If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by David Goldsmith
As the children’s book goes, if you give a mouse a cookie he’s going to want a glass of milk to go with it. What if you want a little THC? For those of us who might be interested in trying cannabis, whether for medical or recreational reasons, smoking as the means of consumption poses a significant barrier. Ignore the fact that we have decades of communications all universally condemning smoking. It is hard to smoke the stuff and not cough yourself into a pretzel. Absolutely no fun doing that. So what to do? Put down the joint and follow this process.
Step 1. Buy a bong. This is a handy little device that passes the cannabis smoke through water, cooling the smoke and making it potentially more palatable. It is even possible to add ice to the water for a stronger cooling effect. It’s still smoking however. You still end up coughing. Meh! Put the bong at the back of the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard next to that little bowl you bought in Mexico that you can’t find a use for.
Step 2. Buy a vaporizer. These handy devices provide enough heat to decarboxylate the cannabis (THCA becomes THC) but the reduced temperature means there is less smoke due to combusting plant material. Vaporizers can be expensive and one potential Darwin Award winner managed to kill himself when his vape pen exploded. But the reality is, it’s still smoking. More meh! Vaporizers go in a box and get stored in the basement next to power tools that you have to plug in.
Step 3. Try edibles. Of course, we will first try to use up our leftover flower/bud. We will need to decarboxylate by putting it in the oven at around 220 Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or so. Then we include it in a recipe such as the classic brownie. Most old school edible recipes involve strongly flavoured or very sweet items because most people do not like the taste of cannabis. The nickname “grass” is not far from the reality. It’s not smoking but it tastes bad enough that we might decline future offerings. Meh! Leftover edibles go in the freezer.
Step 4. Try professionally prepared edibles. These are available in a bewildering variety of offerings. To simplify we suggest chocolate and gummies. This allows for precise dosing and the ingestion is much kinder and gentler than smoking. The impact is significant. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the amount right. These items are completely lacking in that overpowering cannabis flavour. Yeah! Chocolate tastes like chocolate. Gummies are gummies. Obviously, one needs to find out what that is if you still wish for DIY edibles. There are no leftovers to store.
Step 5. Buy some distillate. This cannabis extract generally follows a triple distillation process in order to produce a product (sometimes called clear) that is at least 99% THC and is completely free of extraneous plant material. As frightening as 99% might appear it does allow for very accurate dosing. It is, however, a solution with a warning label. Tentative yeah!
Step 6. Be very careful. Over-consumption of infused edibles can be a very, very uncomfortable experience.Experienced cannabis consumers will tell you that the effect of smoking cannabis as compared to eating it is very different. It has to do with smoking which puts Delta-9-THC directly into the bloodstream versus eating which results in the liver processing more of the very potent 11-hydroxy-THC. The main issue is really our lack of patience. Smoking cannabis produces a near instantaneous effect. Eating requires a wait of up to an hour before the impact is felt. Sitting around looking at each other for an hour is an overrated activity. At some point someone will decide that it’s not working and have some more. This is not a good idea. Please do not do this.
If your goal is a positive medical outcome, then the best dosage is the absolute minimum amount that achieves the desired result. For example, it is probably not necessary to get completely stoned in order to sleep better. The exact dosage depends heavily on you as an individual, as the effect of cannabis consumption varies widely from person to person. Start with a very small dose like 5 milligrams and see what happens. Be exceedingly patient. If this is a recreational event it’s harder to argue for restraint. I offer the case of the reporter who ignored the advice to go easy and ended up convinced that she was dead but no one would admit it to her. Amusing, unless it’s you having the experience.If you give yourself a cookie and you want a little THC to go with it then add a dash of maturity to your recipe. Be as precise as you can in estimating dosage. Take what you think is reasonable and try half that. 11-hydroxy-THC has a very strong effect that differs significantly from cannabis that has been smoked. With careful planning we can find relief from chronic health issues. Even in a recreational setting we can realize predictable outcomes that ensure your consumption will not detract from the social event. You cannot “uningest” an edible and overindulging can be very uncomfortable. So, when the mouse asks for another cookie ....!