Whether you are new to consuming cannabis or a seasoned smoker, getting the right cannabis dosing can sometimes be tricky. With so much variety in strains, consumption methods, and individual body chemistry, how do you know what THC dose to take? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we’ve got some essential advice to help you get it right.
What’s the Recommended Standard Dosage of THC?
Of course, there’s no FDA-recommended THC dosage guide. At present, the agency has only approved a single cannabis-derived drug and it uses CBD, not THC, to treat several rare types of seizures. But while everyone reacts slightly differently to THC—the cannabinoid responsible for the cannabis plant’s euphoric “high”—it’s possible to formulate a few basic guidelines and principles for dosing THC.
THC Dosage: 1 – 2.5 mg
Typical Effects: Mild relief of symptoms including pain, stress, and anxiety; heightened focus and creativity. Great for first-time consumers, or more experienced consumers interested in microdosing.
THC Dosage: 2.5 – 15 mg
Typical Effects: Stronger relief of symptoms; euphoria; coordination and perception impacted. Great for stubborn symptoms not affected by smaller doses; treatment for insomnia.
THC Dosage: 30 – 50 mg
Typical Effects: Strong euphoria; significantly impacted coordination and perception. Great for consumers with a high tolerance for THC, or for those whose GI systems don’t absorb cannabinoids well.
THC Dosage: 50 – 100 mg
Typical Effects: Seriously impacted coordination and perception; possible unpleasant side effects including nausea and increased heart rate. Best for patients managing serious conditions and symptoms or those with a very high THC tolerance.
Cannabis Dosing and Consumption Method
Does it matter how you take your cannabinoids? Turns out it does: While smoking or vaping is fast and effective, the effects are relatively short-lived. When you consume a cannabis-infused edible or take a cannabis tincture, the cannabinoids are processed through the liver as opposed to the lungs. Paradoxically, while these consumption methods deliver a lower percentage of cannabinoids than do smoking or vaping, the effect typically feels stronger (and definitely tends to last longer).
This means that you should think about your desired outcome before selecting a consumption method. If you want a faster onset (but a shorter high), smoking or vaping may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a longer-lasting experience—or to quell stubborn, chronic symptoms such as muscle pain or anxiety—taking a low dose of a tincture or an edible may give you a more rewarding experience.
Then there’s the topic of flower. As you’ve noticed, each of the premium strains we sell is clearly labeled with its THC content. And while it may seem self-evident, it’s important to remember that when it comes to cannabis dosing, when you take a strain with a high percentage of THC—say, anywhere above 20%—the effects are going to be far more pronounced than one with a lower THC content. Be aware of what you’re working with so that you can better predict the results!
Similarly, high-CBD strains not only deliver a mellower experience, but that CBD even mitigates some of THC’s effects, making for a smoother and more manageable ride overall.
One of the great things about cannabis is that it can be effective at small doses: Sometimes less is more. Microdosing is the practice of taking small amounts of cannabis to reap the benefits without becoming intoxicated. It’s great for both beginners and people with cannabinoid sensitivity. Research has found that small doses of cannabis can be extremely effective at treating many conditions and symptoms, and in some cases, can work better than high doses.
Why? Cannabis is known to be biphasic, which means high and low doses can produce opposite effects. This means that some people find symptom relief at low doses, but find their symptoms amplified at higher doses. Anxiety tends to be prone to this effect, making some people feel uneasy with larger amounts of cannabis, especially those containing a high THC dose.
Titrate Your Dose of THC: What Is Considered a Low Dose of THC?
Your best bet for dialing in the perfect dose is through a process called titration. Starting with a small amount and slowly increase your dosage will help you avoid the discomfort that comes with getting “too high.” Everyone’s body functions a bit differently, so just because a certain amount works for your friend, doesn’t mean you will have the same experience.
Begin with the lowest dose possible—which could be as little as 1 mg—wait for a while, and ask yourself how you feel. Slowly work your way up with dosing over a few days to find the amount that provides the benefits you are looking for.
It can be helpful to keep a cannabis journal to record things like the time of dose, how much you took, how long until the effects were felt, how it made you feel, and what impact it had on your symptoms. It might take a couple of weeks to learn how to maximize the benefits of cannabis for your individual needs. But that’s ok. Take your time and play an active role in the process of learning how cannabis works best for you.
Cannabis Dosage: Your Tolerance Will Increase
As you increase your dosage or the frequency that you use cannabis, you’ll start to notice that your tolerance changes. The human body can build a tolerance to cannabis fairly quickly, and the more you use cannabis, the more you will develop a tolerance to its effects. As time goes on, you might need to increase your dosage to achieve the same results.
While this might seem frustrating, the good news is that building tolerance can also cause users to experience fewer adverse side effects. That means you can become more functional while using your medicine. You can also take a tolerance break to reset your body’s sensitivity to cannabinoids.
The Method Matters: How Much THC is Too Much?
Your dosing is going to be different from method to method. The same number of THC mg smoked will feel different when eaten or taken sublingually. Anytime you experiment with a new method, start with a small amount and slowly titrate up. The same can be said for new strains or products you’re trying.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Dosage
Discovering the perfect dose can seem tricky, but with a little patience, you shouldn’t have trouble getting there. At the end of the day, finding your ideal dose of cannabis will be an individual journey. No matter what your goals or preferred method for consuming cannabis, always remember to start low and go slow. By listening to your body and observing the way you feel, you’ll be a pro at dosing cannabis in no time.
Need some quality cannabis to help you dial in your perfect dose? Come down and visit us at our beautiful Venice Beach store. Our friendly budtenders will be happy to answer your questions and help you find the right products for your needs.