I ate 10 times more THC than I planned. Here’s what happened

Published on May 21, 2021
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What she thought was a 10 mg edible actually contained 100 mg—but the author's mindset prevented a bad trip.

For many people, the idea of eating 10 times more than their preferred dose of THC can be terrifying.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of people overdoing it. Maybe you ate too much of a mystery brownie in college, or perhaps you indulged in a mislabeled pack of gummies in the days before potency testing. Whatever the case, the stories that end badly are the ones we hear about the most.

Last Tuesday, I found myself starting down that scary path: I accidentally took 10 times more THC than I planned.

Here’s how it worked out.

How to misdose yourself

Before I get into the details of this grand error, here’s a bit of background.

In the United States, most legal states limit cannabis edibles to 10 mg of THC per serving and 100 mg in the total package.

I live in Canada, though, where cannabis is federally legal and edibles are limited to 10 mg of THC in the entire package. Canadian products classified as cannabis extracts, however, may contain up to 1,000 mg of THC per package, and can include products like oil, capsules, and sublinguals.

A friend recently gifted me a pack of SYNC Tabs by Emerald Health, and I was excited to give them a try. Because they’re available in mint and cherry flavors, I assumed they were meant to be eaten like mints. In my mind, I filed them in the edibles category—and assumed the entire bottle of pills contained 10 mg of THC.

That would prove to be an incorrect assumption.

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Wait, it’s a what now?

After pouring all ten minty pills in my mouth, I realized something was off. These tablets were definitely not meant to be chewed. I reached for the packaging and took a closer look at what I had failed to notice earlier: There, clear as day (albeit in tiny writing) were the words cannabis extract.

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I flipped it over and learned that the package contained 10 mg of THC per tab, not per bottle, meaning I had just chewed up and swallowed 100 mg of THC.

Online, these products are described as “sublingual tabs,” but since regulations in Canada limit the amount of text a producer can include on the package, this critical detail was nowhere to be found on the actual product.

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Sitting at the crossroads

Before the THC kicked in, I realized I had two choices: I could freak out and spend the next several hours in cold sweats, panicking about what might go wrong, or I could accept my error, let it go, and treat the evening like a choose-your-own-adventure game.

In that moment, a recent conversation I’d had with a friend about the psychedelic effects of high-dose edibles came to mind. I decided that instead of being afraid, I would look forward to my impending altered state of consciousness.

While my go-to dose for edibles is generally in the range of about 25 to 30 mg, I crossed my fingers and hoped that quadrupling it would simply make for an evening of “extreme” relaxation, something I often have a hard time doing.

In the half an hour it took for the tabs to take effect, I proceeded to do what any proactive stoner would do: I walked my dog, ordered dinner, prepared a selection of snacks, and took to Twitter to ask for Netflix recommendations.

Among the suggestions: Midnight Gospel, Doctor Who, Sasquatch, Touching the Void, Atlanta, and Wild, Wild Country.

Soon the high began to come on. The waves of relaxation I’d hoped for began to wash over me in the most gentle way. Previous experiences with 100+ mg of THC threw me into an anxious spiral and landed me on the closest couch, but this one hit differently.

Twitter followers joked that I’d be asleep in no time, and while part of me wondered if they were accurately predicting the future, I managed to stay awake and spent the next two and a half hours laughing at just about everything.

Sacha Baron Cohen does the trick

I considered the Twitter suggestions, but settled on The Trial of The Chicago 7, correctly assuming a movie about the aftermath of a 1968 uprising between police and anti-war protestors would be the right vibe for the evening. When I wasn’t giggling to myself at Sacha Baron Cohen’s dynamic yet deadpan commentary, I found myself gazing in amazement (and sometimes disbelief) at the fact that, although dramatized, what I was witnessing on screen was based on reality.

100 mg of pain relief, too

I noticed a few other things. In addition to my perma-grin, the pain in my hips from the previous day’s workout was gone. The tension in my neck and shoulders from sitting at a computer for most of the day was nowhere to be found. While 10 mg might have just taken the edge off, 100 had me feeling as light as a feather.

When the time to sleep finally came, I clocked 10 hours of shuteye, something I haven’t done in years. No cold sweats, no meltdowns, no emergency room visits—just relaxation, a quiet mind, and a seriously deep rest.

Preparation and mindset can turn horror into happy

High-dose edibles sometimes get a bad rap. But after my experience last week, this is one mistake I’ll be making more regularly.

Let this be a lesson to my future self, and anyone else who has the tolerance but might still be hesitant about taking their edible consumption a step further — don’t fight it or fear it; do prepare for it and appreciate it.

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Amanda Siebert
Amanda Siebert
Amanda Siebert is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Georgia Straight, VICE, and more. Her first book, The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life, was published on October 17, 2018.
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