It Seemed a Good Idea At the Time - A Cannabis Edibles Adventure
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
It had been a long time since I’d eaten an edible, the last time having been no better as I’d mistakenly (yes, mistakenly) ate half a tray of brownies at a music festival only to end up hiding in my tent because trap music suddenly sounded terrifying 30 minutes later. Six years since then, I considered myself wiser (if not a more consistent stoner), but hey, weed was recently legalized, it was Halloween and when you live on a remote farm hidden in the mountains there really isn’t much to do in the evening.
Edibles, much like a relationship, require commitment; the difference being one might last years if not your whole life, and the other one just feels like it lasts your whole life. It’s not really something you go into half-handed. I mean you could, but much like a relationship, things will likely end in self-pity, resent or in worst-case scenarios, crying on the floor while drinking wine from the bottle.
Additionally, the way one chooses the edibles they eat is not unlike choosing who you date — Is this gummy bear going to speak to my love languages? Or is it masking unresolved dependency issues and prone to gaslighting me? The thing is, when done right, edibles and relationships alike can be a beautiful thing. It’s the fact that it takes very little for them to go wrong that makes me think my extended rejection of edibles is perhaps not unwarranted.
In contrast to growing cannabis itself, there is little standardization in the process of making edibles. Since what someone enjoys can vary significantly from person to person there’s just no way to know how much “love” grandma baked those cookies with. There are many ways to infuse cannabis into foods, all of which yield different potencies. Living in an age where people eat tide pods for fun, this may seem trivial, but I have always been one to argue that weed is not to be underestimated. Which is why when my brother returned from his first “cooking” experience and attempted to coerce me into trying one of his “treats” my immediate reaction was a resounding “no.”
I should have known better. If there’s one thing my brother has learned in over two decades of dealing with me, it’s how to play to my insecurities. This truth when coupled with my Canadian tendency of being polite (I mean, he made them himself — It’d be rude not to at least try it right?), is almost certainly what led to my inevitable demise. It took hours, but eventually, my will collapsed.
“Do you want the pineapple or the skull?”
“The skull,” I say because I am smart. Oh so smart. I looked at the skull, and the skull stared back, quietly judging me for what was sure to be a dumbass move — peeling the parchment paper off the back of this homemade hard candy I resigned myself to what was about to occur.
“Well,” I figured, “I’ll do anything twice.”
As soon as I closed my mouth around the tangy mango-ish treat, one thing became evident. I was totally, and completely, fucked. Sure, the mango flavoring was there but beneath that was the heavy-handed aftertaste of cannabis-infused oils soaking their way into every fiber of my being. Even if I were to spit it out now it would be too late; the damage was done. I mentally gave myself 20 minutes tops before the sedative effects hit.
“Yeah,” my brother says joyfully. “We have no idea how potent these things are, the guide said to cook them for eight hours, but we only cooked it for two.”
This, I think, is the most significant difference between edibles and enjoying cannabis in its other forms. Like cooking, there are often a high number of alterations you can make to a recipe at any given time, so the product always varies. It’s less of a science and more of an art, meaning that even the most experienced of stoners can be thrown into absolute mental anarchy. For those of us who are either conditioned to be comfortable with those scenarios or consider themselves open-minded, being caught off guard will likely end up a funny story the next day.
I say this because what transpired next was nothing short of a full-blown psychedelic experience. I mean, I was out to lunch, completely unable to hold down a conversation and my vision was vibrating. Physically my body was scarcely able to understand what was happening and my heart was pacing at an irregular rate, borderline palpitations. While my body was largely compromised, my mind felt that now was the appropriate time to have an existential crisis and ponder the meaning of mortality and the reality that we are all blades of grass to be cut by the lawnmower of life. Among other profound epiphanies, I realized the “Skittles” marketing team must have been high-as-balls when they coined the phrase “taste the rainbow.”
None of this, of course, is evident to the outside world or to my brother who seemed to be getting along nicely.
Staring like a deer in the headlights with the perpetual anxiety of an annoyingly small dog I buried myself in a mountain of blankets, knowing full well that the only thing that could save me now was sleep. sadly, As those of you that have ever had a psychedelic experience can attest, getting to sleep is borderline impossible. Any time I would begin to nod off, I would suddenly be struck by what felt like a bolt of lightning and awaken with a start only to drift off again and repeat the process every ten minutes. It was as close to torture as I’d like to get.
The morning after it was like someone had robbed my ability to feel any joy in the world or much of anything for that matter. My brain was so burnt that it was incapable of producing any endorphins, leaving me an irritable miserable lump for the better part of 2 days. 10/10 would not do it again.
Reading this it’s easy to get the impression that I may in fact — be an idiot. Any sane person would have moderated themselves, and by all rights, I knew better. However, let my cautionary tale act as just that. Edibles can be a great time when used right, and yes, while the number of people killed by cannabis remains 0, it does have the capacity to be harmful and potentially traumatic.