, then after an hour or two, you can take another if you need it.

3. Keep it separate from the snacks

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Once your high kicks in, you could easily want to chow down on the rest of that delicious treat. Forgetting which munchies are infused with THC could spell disaster for your day. Put your remaining edibles in a clearly marked, secure package, and have regular treats on hand if you feel the need to nibble.

Keeping it put away will also prevent anyone else from accidentally ingesting your goodies, and having an unexpected trip of their own.

4. Don’t mix and match

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The safest bet when trying edibles is to stick with one thing at a time. You might feel the urge to smoke a few bowls waiting for the edible to start working, but when it hits, you might have too much THC in your system at once. This goes double for using more than one edible at a time. Don’t wash down that cookie with a Dixie Elixir to quench your thirst. Double dosing is for seasoned edible users only.

5. Take care of yourself

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Edibles, since they go through the stomach, can affect each person differently. Like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, if the only thing you have to eat for the day is a pot-permeated pastry, it will hit harder. Be well rested, have a good meal in you, and clear your schedule for the rest of the day.

Edibles can last for hours, and you don’t want to ruin the experience having to try to stifle the high in order to take care of business.

As far as taking care of yourself goes, don’t put yourself in any situation where you could face danger after eating an edible. Don’t eat an edible before having to drive, do work, visit in-laws or any other precarious situation. In fact, the best bet is to get a funny movie at the end of the day and wait until dinnertime. Settle in for the night, because chances are you won’t want to go anywhere for several hours.

What was your first edibles experience like? How big a dose did you take? What edibles tips do you wish you’d known? Tell us on social media or in the comments below.

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