By Phillip Demarco
Edible weed makers want to take a bite out of the growing $5.4 billion legal marijuana industry in what seems like the most counterintuitive way possible: give people less pot.
Small-dose, or “microdosed,” edibles make up one of the fastest rising sectors of the industry, according to a group of panelists at the recent Infused Summit in San Francisco, California.
These products, which range from marijuana-infused chocolates and sweets to barbecue sauce and bottled water, often contain between 5 to 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in weed. It’s a conservative dose for adults who don’t know their tolerance or are consuming for recreational, rather than medical, purposes.
While these lower dose products often cost more per milligram of THC in the dispensary due to extended processing, they aim to make users’ lives less complicated. If you’ve ever purchased a pot brownie from a legal shop or in a back alley, you might be familiar with the ritual of cutting the treat into 16 pieces — less you want a Grade A night-in to turn into a paranoia-wracked nightmare of an evening.
“Start off low and gradually find your comfort level.“
It is a well known fact there are no recorded cases of any person,ever, fatally overdosing on marijuana, it can however make you incredibly uncomfortable. Your heart starts to race and, sometimes, anxiety strikes. This has led to a bit of an image problem for the edibles industry. It is safe to say, patients are a little bit wary of edibles.
Sweet Buds Confections, which sells products in California, where medicinal marijuana is legal, has pioneered a path to user-friendly edibles. Its chocolate bars range from 60 to 120 milligrams of THC — divisible by 10 to 15-milligram servings— and feature impressions on the bars that make it easy to parse for smaller doses. They have also added a green cross to each dose to help distinguish between medicinal chocolate from regular chocolate, helping to keep the medicinal chocolate out of the reach of children. Another product there “Mini Bites”, which come in a sealable container, contain chocolate covered espresso beans and dried blueberries that provide just five milligrams of THC each.
The summits target customer is the more casual edible consumer. It’s that person looking for a glass of wine or beer in the evening [type of] experience. They’re looking for that person who isn’t looking to get totally blasted.
The microdosing trend borrows from the pharmaceutical industry, which has heralded the “minimum effective dose” principle in recent years. It’s the idea that patients should consume the smallest dose possible that produces a desired outcome without negative side effects.
The good news with small dose marijuana edibles: If you wait a few hours and find you’re still sober, you can always eat more.