What Happens When You Eat a 500mg Edible, and Is That Even Legal?
Most of us would be in for a stratospheric joy ride if we ate more than 100mg of THC. So what happens when you eat a whopping 500mg edible—and where can you find this kind of dankness?
Published on November 2, 2020

Long gone are the days of Brownie Mary’s legendary, ultra-dank, and uber-gooey confectionery treats packed with so much THC that they practically oozed the cannabinoid from its rich, chocolatey layers. Or... are those days actually long gone?

Today, most licensed pot shops sell cannabis-infused edibles with strict THC limits. Typically, this limit caps out at 10mg THC per “serving,” with a serving roughly measuring out to about a bite. Regulators imposed these caps to reduce the chances of low-tolerance consumers eating too much and freaking the fuck out. Alas, people still freak the fuck out, just not nearly as often as they did when legalization first launched in Colorado and Washington State, and edible limits weren’t as strict.

But you can still find edibles loaded with more than 10mg of THC. The 10mg THC per serving, or 100mg THC per package, limits typically only apply if you’re buying recreational products. Those rules go out the window when we’re dealing with licensed medical products. It’s quite possible, even within the most mature cannabis markets, to legally purchase weed edibles containing 500mg THC or more. 


Putting a 500mg Edible in Perspective

OK, so, if the average THC-infused chocolate bar in a recreational pot shop can only contain 100mg THC, that would mean a 500mg THC edible is the equivalent of five of those chocolate bars. Given that the average person will catch a buzz off of just one or two doses or servings — which is roughly 10mg to 20mg THC — eating just a single bar is enough to give most folks a bad time. We’re talking accelerated heart rate, rapid breathing, heightened anxiety, paranoia, nausea, confusion, and dizziness, to name just a few common symptoms. Extreme symptoms range from convulsions to hallucinations to coma, but those are incredibly rare. 

Feel free to check out some of our personal accounts from folks who ate too much THC in one sitting.

However, everyone reacts to THC differently. Some people may find that just a mere 5mg THC is enough to get them lifted. Others may find that they barely catch a buzz off of a whopping 500mg THC. For instance, on an episode of MERRY JANE’s Super High Score, cannabis champs Zeus and Cameron Monoxide each ate 5,000mg worth of edibles, and though they didn’t lose their shit, they did ride a veritable rollercoaster from their couch.

SO, there’s no one-size-fits-all response when it comes to eating THC. And the reasons for that variety of reactions boils down to a lot of factors, including genetics, metabolic rates, set-and-setting, and personal history. Regardless, eating your weed will typically hit much harder than smoking it.

But, given what data we do have on cannabis edibles and the average response, most people can’t handle 500mg THC. And by “can’t handle,” we mean they lose their shit so bad that they end up in the ER (though they’re usually fine after it wears off, mental and emotional trauma notwithstanding). 


Is It Legal to Even Have a 500mg Edible?

First off, we’re not attorneys here at MERRY JANE, so none of what follows here is tried-and-true legal advice. Consult an attorney if you need clarity on your area’s laws.

Anyway, how legal is it to possess, purchase, or make a 500mg THC edible? That depends on a lot of factors, including if you’re a qualifying medical marijuana patient, where you live (every state has different laws), how you’re making it (some jurisdictions ban the home manufacturing of cannabis-infused extractions), or how you’re buying it. 

Depending on where you live, you may not be able to find cannabis edibles higher than 100mg THC per package. That’s how it goes in Oregon, where medical patients are capped at buying 100mg THC per edible product. 

However, the rules aren’t so clear-cut in Colorado. In Colorado, medical edibles are often packaged with 1,000mg THC, though there’s technically no milligram legal limit per product. Rather, medical patients can only purchase the equivalent of 2 oz. cannabis among the total weight of their edible purchases. 

So, yes, you can legally possess or even craft a 500mg THC edible, depending on where you live and whether you’re a medical patient. And yes, in many, if not most, weed-legal states in the US, you can have your cannabis cake, and eat it, too. Though whether it’s a good idea to down that entire 500mg at once depends on your individual tolerances — and inner wisdom.

Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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