December 20, 2016

Colorado Holiday Tourists: First-Timer’s Guide to Marijuana & Edibles

In 2015 more than 77 million people visited Colorado, and legal cannabis sales approached $1 billion. It’s safe to assume this December (one of the busiest months for tourism in the state) dispensaries will welcome a slew of tourists looking for an enjoyable first-time cannabis experience.

In the interest of making sure Grandma, Uncle Joe or your old college roommate doesn’t accidentally overdo it, BlueKudu has put together this complete First-Timer’s Guide to Marijuana and Edibles. These tips will have visitors sounding confident at the dispensary and help keep them in the “happy zone” during that first legal marijuana experience.

What are the marijuana product options?  

There are three: flower, concentrates, and edibles. If you want to roll a joint or spark a bowl from a pipe or bong, flower (traditional marijuana at 18-25% THC) is the way to go. Concentrates are, as the name indicates, highly concentrated forms of cannabis and can have roughly four times the potency of flower in the case of dabbing. Extremely potent concentrates (THC potency can range from 70-90%) are not advisable for first-timers. Vape pens are also highly concentrated, so only inhale one small breath at a time and wait to see how you feel before trying another. Edibles come in many flavors and forms and are best when eaten in single or half doses. BlueKudu chocolate bars for example come marked and breakable into single 10mg doses, but you may want to start with half a dose.

What are the different types of marijuana?

THC strains of marijuana come in three types: sativa, indica and hybrid. Sativa stimulates the body, boosts energy, produces a cerebral high and is ideal for a daytime or social experience. Indica has the opposite effect, slowing the body and mind into deep relaxation and is best for lounging or before bedtime. Hybrid offers a mix of both and is commonly preferred.

Why would I choose CBD versus THC?

THC is what people commonly choose to consume when they are out for the night having fun with friends, at a concert, etc. THC is also used to combat appetite loss and fatigue. CBD is commonly used to help manage acute or chronic pain or reduce anxiety, and is typically used by people who want to experience the medicinal benefits of marijuana without feeling high. Both are used for nausea, depression, epilepsy, cancer, pain, migraines and other ailments.

What is it about marijuana that causes you to feel high?

The natural chemical compounds in marijuana known as cannabinoids are still being studied, but some scientists estimate the count at 85 different cannabinoids present in the plant. Marijuana products sold in dispensaries involve just two of those cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive, meaning it creates a feeling of being “high.” CBD is non-psychoactive and will not make you feel high. Both are used medicinally and recreationally, but it is most common for THC to be used recreationally while CBD is most often used medicinally.

What is the right amount of an edible product for a first-timer?

A single edible dose is 10mg, per Colorado state regulation. If you have never tried an edible, it is best to start with 5mg and work up from there. Even if you are a regular marijuana smoker, you should expect that edibles will affect you differently. Someone with a high smoking tolerance should still begin with a half or single edible dose.

We recommend trying BlueKudu’s single serve Alpine Glacier, a 10mg square easily broken into two 5mg doses in a delicious premium dark chocolate peppermint. If you’d like to try a CBD product, BlueKudu’s Black Forest CBD bar breaks into six 10mg doses infused in a rich black cherry dark chocolate bar.

How long before I feel the effects of an edible product?

Unlike smoking or vaping which hits you immediately, it takes awhile to feel the effects of an edible as it moves through the digestive system. Factors like how full your stomach is and what type of edible you consume (an infused soda versus a chocolate square for example) play a role in timing. Expect to feel something as quickly as 30 minutes, but it can take an hour or longer as well. If you don’t have the desired effect by two hours, it’s okay to consume a small amount more.

How do I know it’s working?

Because CBD does not cause a “high” feeling, you will not experience any cerebral effects but you should notice any pains you have ease up. When THC kicks in, you will feel euphoric and notice all your senses heighten and your body relax. You may also find yourself laughing, feeling hungry, less inhibited, less anxious and feeling less pain or discomfort.

How long does a high last?

The high feeling varies based on the amount consumed. A 10mg dose will likely last around 4 hours, with the peak coming in the middle and fading from there. Edibles tend to last longer than smoking marijuana and cause more of a body than head high.

Can I cook with cannabis and create my own edible products?

We recommend starting with pre-made products to learn what your tolerance level is before tackling a cannabis cooking project. Same goes for eating a product someone else has prepared. Without knowing how much THC or CBD is in each portion, you are at risk of overdoing it with homemade edibles.

What happens if I consume too much?

The good news is you will be fine, although you may not believe that in the moment. There is no way to quickly move marijuana out of your system. The best thing to do is put on a funny movie, surround yourself with supportive companions and sleep it off.

Can I drink alcohol with cannabis?

We do not advise mixing alcohol with cannabis products, particularly if this is your first time. The best way to make sure you enjoy your experience is to start low, go slow and don’t mix.

Can I smoke marijuana and eat an edible at the same time?

It is not advisable to mix, especially if you are a first-timer and unsure of how you will be affected. You can always add more to achieve the effect you’d like, but once you’ve ingested or inhaled marijuana you cannot lessen the effects and will just have to wait out an unpleasant experience.

Is it ok to drive after consuming cannabis?

No! Opt for a taxi, Uber or Lyft if you do not have a designated driver with you. Please consume responsibly, we want you and everyone around you to be safe!

Is there an age limit for consuming cannabis?

Yes, like alcohol the legal age for purchasing and consuming cannabis is 21. And please remember, never leave cannabis products out where children can reach them. These products are intended for adult use only.

Welcome to Colorado and enjoy your visit!