Edibles dosing – how to eat weed

Edibles dosing: green French macarons sit atop fan leaves

Almost the whole country has access to legal cannabis. From medical dispensaries to adult-use shops, companies are expanding how we look at cannabis edibles and edibles dosing

There are many types of edibles, including cannabis drinks, gummy candies, savory snacks, and more available with different ratios of cannabinoids. This proliferation of products has blessed adults with fun treats and snacks that get them lifted. It has also made calculating the right bite a bit more complicated.

Knowing how much cannabis to eat is essential. The side effects of being exceptionally high can be uncomfortable and upsetting. An edible usually raises those stakes. An edible high can be more intense and longer lasting than inhaling or even dabbing. So start slow when it comes to eating weed.

Make it a positive experience by understanding how to dose using this edibles dosing guide, no matter the product.

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Edibles dosing: person eats a cookie by a lake
Photo by Julius Gnoth for Getty Images Photo: Julius Gnoth / Getty Images

Edibles dosing: Understanding the label

Cannabis edibles come in various doses and ratios. Different brands, products, and states will have their own methods for dosing and educating consumers. Most edibles will be split into an amount based on state regulations, generally 10 milligrams (mg) or 5mg pieces.

A 100mg bar of chocolate will be perforated into 10 mg squares and drinks will often come with a little cup to show how much liquid equates to the state-recommended dose.

The first step to eating the ideal amount is keying into how much THC is in a specific cannabis-infused product. Another important thing to note about the package is what cannabinoids it contains. There are pure THC edibles and others with added CBD or minor cannabinoids like CBN and CBG.

A full THC product will have an altered effect compared to a product with equal parts CBD and THC, or even 20 times the CBD than THC. Cannabis companies release products in different variations, always check what kind of cannabinoid ratio an edible has before taking a bite.

Breaking down the cannabinoid ratios

Most people who consume cannabis know about the difference between THC and CBD. THC has a very psychoactive effect, while CBD is known to be less detectable. But what happens when they’re in an edible together?

A THC high can verge on psychedelic, skewing time and reality into a high landscape. When CBD joins the party, an edible high gets somebody.

An edible experience will change depending on the ratio of CBD to THC. Equal parts THC to CBD makes many people feel balanced but also very stoned. Take the CBD up to 20 times the amount of THC and the high will be utterly subdued. A good rule of thumb is that high THC should be handled with care.

Whether trying a new cannabinoid or an edible, it’s a good idea to figure out how much is needed without overconsuming. This process is called titrating.

Edibles dosing: candy and a cannabis nug
Photo by Tetra Images for Getty Images Photo: Tetra Images / Getty Images

How to find your edibles dose

The first step is understanding what’s inside of an edible. Then it’s time to calculate the right dose. Edible dosing varies from person to person.

Desired effects could come after 10 mg for one person. But that same dose could leave another completely loaded.

Simple edibles dosing chart

Microdose // 1 – 2.5 mg

This is a great place to start. Most people will feel little to no effect. Some who use cannabis medicinally during the day find this to be a sweet spot.

Low dose // 3-5 mg

Some still won’t feel this dose, but it can also affect those with a low tolerance. This is a good option for people with some experience with cannabis.

Moderate dose // 5-15 mg

Regular cannabis consumers may consider this the perfect dose, but certain circumstances (like an empty stomach) can make this dose feel more intense.

Large dose // 20-30 mg

Fewer people need this dose compared to the moderate option, and eating this much cannabis can result in an uncomfortable experience. However, people with a very high tolerance or deep medical need could require this amount.

Macro dose // 30+ mg

Taking a macro dose is not recommended for the majority of people. Those who eat more than 30mg on purpose should have high THC tolerances and know exactly what they’re doing.

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Factors of an edible high

There are a few factors that play a role here. The edible dosage, recipe, and infusion method come into play, but also each person’s makeup.

Someone’s metabolism, body weight, how much they ate before dosing, and their endocannabinoid system will factor into how much of an edible they need.

Liver function also comes into the picture. Cannabinoids also pass through the liver before taking effect.

Additionally, those with a high tolerance will likely need more to get the same results as a beginner with the same body weight and metabolism.

To find the right dose for an edible, start by eating 2.5 mg. This amount makes sense because it’s easy to cut 10 or 5 mg of edibles to pieces with 2.5mg of THC.

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Start with 2.5mg and wait at least two hours (the full onset time) before deciding to eat another 2.5mg dose. Impart this system with any new edible to titrate the right dose for a perfectly stoney good time.

How long will an edible last?

After eating an edible and experiencing the effects of THC for some time, one may wonder how long an edible lasts. The answer can vary, but it’s safe to set aside an entire 24 hours for the effects of cannabis edibles. Sure some edibles will wear off in 12 hours, but some last longer. The time to feel the effects varies. That’s precisely why experts recommend waiting two hours before eating another dose while titrating.

This edibles dosage guide hopes to serve as an educational tool that can help people avoid overconsumption. No one enjoys the raised heart rate, severe anxiety, and other side effects of consuming excess weed. Instead of risking it, follow these easy steps to understanding edible dosing.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.