Finding the right dose for medicinal or recreational cannabis isn’t always easy. Cannabis strains can vary greatly when it comes to cannabinoid and terpene profile, which can make one strain much more potent than another. Furthermore, there are so many methods of consumption, such as smoking dry buds or administering cannabis in the form of oils, topical creams, or edibles.
Knowing the proper dosages for flowers, edibles, dabs and vapes will have you on the path to gentle elevation.
So, what marijuana dosage is enough to enjoy the high and medical benefits while avoiding the above side effects?
That’s a tricky question because many factors come to play in terms of how your endocannabinoid system reacts to THC, CBD, and other compounds in weed.
Figuring out the optimal marijuana dosage may involve some trial and error, but you can use the guide we’ve prepared to, at least, get a decent starting point for your future experiments.
A Brief Overview
Before we get down to business, let’s have a look at some marijuana dosing-related facts in the first place:
- Marijuana can be an effective medicine at a wide range of doses. There’s no fixed dosage that would work for everyone;
- The majority of the plant’s therapeutic properties depends on how a person reacts to THC, the psychoactive compound;
- You don’t have to smoke marijuana or get high to benefit from medical cannabis;
- CBD is the second major cannabinoid in marijuana; it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, is safe for human consumption, and sometimes necessary to balance the intoxicating effects of THC.
- Full-spectrum marijuana extracts that contain THC and CBD in different ratios call for lower doses to take effect.
- Sometimes, lower doses of marijuana are more effective medicinally than higher doses.
- A greater ratio of CBD to THC means less of the high.
- Cumulative doses of THC — around 20-30mg daily — or a single dose of 10+ mg may cause adverse effects.
- It’s best to start low and gradually work your way up to the sweet spot;
- Consuming as little as 2.5mg of THC per session can provide symptom relief without making a person feel high or stoned.
Different Types of Marijuana Strains
The key to successful treatment with cannabis is to learn how to manage its psychoactive properties.
While some people enjoy getting high, others — especially those sensitive to THC — may not handle those effects very well.
For such users, high-THC strains may be risky as they produce more potent high than their balanced or CBD-dominant varieties.
Generally speaking, there are three types of resin-rich marijuana:
- THC-dominant — such strains are high in THC and low in CBD. They are loved by recreational users, but they also can bring significant relief to patients suffering from chronic conditions;
- CBD-dominant — these varieties contain high concentrations of CBD and low amounts of THC; they are sourced from selectively bred marijuana strains or hemp plants;
- THC & CBD — flowers with the even ratio of THC to CBD; they are psychoactive, but not as edgy as their THC-dominant counterparts.
Some rare cannabis cultivars are bred to express the so-called minor cannabinoids, such as CBG and THCV; however, such strains are currently not available for patients.
The THC-to-CBD ratio must be your top priority when determining our marijuana dosage.
Smoking cannabis is the easiest to control as the high hits pretty much instantly, so you know how much is just enough right when it is. Still, it’s good to have guidelines for yourself. A small bowl is likely good, depending on the quality of the weed, for a moderate smoker to feel fine on their own. A one-hitter is also a great way to manage your dosage, as you can just reload if you want another boost.
Novice smokers need around one or two inhalations from a pipe, bong, joint, or blunt to feel THC’s potency. Those with a higher tolerance level will require more dry flower to get high.
0.25 grams of marijuana — a quarter-gram joint or a small pipe — is best suited for light smokers. Those who want to play their game completely safe can use a one-hitter to enjoy weed without feeling overwhelmed by the high.
Quantities of 1 gram and up are made for heavy smokers and groups. In this case, you may want to generously load your bong or grab that long-awaited pack of king-sized rolling papers.
Ingesting your edibles is a little more tricky, as the time it takes them to kick in (typically 45 minutes to an hour and a half) makes dosing difficult. A nice thing about edibles is that the high lasts a long time and if you want to add onto your dosage after an hour or so, you’ll still be feeling the first when the next kicks in.
For new consumers, it’s best to start with a dose of 1-5mg of THC. Be careful: don’t rush another marijuana-infused brownie until you feel the first one kicking in.
Making cannabutter is easy; figuring out the proper dosage, however, can prove tricky in a home kitchen. Even with the same amount of ounces of weed used per batch, there are many variables which can affect the potency, including the amount of heat you apply, the strain of weed, and individual tolerance. However, I’d like to offer some handy anecdotal tips that I’ve picked up along my cannabaking adventures. While wouldn’t say that I get it right 100 percent of the time, following these tips and tricks has made my dosage far more reliable.
Give It A Test Run
Personally, I’ll act as my own guinea pig, sampling the cannabutter to figure out the effects. Typically, I’ll try about 1 teaspoon of my finished cannabutter on an afternoon or evening where I don’t have anywhere to be. I usually put it on top of toast, but you can use it on whatever type of dish you’d normally garnish with butter. Usually, this amount allows me to get a good gauge of the strength of the batch in question.
For instance, say I try a teaspoon of cannabutter and I feel mellow but could use a little bit more. When making my recipe or topping foods with it, I’ll probably portion it out at 1 ¼ or 1 ½ teaspoons per serving. Of course, if you don’t feel like being your own guinea pig, I’m sure you won’t have too much difficulty finding a friend who will do it for you.
Think About Your Recipe On A “Per Serving” Basis
This tip progresses directly from the previous one. Once you’ve determined how much cannabutter makes up an effective dose, you can figure out easily how much to include in a recipe.
For instance, say I am making brownies and want 9 servings. If I’ve determined that 1 ½ teaspoons per serving is a good dose, then I want to use 13.5 teaspoons, or about 4.5 tablespoons, for the entire recipe. In that case, I would probably use 5 tablespoons of cannabutter; if the recipe calls for more fat, I’ll fill out the difference with regular butter.
Doses of 10+ mg are for those with high THC tolerance or specific medical needs. However, users having such high THC requirements are advised to keep some CBD at hand in case the psychoactive effects became overwhelming.
Dabs refer to cannabis concentrates that can be consumed through flash vaporization.
In simple terms, a dose of cannabis concentrate is dropped onto a heated nail — or into the chamber of a vaporizer — and inhaled immediately.
While dried marijuana flowers typically come with anywhere between 15 to 30% of THC, concentrates are much more potent, elevating the THC content to 90% and up.
Concentrates are typically purchased in gram or half-gram containers. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should consume the entire content at a time. For anyone who hasn’t yet done a dab, take this method slow. A little dab’ll do ya, as they say. A little dab, which is what you should start with, is around the size of a pinhead. You can graduate to two pinheads in your own time, but that’s about as big as you need get for dabbing. The high hits you as you’re exhaling, and likely having a little cough, so measuring it is pretty simple. Just remember to pass when you’re good and stay hydrated.
Vape pens are ultra-stealthy, easy-to-measure hits on and have become better and more concentrated over the years. Because the oil has become almost or just as strong as dabs, taking only a few draws to begin with is recommended. Since vaping also hits almost instantly, you’ll know when you’re done.
Vaping weed doesn’t combust your plant material, so you actually need less marijuana to get high or experience the medical benefits. As compared to smoking, vaporization delivers up to 80% of the cannabinoid content to your bloodstream — smoking, in turn, brings only 25%.
Once again, new users will only need a few puffs from a vaporizer, while savvy consumers will require a longer session with their device.
Dry herb vaporizers typically come with two chambers: a half-pack and a full-pack. The half-pack is enough to fit around 0.2 g of ground weed, while the full-pack can hold up to 1 gram.
There are many factors coming into play when it comes to dosing weed. From your body’s unique chemistry to metabolism to your lifestyle — these seemingly small elements can heavily impact your final experience.
Some people are less sensitive to THC than others, and thus, they can enjoy high-THC marijuana strains along with their whole psychoactive potential. Others, on the contrary, don’t handle these effects very well.
Then, there’s also your go-to consumption method. Are you going to smoke your marijuana in a joint? Or do you want to deliver the cannabinoids through vaporization? Maybe you have a sweet tooth today, huh? You’ll need different doses depending on how you want to enjoy the weed.
All in all, figuring the optimal marijuana dosage for yourself takes some trial and error.