There’s a great ongoing debate in California marijuana circles at the moment—the same ancient question, persistent and pervasive, that’s hovered over legalization since the beginning: How much is too much?
How strong do we allow marijuana edibles to be, before everybody loses their minds?
If you listen to the cannabis industry, edibles packed with 500 milligrams of THC and above are not unreasonable and ought to be a basic sundry good in every dispensary (albeit affixed with warning labels advising the unfamiliar to please, please go slow, and maybe take a few nibbles before swallowing the whole bar and having a well-documented freakout).
California regulators believe 100 milligrams per edible is plenty—and if profoundly sick people need to eat six cookies to achieve the pain relief they say they need, well, maybe they’re better off with a few drops of concentrated oil.
Neither side will want to listen to the academics.
Just a little more—12.5 milligrams, to be precise—greatly increases the chance of experiencing stress and anxiety, the study declared, thereby defeating the purpose of using weed to take the edge off in the first place.
As Business Insider noted, researchers at the University of Chicago found 42 people, aged 18 to 40, who were familiar with cannabis but not daily users. Participants were given a dose of THC via a capsule—either a “low” dose of 7.5 milligrams of THC, a high dose of 12.5 milligrams or a placebo. Two and a half hours after the participants took their pill, they were asked to complete a series of tasks—a mock job interview, some basic arithmetic, some benign small talk and then a game of solitaire—and to gauge their stress levels during completion of said tasks.
According to the study, the more THC the participants took, the less chill and the more stressful—”threatening” and “challenging”—the tasks were. Those hit with the low dose reported the opposite effect—7.5 milligrams of THC “significantly reduced self-reported subjective distress,” the researchers found.
The problem for most marijuana users is that both the low and the high dose have much, much less THC than the average products sold in dispensaries.
As Business Insider noted, just a few puffs on the average joint would deliver more THC than the high dose—and the high dose is but 1.25 percent of a 1000-milligram Korova “black bar,” one of the strongest and most potent edibles on the market and 12.5 percent of the proposed 100-milligram maximum dose in California’s pending regulations.
By the market’s standards, “weak” edibles have 25 to 50 milligrams of THC and popping 2.5 milligram mints at work is cool—it’s “microdosing,” bro.