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Here is an updated guide on marijuana dosing to help direct your responsible cannabis consumption.

We wouldn’t be too far off the mark if we guessed that at some point every cannabis user has gotten a high so uncomfortable, they thought they would never come down. Whether you take cannabis for the occasional high or you are on it for medical reasons, knowing the right amount of cannabis to take is key.

Cannabis dosing can be a tricky venture as there are quite a number of moving parts such as varying chemical and cannabinoid potency, even within the same strain.

Marijuana dosing, tincture with marijuana leaves.
Marijuana Dosing

How can you best navigate this unknown terrain?

Let’s get started!

What Factors Contribute To The “Cannabis High”?

The “Cannabis high” is influenced by three factors:

  • Cannabis Dosage – Which is the amount of cannabinoid you have consumed
  • Self – Physiological make-up of different users.
  • State – What emotional and mental state they happen to be in at the time of use.

Since we cannot control the factors that are specific to an individual, we will deal with the one we can control. Dosage.

Because each method of consumption impacts the body differently, dosages are tailor made to suit each method.

How To Read Cannabis Packaging Correctly

If you are among the lucky few who can purchase cannabis legally, you will find that the vape cartridges, edibles and pre-packaged flower come with a label. These labels can be quite confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

While trying to understand the label, always pay close attention to the potency/dose information.

Products such as vape cartridges sometimes outline the total cannabinoids (such as THC) found in the cartridge. Edibles on the other hand could include the suggested dose alongside the total cannabinoids contained in the pack.

If you are purchasing bud, the labels usually indicate the total cannabinoids as a percentage contained in the bud. You can then calculate the dosage you need by dividing the total weight of the bud by the dosage you need.

You can use the formula below as follows:

mg of dried bud × % THC (as a decimal)

If for example you want to roll a joint that is 500mg (0.5g) of a strain with 14% THC, you’d calculate the amount of THC in the in joint this way:

500mg × 0.14 = 70mg THC

Having covered the basics, let’s get into the dosage of each cannabis form:

1. How To Dose Dry Marijuana Herb

  • Typical dose: 25–0.5g of dried bud

Smoking or vaping cannabis brings on a pretty fast onset. This is considered one of its advantages. Depending on your tolerance and the potency of strain, you should feel the effects 5-15 minutes after smoking. This is because the inhaled smoke or vapor which contains the cannabinoids and terpenes finds its way almost directly into the bloodstream through the lungs.

On average, burning up 0.25 – 0.5g of dry herb should give you the desired effect. This is pre-calculated to contain ideal amounts of THC which usually average about 14%.

When venturing out, you can start with 0.25 g of dried bud and work your way up to 0.5 g. Also, starting at a smaller dose will ensure that the weed does not knock you out if you happen to be smoking a particularly potent strain.

2. How To Dose Marijuana Edibles

  • Typical dose: 10mg of CBD or THC

As mentioned earlier, if you purchase your edibles from a legal cannabis store or dispensary it will likely have clear dosage instructions indicated on it.

If your label gives the cannabinoid content in percentage form, you could then use the formula below to determine how much cannabinoid it contains and therefore what quantity you need to dose yourself correctly.

The total weight of the edible (in mg) × % cannabinoids

While cooking with cannabis, you might find it a little harder to calculate the amount of cannabinoids. That being the case, you need to keep track of the cannabinoids right from the start in the process of making your butter. Before you commence, take note of the content of cannabinoids in your flower. That should be calculating the cannabinoid content in your butter.

Say you use 28 grams (which is 1 ounce) of flower that has 18% THC in the making of 250g of butter, the total cannabinoids in your butter.

“28,000mg of flower × 0.18 (18%) THC = 5040mg of THC in 250,000mg (250g) of butter (2% THC)”

Now, imagine that you have a brownie recipe that will require you to use 150g of butter. You will end up with a batch of brownies that has a total of 3g THC (150g butter X 0.02% THC). By dividing the total amount of the batch by the portion you actually consume in one sitting, you can arrive at the amount of THC you will have consumed.

Most edibles have a single dosage of 10mg of cannabinoid. You might find instances where the cannabinoid content could get as high as 100mg, though this is not meant to be consumed all at once. If you are making your own cannabis edibles at home it is easier to keep track of and dose.

Now to the Effects of Marijuana Edibles

Unlike smoking and vaping, edibles usually take longer to manifest. Because edibles have to go through the digestion process before they reach the bloodstream, you might even feel the effects after 2 hours.

As such, it is best to wait for this time to elapse before you add onto your initial dose. Both novices and seasoned users are advised to take it slow because the effects can hit hard very hard.

3. How To Dose CBD Oil Extracts

  • Typical dose: 10mg of CBD

CBD oil extracts are usually used for medicinal purposes. A typical dose would usually contain 10mg of CBD taken orally. This however may vary according to individual requirements.

Determining the amount of CBD per can get confusing because manufacturers use mg on their labels sometimes while they use percentages in other instances. 

You could determine the correct dosage per drop by dividing the total CBD in the bottle by the drops, or finding the total CBD in the bottle by the formula given above for calculating percentages.

That is:

“The total weight of the edible (in mg) × % cannabinoids”

Once you get the amount of cannabinoids in the bottle, you can calculate how many drops you need to take to meet your dosage requirements.

It is vital that you purchase CBD oil with clearly labelled content so as to be able to calculate your dosage correctly. Also, ensure that it is pure and not adulterated.

Though we will discuss it later, Microdosing can also be used for CBD oils. You can take smaller doses of between 2.5–5mg all through the day.

4. How To Dose Full-Extract Marijuana Oil

  • Typical dose: Up to 1g, taken in bits

Rick Simpson is an example of full-extract cannabis oils. They are both concentrated and highly potent and a little can go a really long way. To calculate the cannabinoid in your full–extract oil, use the below formula:

Total amount of oil (in mg) × % cannabinoids

After determining the amount of cannabinoid every drop contains, you can divide it into several doses that you will take in the course of the day.

Keep in mind that 1g of full-extract oil is actually quite high. If you contemplating taking high doses of cannabis, make you seek the advice of a medical professional.

5. How To Dose Topicals

  • Typical dose: Depends on need and product

Topicals could be used for burns or wounds or other skin issues and usually relieve pain and inflammation. Because they do not have psychoactive effects, you cannot overdose on them.

Their labels usually have the recommended dosage which you can start with as you determine what quantity suits your issue best.

6. How To Dose Transdermal Cannabis Patches

  • Typical dose: each patch has 10–20mg THC

Though they have psychoactive properties, transdermal patches are usually applied to the skin directly as well. Each patch will contain between 10-20mg of THC and you should feel the effects in about 20-60 minutes.

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As with the other forms of weed, start with the lower dose and move to the stronger ones once you establish that you can handle its effects.

7. How To Dose Marijuana Concentrates

  • Typical dose: 25mg per dab

BHO extracts are another form of cannabis that contain especially high cannabinoid concentrations. They are usually used in a normal vaporizer or in a dab rig. Because dabs have the characteristic of varying vastly in potency, ensure your licensed retailer or dispensary clearly labels your stash.

To illustrate the potency of this form of weed, 1g (1000mg) of shatter which has 70% THC will have 700mg THC. That is enough THC for 28 doses!

As it is quite difficult to evenly split 1g of BHO into 25mg doses, you can load tiny doses that are almost rice grain sized into your chamber using a dab tool.

Conclusion on Marijuana Dosing

Whatever your preferred method of consuming cannabis, we hope our guide will help you calculate the perfect dose.

Always remember to start low and gradually work your dose up if you need to. Listening to your body and observing the effects is also a great way to find what will work best for you.

This wraps up our updated guide on marijuana dosing.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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