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How to Dose Cannabis Flower

cannabis flowers in a jar

When using cannabis flower as your primary method of enjoying the cannabis plant, taking the right amount is essential. But learning how to dose cannabis flower can be tricky.

Ultimately, your dose will depend on various factors, including the cannabis strain (cultivar) you’re using, your tolerance levels, and more.

A good general guideline for dosing cannabis flower is to start with a low dose and gradually increase to higher doses until you reach your desired effect.

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Understanding Cannabis Flower

When you think of cannabis, odds are, you are thinking of cannabis flower.

Flower is the part of the cannabis plant that people usually smoke, vape, or utilize to make edibles.

Traditionally, cannabis flower was sorted into three categories: indica, sativa, or hybrid.

Traditional narratives about indica and sativa suggest that indica has relaxing effects and sativas produce uplifted or energized feelings in users.

However, the reality is more complex, partly due to the differing nature of every person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and how their body processes cannabis.

Experienced users may have a high tolerance and need more than a standard dose to achieve their desired effect.

Additionally, scientists that study cannabis now say that a strain’s cannabinoid content and terpene profile determine effects far more accurately than the traditional classification of indica or sativa.

Consumption methods affect proper dosing as well. Dry cannabis flower can be smoked in a joint, bowl, or pipe. Flower can also be used to make cannabis edibles and other infused products, such as cannabis concentrates and tinctures.

Factors Influencing Cannabis Flower Dosing

Many factors can affect the amount of flower you should consume, including age, time of day, activity level, and the amount you have eaten throughout the day. Perhaps most important is your tolerance level.

You are the best judge of your dosage sweet spot. For example, if that 1 gram pre-roll with 40% THC made you anxious, you may need to decrease the dosage or try different strains with a lower THC percentage.

According to Mark Kasabuski, a doctor of pharmacy with over 15 years of experience working in pharmacies and medical cannabis dispensaries, if you have taken an extended break from smoking flower, you should not assume your tolerance level is still at its highest point.

Mark tells us, “Keep in mind that your tolerance level is going to be different from when you were last using. It might not be reset to ground zero, but you will have a lower tolerance.”

Other vital factors to consider when determining the correct dose for you include the strain’s potency and the consumption method.

THC content is one way to measure potency, and so are terpenes. While terpenes may not be directly responsible for making you more or less high, their presence can influence one’s experience when smoking cannabis flower.

The terpene limonene, for example, is often associated with anxiety relief, so cultivars high in limonene could require smaller doses to achieve the same effect as cultivars low in limonene.

Determining Your Ideal Cannabis Flower Dose

Because flower is not broken up into individual doses like edibles are, finding your ideal dose is going to take some trial and error.

The biggest piece of dosing advice regarding flower is to start low and go slow. Ask your budtender for a strain with lower THC before trying out highly potent cultivars.

And, if it’s your first time, consider using a pre-roll or a one-hitter instead of a bong, which may make you higher due to the amount of cannabis smoke you can inhale at once.

Always wait to note the impact of your initial cannabis dose before taking more. Observe how the cannabis is making you feel, especially as it relates to your intention, before deciding to increase your dose.

Methods of Consuming Cannabis Flower

Cannabis flower can be consumed in a few ways. You can smoke it, vape it, or use it to make edibles. But, the most common ways people use flower are smoking and vaping.


Smoking is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of cannabis. According to Kasabuski, “When you inhale something, it’s going to be the fastest onset of action, where you have that pretty immediate effect, within zero to 15 minutes.”

Of course, there are different ways to smoke cannabis, and other methods might have different doses, Kasabuski explains. “A bong might release more of a dose [when compared to a joint], depending on how much flower you’re burning at a time or how the joint is rolled.”

If you have never smoked cannabis before, consider smoking a small amount, such as a mini-pre-roll, or even taking a single hit off a friend’s joint before ratcheting up to any higher doses.

Your first time smoking cannabis can feel revelatory, but it can also feel overwhelming and lead to adverse effects if you aren’t careful.


While pens and other vaping devices are usually packed with oil, it is possible to vape dried flower using a dry herb vaporizer.

Even if you are vaping cannabis oil or concentrates, the ultimate source is usually flower and other parts of the cannabis plant.

Vaping can be cost-effective, smokeless, and can provide instant relief, but it is also one of the most potent methods of smoking cannabis.

To avoid overdosing, you should be sure to read the label of any dried flower or vape carts and start with a single pull.

If you are inexperienced in vaping, wait at least 15 minutes before taking another pull.

Safety Tips and Precautions

Start low and go slow doesn’t just rhyme; it is essential advice for cannabis users to follow, especially when experimenting with different parts of the plant.

To avoid taking too much flower, remember to use less than you think you might need to accurately judge cannabis’s impact on your body and mind.

You can also use flower high in CBD to counteract some of the more intoxicating effects of THC.

If you have consumed too much cannabis flower, stay hydrated and avoid taking more THC in the same sitting.

Note the dose you took, and remember to take less next time. You will get through having too much marijuana, but you should take steps to ensure it does not happen again,

The Bottom Line

Flower is the ultimate cornerstone of cannabis products and should be used carefully. To find the right dose for you, you should educate yourself about the different factors that can affect the potency of a given product.

For more personalized help finding the right cannabis flower dose for you, consider making an appointment with Leafwell cannabis guidance.

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