Edible products such as infused food and capsules are a safe and exciting way to enjoy everything marijuana has to offer. However, dosing cannabis edibles can be tough. Knowing the exact edible dosage required to produce the effects you want can be incredibly difficult. As a result, overconsumption is common with edibles, and as we all know, consuming too much edible THC is an unpleasant experience.
While overconsumption isn’t harmful to your physical health, it can produce unpleasant effects. Carefully managing your THC dosage is key to an enjoyable cannabis edible experience.
The Right THC Dosage For You
Not everybody responds to edible THC in the same way. One person’s response to the same dose can be much different than someone else’s.
Several different factors play into the way somebody reacts to edible THC. A high tolerance to THC from regular consumption and a slow metabolism can significantly reduce the intensity of an edible. Additionally, the sensitivity of an individual’s endocannabinoid system can also play a role. For instance, a small percentage of people are believed to be ultra-sensitive to THC, making smaller doses much more effective.
How to try edibles for the first time
Trying edibles for the first time can be intimidating, but it’s all about taking it low and slow, as we’ll explain in a four-step process. Here are the key takeaways for an optimum edibles experience:
- Try edibles with both THC and CBD
- Start with 2 mg of THC or less
- Shop for products that are easy to dose
- Wait at least two hours before consuming more, preferably 24 hours
Step one: pick your cannabinoid
Let that sink in for a moment. You can find cannabinoids in weed and your own body. Though we do have different names to distinguish the two: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids we produce within our own bodies. Phytocannabinoids are produced by the cannabis plant.
Often called cannabinoids for short, we can thank phytocannabinoids for the mental and physical effects we feel when we consume cannabis. While much more research is needed, they have the potential to affect a range of processes in our bodies from pain and inflammation to anxiety and sleep. We have a full list of cannabinoids you can read up on later, but for the sake of simplicity and to reflect what is most widely available on the market today, we’ll focus on THC and CBD here.
For a psychoactive high, pick THC. As the most plentiful cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and the one known for producing that classic weed high, THC tends to get a lot of attention. Depending on the person, this famous cannabinoid may produce feelings of euphoria, creativity, relaxation, or pain relief. Others may experience confusion, short-term memory loss, shifts in time perception, rapid heart-rate, lowered coordination, and anxiety. Starting with the lowest possible dose and combining it with other cannabinoids (which we’ll get to in a minute) is the safest way to experiment and avoid some of these potentially unpleasant side effects.
For a barely-there, calm feeling, pick CBD. Contrary to popular belief, CBD does have psychoactive effects — just not in the same way as THC. Anything that changes the brain’s activity is considered psychoactive and CBD is an FDA-approved medication (Epidiolex) thanks to its psychoactivity. That said, taking a bunch of CBD with the hope it’ll unleash the euphoric feelings associated with THC is like expecting to start your car with your house key. So, while CBD may be non-intoxicating, it’s also been shown to be better at addressing anxiety. If you’d rather risk not feeling anything at all than feeling too much, start with CBD-only edibles.
For a balanced high, pick a combination of THC and CBD. When THC and CBD work together, users tend to feel a more mellow, nuanced high than a THC-only high. When CBD is present, they also have a much lower chance of experiencing THC-induced paranoia. Cannabis newcomers are best off trying a combination of cannabinoids if the goal is to experience a noticeable, yet soothing high.
Step two: get to know the milligram
To gauge how edibles will affect you and find your perfect dose, make the milligram (mg) your best friend. The strength of THC or CBD in all ingestible cannabis products — whether it be a drink or a gummy — is measured in milligrams. Go to any legal, licensed dispensary and you will see milligrams featured prominently on the labels of every ingestible product. Milligrams are key to figuring out the minimum dose you need to achieve the effects you want and the maximum amount of cannabinoids you can tolerate before experiencing side effects.
Long story short: start with 2 mg of THC. THC affects everyone differently, so 2 mg could be considered a microdose, low dose, or perfect dose depending on the person. Consume more than 2 mg for your first time and you could risk feeling more intoxicated than you want for longer than you anticipated. With 2 milligrams, your worst-case scenario is not feeling anything at all, which is preferable to calling the cops on yourself and thinking you’re dead.
If you’re looking to try CBD-only edibles, 10 mg of CBD is a great place to start. Just make sure to buy CBD edibles from a licensed dispensary to ensure the potency is accurate.
The same advice goes for those looking to try both: start with 2 mg of THC and 2 mg or more of CBD. You could arrive at this combination by buying two separate products that contain THC or CBD and take them at the same time. Or you can choose from a variety of products that contain both.
Step three: pick your product
Are you dead-set on weed gummies? Or are you simply looking to avoid inhalation while still feeling the effects as quickly as possible? These days, you can find a range of potencies for just about every product type on the legal market.
What Can You Expect From Your Edible Dosage?
Most people experience different psychoactive effects at different dosages of edible THC. What kinds of effects should you expect with each dose?
1 – 10 MG THC
At such a low dose, the effects of THC should be barely noticeable, if noticeable at all. At this dosage, you can expect mild relief of stress, anxiety, and pain. This dose is ideal for microdosing or first-time users.
10 – 20 MG THC
At this dosage, you can expect even more effective symptom relief and may even experience very mild euphoria. You may experience a slight boost to social interactions, such as becoming more talkative, engaging, and creative. This is the perfect dose to enjoy mild psychoactive effects and is also great for maintaining sleep throughout the night.
20 – 30 MG THC
The cerebral and physical euphoria is much more noticeable at this dosage. This much THC may also impair coordination and perception. This dosage is more appropriate for experienced consumers and those seeking relief from more moderate problems.
30 – 50 MG THC
If you do not regularly consume THC, this much edible THC will produce strong euphoric and psychoactive effects. You can also expect strong anxiolytic, pain-killing, sleep-inducing, and hunger-inducing effects. This dosage is recommended for regular consumers that have already built up a tolerance to lower doses.
50 – 75 MG THC
This high of an edible dosage is likely to cause intense euphoria and potent symptom relief. This much THC is very likely to significantly impair perception and coordination and may also cause side effects such as rapid heart rate, anxiety, and nausea. This dosage is not recommended for beginners or occasional consumers.
100+ MG THC
Regardless of your tolerance and consumption habits, this dosage can be expected to produce strong cerebral and physical euphoria. At such a high dosage, some users may experience anxiety and paranoia. This dosage is only recommended for heavy consumers of cannabis.