Remember the old days of low-grade shake thrown into dry and unappealing brownies? Edibles have come a long way since then! The market for cannabis consumables has seen significant growth in recent years, thanks to policy reform and advancements in the industry. Nowadays, cannabis cooking has become so mainstream that there are even weed-centric cooking competition shows on Netflix and Hulu.
However, this explosion in the popularity of cannabis cooking and consumables brings with it some concerns. Many of us want to know what the best THC edible dose is, and there’s far too little authoritative guidance on how to use these powerful plant products.
If you want to get a handle on edible dosing, you’ve come to the right place. While there’s no single “one size fits all” answer around the proper edible dosage, our guide will give you a clear idea as to what amount will best serve your individual needs and goals. Ready? Let’s jump in!
THC Dosage in Edibles: A Complicated Topic
Because of the different ways cannabis is broken down by the body, how you consume it has an important impact on how our bodies process it. If you’re familiar with smoking or vaping cannabis, you know that their effects come on quickly (typically in under ten minutes) as the active cannabinoids are processed through the lungs and brought to the bloodstream.
By comparison, when we ingest a THC edible dose, the cannabinoids are processed through the stomach and liver, leading to a very different experience than smoking or vaping. For one thing, the onset (or time until effects are felt) for edibles is much longer, often as long as 60 – 90 minutes. For another, the edible experience also tends to last longer, in some cases up to 12 hours as opposed to 1 – 3 when smoking or vaping. And finally, the subjective experience tends to be stronger when compared with a similar amount of smoked or vaped THC.
These important differences mean that all too often, people unintentionally consume too much of an edible dosage. A longer onset time often tricks people into thinking the cannabis isn’t working or they did not take enough, and they’ll take more. Then when it finally kicks in, they realize they’ve actually had too much!
With that in mind, let’s dive into some specifics around edible dosage so you know exactly what to expect, from the smallest microdose to ingesting 100 mg and beyond.
How Many MG of THC Should I Take in an Edible?
Again, as with all things in the world of cannabis there’s no one simple answer. But this chart detailing specific edible dosages should provide clear guidance.
1 – 5mg THC
This is generally regarded as the smallest of edible dosages. This makes it perfect for beginners as well as those of us who’d like to microdose. Taking a very small dose (under 5 mg) is considered ideal for microdosing.
At this level we’ll typically feel mild relief of pain, stress, anxiety, and other symptoms. Some consumers experience heightened creativity and become smoother conversationalists as well.
5 – 15mg THC
At this level of edible dosage, you’ll tend to feel stronger relief from your symptoms or stronger feelings of altered perception. And depending on the amount of THC—the cannabinoid most responsible for the cannabis plant’s “high”—this dose is where most consumers tend to feel a heightened sense of euphoria. Along with increased symptom relief, you might also experience slight impairment of coordination and alteration of your perception of time.
Anything under 15 mg is a good choice for helping with sleep troubles (especially with indica-dominant strains), while more energizing sativa-dominant strains can lead to increased social interaction in some people.
15 – 30mg THC
We recommend caution for inexperienced consumers ingesting edible dosages above 15 mg. This level is where newbies may begin to experience paranoia or unpleasant side effects, while seasoned users enjoy the heightened euphoria and relaxation that comes with this dose. This dose also tends to be a good choice for medical patients who have developed tolerances to lower doses.
30 – 50mg THC
At this dose range, the majority of consumers experience impaired coordination and altered perception. That said, medical patients who have difficulty absorbing cannabinoids into their GI tract are helped by edible dosages of this level. This range is also where many consumers with a natural or developed tolerance to THC tend to feel strong subjective effects.
50 – 100 mg THC
This level is for those who are quite experienced with THC. Even in seasoned consumers, negative side effects like paranoia and rapid heart rate can occur. Coordination is almost always impaired at this stage. This level of edible dosage can be helpful for patients suffering from cancer and those with inflammatory disorders.
Beyond 100 mg THC
This level of edible dosage is only recommended for the most experienced consumers. Often called a “heroic dose,” it’s only for those who have taken high levels of edible dosages before. It’s our opinion that most consumers don’t need anything beyond 100 mg in a single dose, either for recreational or medical purposes.
Edible Dosage: A Little Goes a Long Way
Again, it’s crucial to keep in mind that every body is different. While one of us might feel plenty medicated after ingesting 5 mg, others might not feel much at all. Especially for newer consumers, it’s imperative to take your edible dosage slowly.
Start off small, and only gradually increase from there. If for example you’ve ingested 2.5 mg and don’t feel anything after 2 hours, take another 2.5 mg. Be sure to always follow the edible dosage guidelines on the package.
Also, keep in mind that this list is strictly for THC, and edibles with a combination of THC and CBD can affect you slightly differently. Why? That’s because clinical research (and anecdotal evidence) indicate that CBD tends to mitigate the psychoactivity associated with an excess of THC. It’s as if the cannabis plant has its own built-in “emergency brake” to make sure the experience isn’t too overpowering!
THC Edibles Dosing: In Conclusion
While we honor ALL our customers regardless of their reasons for interacting with cannabis, as dispensary staff we always counsel responsible consumption, especially when it comes to consuming cannabis edibles. Using the above guidelines, starting with a low dosage and increasing incrementally is a tested and reliable way to determine what amount works best both medically and recreationally for you.
As always, your friendly and knowledgeable team at Green Goddess Collective welcome any questions you might have about edible dosage and any of the other products we carry here at the dispensary. Reach out anytime!