Why is it so Hard to Dose Cannabis Edibles?
Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Americans have purchased a lots of legal cannabis over the last year or so. To be precise, $18 billion worth in 2020. When you think about it, if you’re stuck in your house for months on end during a global pandemic that has turned your desk job into a couch job, your TV into a make-shift movie theater, and that spare bedroom into a home gym, it only makes sense to enjoy a little bit of cannabis to take the edge off.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the cannabis industry during the Covid marijuana buying boom was edibles! As covered on Leafwell, an end-of-the-year analysis of 2020 sales figures showed that adult-use and medical edibles grew by 60 percent across seven state markets, generating $1.23 billion in the process. That’s a 54 percent growth from the same time last year, outpacing the legal cannabis industry as a whole. After all, people are locked up in confined spaces looking to get the benefits of cannabis without any of the nasty environmental side effects that come along with firing up the traditional smokey joint.
Despite the way that the ingestion of cannabis-infused edibles has exploded over the past few years, many consumers still struggle with calibrating the proper dosage when resorting to edibles. That’s why Leafwell is here with all the tips and tricks you’ll need to dial in your dosage. It can be difficult to figure out, but let’s determine the right cannabis edibles dosage for you.
Get the Right Dose
Why Is Dosing Cannabis Edibles So Difficult?
Customizing your edibles dosage can be tough for a few key reasons.
First, everyone is different. We talk about it all the time here at Leafwell: factoring out the dosage of cannabis medicine that works best for you, treats your symptoms, and produces the best possible results won’t be the exact same as someone else. The way cannabis, and edibles in particular, affect you depends on your weight, height, sex, tolerance, internal biology, and other medications you might taking at the time.
Some people are more sensitive to THC or CBD than others. The same dose of the same cannabis edible product hits them differently than it does someone else. When it comes to figuring out the right dosage, there’s no one-stop solution for every cannabis patient, which is why working with a certified cannabis doctor is essential for patients looking for effective treatments.
Second, consider the product itself, especially if the edible you’re eying is homemade. If that edible is produced using some type of cannabis-infused fat, such as cooking oil or butter, you’ll need to keep potency in mind. As a general rule of thumb in making an educated guess on edible cannabis dosage in your DIY cannabis-infused snacks, multiply the percent of THC in the cannabis flower used by 1000. That will give you an estimated mg of THC per gram of flower.
From there, break it down into the servings from the whole batch baked. For example, the smaller you cut pieces of brownie out of a full tray you made, the smaller the dosage per serving. That’s a whole bunch of math. Simply put, it’s easy to make a mistake and end up with a messed-up idea of how big or small of a dose you’re facing. The margin of error is daunting, which means dialing in the optimal dosage is hard.
Last, it’s important to keep in mind that edibles have a delayed reaction compared to tinctures or smokable cannabis consumption. For first-timers and people who don’t consume edibles often, landing on the balanced dosage may be tricky due to that delayed reaction. We all know someone, or have been that person, who takes an edible, waits a bit, feels nothing, takes another dose, and has a really, really overmedicated few hours ahead of them. Make sure you remain patient and careful when you’ve consumed an edible. It’s easy to overshoot the mark and land in a couch-locked mindset of regret that you could have done things much better.
The Basics of Effective Edible Dosing
Now that most of the don’ts are out of the way, let’s talk about some of the cannabis-infused edibles dosage dos. Here are a few quick tips for how to benefit the most from your edibles and sort out your proper dosage as soon as possible.
Start Low and Slow
When considering edibles, especially hard to dose determine items like brownies or other bulk food dishes, it’s always best to start low and elevate slowly with your dosage. If you’re given a few gummy bears, for example, take half of the dose you were given. See how the effects develop from there. Don’t take the second half until you feel the strength of how the first half will affect you!
Remember, it’s easy to overdo the THC intake with edibles. Until you sort out the exact dosage you’re looking for, you’re better off under-doing things.
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Always Check Those Product Labels
Not only is checking the labels on your cannabis products valuable to a decent understanding of the recommended dosage, it supplies a bit more information on the product you’re taking. Terpenes, cannabinoids, and concentration of THC/CBD make a massive difference in how your dose will impact you. If you know your THC tolerance is low, for example, you’ll want to take 1/10th of a 100 mg THC-heavy edible.
Taking your time to know your limits is the best way to ensure you have a good time the next time you down some edibles.
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