Understanding Effects & Dosage of Different Cannabis Products
There are more cannabis options available than ever before. Whether you’re smoking marijuana, consuming edibles, or applying topicals, there’s one rule to remember: dosage can make a world of difference.
So, how do you discover your cannabis sweet spot?
Since every person has a unique endocannabinoid system, determining your personal THC tolerance will require a unique approach. With so many different cannabis products, things can become even more complicated.
Don’t worry; this guide will teach you everything you need to know about cannabis dosage and how to dose each product properly.
What’s a Safe Amount of THC to Consume?
THC is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant but is also responsible for its intoxicating effects. So, how much THC is safe to consume? And what is too much?
There is no single correct dose. Many factors influence your system’s reactions, from body weight to cannabis use history. That means your ideal dose may be completely different from someone else’s.
Experimenting with each product is the only way to determine your THC tolerance. The “standard” THC unit is around 5 mg, but many experienced users or people with a high tolerance can easily take double or even triple that amount. It’s best to start low — around 2 mg of THC or one to two small inhalations — and gradually increase until you find the right amount for your desired experience.
Types of Cannabis Products
There’s more to the world of cannabis than joints and tinctures if you want to try something new. And, if you’re just getting started, the vast number of products available can make dosing for the first time seem intimidating.
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about each type of cannabis product, including how to dose them safely, below.
The smokable part of a cannabis plant is the flower, also known as “bud.” It is one of the most versatile methods of cannabis consumption, ranging from smoking to vaping.
How to Consume
Smoking cannabis is a simple way to get high, but it does require a few accessories, such as grinders, rolling paper, or other smoking tools.
You can smoke your flower in different ways:
THC is directly absorbed into your bloodstream when you inhale cannabis. The psychoactive effects, as well as any medicinal benefits, are almost immediately felt. As a result, cannabis flower is a popular choice for anyone looking for an instant high.
How to Dose
While smoking marijuana is a popular way to get high, dosing isn’t an exact science. To dose your flower, you must first determine the percentage of THC in your specific strain. Gifted Curators, for example, will advertise the percentage of THC in their products, whether it’s plain flower or a pre-rolled joint. The percentage usually ranges between 10% and 30%.
You can follow this simple formula for dosing: weight of dried flower (in mg) x % of THC (in decimal).
For example, if you have half a gram of flower that contains 15% THC, you would multiply 500 mg by 0.15 to get 75 mg of THC.
Of course, this calculation only works if you know how much THC your flower contains. If you’re unsure how much THC you’re getting, taking one or two puffs is an excellent place to start. Because the effects are immediate, you can decide whether to take another hit within the next 15 minutes or so.
As a general rule, cannabis flower with 10% to 15% THC is best for beginners, while flower with 15% to 30% THC is best for more experienced smokers.
Cannabis edibles are any food products that have been infused with marijuana. Edibles can now come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors. Chocolates, gummies, baked goods, and beverages are among the many options. Even cannabis-infused cooking oil is available to transform any meal into a cannabis experience.
How to Consume
Eating THC edibles is as simple as it sounds. However, keep in mind that THC edibles can be extremely potent. It’s essential to remember dosing guidelines while eating. Don’t be tempted by how good it tastes and overindulge, or you’ll be sorry.
When you consume THC, it can take much longer to enter your system. Depending on the individual, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to feel the effects. However, once the high kicks in, it can last longer than other consumption methods. You may feel the edible high for four to six hours.
Many people turn to THC edibles for their therapeutic effects due to the precise dosing and long-lasting high, including:
Pain management (including chronic pain)
Muscle spasm epilepsy relief
Physical and mental relaxation
When you buy edibles from a reliable DC dispensary like Gifted Curators, the dosage is always listed on the package to make precise dosing a breeze. However, the potent effects and delectable taste make it easy to overdo it, leading to unwanted symptoms such as increased heart rate, anxiety, nausea, and paranoia.
There is no universal edible dosing guide, but it is recommended that first-time users stick to a low dose of 1 to 4 mg of cannabis. A more moderate 5 to 10 mg dose will give you more potent effects, including medicinal benefits and a sense of euphoria.
A dose of 15 to 30 mg may provide more potent euphoric effects for users with high tolerance. Anything over 50 mg should only be taken by experienced users with high THC tolerance.
It is also important to note that while it may be tempting for first-time users to take more edibles if nothing is felt within an hour, beginners should wait 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours before taking more.
Cannabis concentrates are made by distilling the best parts of the cannabis plant, which means getting all the cannabinoids and terpenes of the flower without the unnecessary plant material. You get a far more potent product than a raw cannabis flower when you remove all the excess.
How to Consume
Concentrates have a thick, waxy resin-like consistency and are commonly called wax or shatter. Dabbing is the most common method of consuming concentrates, which involves heating the concentrates until they vaporize. Concentrates can also be found in vape pens, tinctures, topicals, and other products.
Concentrates, due to their potency, can have a powerful effect. It doesn’t take much (sometimes just one inhale) to feel the full-on effects of a high. That is why this product is so popular among high-tolerance and experienced users.
Know the Perfect Concentrates Dose
THC levels in cannabis concentrates can range from 60% to 90%. Some concentrates may contain up to 90% THC. It goes without saying that dosing must be extremely precise.
Pre-filled vape cartridges with concentrates can make this much easier. Many come with instructions that tell you how many inhales you need to take to consume a certain amount of THC.
If you have your own dab rig, careful portioning and estimation are essential. Divide your concentrates to understand how much each dab will provide. For example, if the concentrate contains 500 mg of THC, dividing it into five equal parts will yield 100 mg. Continue dividing until you’ve reached an appropriate dose. Using a scale can sometimes be beneficial if you have one.
Remember that even a tiny dab of concentrates can have a much higher dose than is safe for beginners. Even the smallest dose will likely be higher than the 1 mg to 5 mg recommended for first-timers.
Tinctures are made by steeping cannabis in alcohol, resulting in a liquid typically measured with a dropper. It is absorbed under the tongue and acts sublingually.
How to Consume
Place a few drops (or the recommended dose) under your tongue when using a tincture. Hold it there for up to 1 minute to maximize the effects and allow it to absorb properly. You can then swallow.
Because of the sublingual absorption, THC enters your system directly, resulting in a rapid onset of effects. Any tincture not absorbed under the tongue will be swallowed and absorbed through the digestive tract, which may take longer to take effect, just like an edible. Because of the dual absorption, you get the best of both worlds: quick-acting and long-lasting effects.
Many cannabis tinctures have a low THC content, typically ranging from 0.3% to 0.5%. Some tinctures contain a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio, which can help balance the effects and improve the medicinal benefits. Because of this, tinctures are ideal for both medicinal usage and micro-dosing.
The dropper allows you to control your dose to the milligram precisely. Follow the instructions to deliver the appropriate number of drops based on your dosage preferences.
If you intend to use the tincture daily for medicinal purposes, begin with a low dose of 1 mg to 2 mg and wait at least a few days to see how it affects you. Follow the standard guidelines and keep it under 5 mg for beginners, between 5 and 10 mg for moderate users, and over 15 mg for seasoned cannabis users for more recreational effects.
Cannabinoids can be absorbed through the skin using topical products. Unlike other products, this will not have a psychoactive effect on you. Conversely, the application can provide localized effects such as pain relief for muscle soreness or reduced inflammation. Examples of topical products include balms, salves, sprays, lotions, and transdermal patches.
How to Take Topicals
The product type will heavily influence the application of topical cannabis. Apply a thin layer of balms, lotions, or salves to the affected area. Follow the instructions on the package for other products, such as transdermal patches.
These cannabis-infused products have no psychoactive effect when applied to the skin. They can, however, provide localized benefits such as pain relief, inflammation reduction, muscle relaxation, itch relief, and wound healing. You should feel the effects within minutes of applying it, lasting several hours.
Since topicals contain no THC, there is much less to worry about when it comes to dosing. There is no such thing as using too much of a topical cannabis product.
The amount required will be determined primarily by the area to be covered. All you need is a thin layer of product that you can apply as needed. When in doubt, always follow the product label’s instructions.
Choose the Cannabis Product That’s Right for You
Finding your ideal THC dosage isn’t always straightforward. Finding the correct dosage can take a lot of trial and error. Your dosage may also change as your tolerance evolves over time.
Remember that your experience will vary depending on the cannabis product you use. Aside from dosage, a lot goes into selecting the best product, such as preferences, budget, desired effect, and so on.
Now that you have dosage guidelines to work with, what are you waiting for?
Visit the Gifted Curators DC shop and explore their potent weed strains, delicious edibles, powerful concentrates, and much more.
Can you overdose on THC?
THC overdose is technically possible. However, the term “overdose” carries a lot of baggage that does not apply to cannabis. Taking too much THC isn’t necessarily dangerous, and no one has died.
Taking too much, however, can result in unpleasant side effects such as confusion, dry mouth, dry eyes, headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, anxiety, and paranoia.
How do I moderate my dosage of THC?
You can control your THC dosage with the proper techniques. However, some products, such as edibles and tinctures, are easier to dose precisely than others. Flower, concentrates, and vape cartridges can be more challenging to dose, but finding the right amount of THC takes time and practice.
What are the benefits of taking THC at low doses?
THC in low doses provides medicinal benefits and a mildly pleasant euphoric effect without impairment. With extremely low doses, you may not even feel “high.” However, you can still benefit from the relaxing and mood-boosting effects.
Are certain marijuana products more potent than others?
Every cannabis product has its potency, depending on the product type and the manufacturer. Always read the packaging to look for a THC percentage or dosage amount.
Should you stick to the recommended standard dosage?
If you’re just getting started, stick to the standard dosage. Standard dosages, on the other hand, are only a guideline, not a requirement. If you’ve previously used a product or have worked your way up, you can always go for a higher dose to experience more potent effects.