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Edibles dosing: How strong is your weed edible?

Edible forms of cannabis, including gummies, mints, brownies, cookies, drinks, and other food products, are discreet and can produce long-lasting, safe effects. They’re great when consumed responsibly, and when you know how much you’re consuming.

But edibles can lead to trouble if you’re not careful. It’s hard to gauge their potency, and we’ve all known someone—possibly yourself—who’s eaten too many edibles and had a bad evening.

Eating too many isn’t going to hurt your body, but unwanted or unpleasant effects from edibles can be avoided if you know the dose of the product and what dose of edible works best for you.

Edibles dosage chart by milligrams of THC

edibles dosing chart by thc miligrams
Suggested doses in mg of THC to get you high. (Sasha Beck/Leafly)

This chart describes typical effects felt after taking different doses of edibles. Products bought at a licensed dispensary will have their dosage clearly labeled, but the dosage of homemade edibles is much harder to determine.

Read on to learn about other factors that play into how edibles can affect you.

Find your ideal edible dose

How many milligrams of edibles should you take? It’s important to note that each individual has an ideal dose best suited for them and their body. The strength of an edible depends on many factors, including:

  • Type of edible
  • Dosage
  • Tolerance
  • Body weight
  • Metabolism

Two individuals may respond very differently to the same type of edible with the same dose—one may get very stoned, and one may not get very stoned at all, depending on the above factors. Always start with a small dose of edibles and gradually increase until you find your ideal dose.

How many mgs of THC should you eat to get high?

Here are some basic guidelines to help you find the right dose, measured in milligrams (mg).

1 – 2.5 mg THC edibles

  • Effects: Mild relief of symptoms like pain, stress, and anxiety; increased focus and creativity
  • Who it’s for: First-time consumers or regular consumers looking to microdose

5 mg THC edibles

  • Effects: Stronger relief of pain and anxiety symptoms; euphoria; may impair coordination and alter perception
  • Who it’s for: Standard recreational use; persistent symptoms not addressed by smaller doses; people looking for a good night’s sleep

10 mg THC edibles

  • Effects: Strong euphoric effects; significantly impaired coordination and perception
  • Who it’s for: High tolerance THC consumers (both recreational consumers and medical patients); unaccustomed consumers may experience negative effects

20 mg THC edibles

  • Effects: Very strong euphoria; likely to impair coordination and alter perception
  • Who it’s for: Consumers with significant THC tolerances; patients with a decreased GI absorption

50 – 100 mg THC edibles

  • Effects: Seriously impaired coordination and perception; possible unpleasant side effects including nausea, pain, and increased heart rate
  • Who it’s for: Experienced, high-tolerance THC consumers; patients living with cancer, inflammatory disorders, or conditions that necessitate high doses

Consuming more than 100 mg of weed edibles and extremely high dosages such as 150 mg, 200 mg, or even 500 mg, greatly increases the risk of negative effects, such as nausea and paranoia, even for consumers with very high tolerances.

How much of an edible should you take the first time?

If you’ve never taken edibles before, we recommend taking 2.5 mg to start with. Five mg is often considered one dose, so 2.5 mg is a half-dose.

Here are some tips for taking edibles for the first time:

  • Edibles in dispensaries often come in 5 mg or 10 mg doses, so it’s good to buy gummies or another type of edible that can be cut up easily to make smaller doses.
  • When buying edibles, make sure the dosage is clearly labeled for each edible so you know how they are dosed.
  • ‘Start low and go slow’: Wait at least one hour after taking edibles, and if you don’t feel anything or want stronger effects after one hour, take another 2.5 mg.

For more tips for beginner cannabis consumers, check out our Beginner’s guide to cannabis.

How long do cannabis edibles take to kick in?

Edibles usually take 45-60 minutes to kick in, but can take longer. We recommend you “start low and go slow”—take a low dose of edibles and wait at least 45-60 minutes, or even longer. If you want more effects after that time period, then take more edibles.

Remember, if you take more edibles before waiting for the initial dose’s effects to kick in, both doses will kick in later and you could potentially feel too high.

Learn more in: How long do edibles take to kick in?

How long do the effects of an edible last?

The length of an edible high depends on the dose of the edible taken, as well as your tolerance, metabolism, and body chemistry.

For a moderate consumer, an average 5 mg edible will typically last 2-3 hours. If you have a high tolerance or fast metabolism, your high might wear off quicker. For someone with a low tolerance or slow metabolism, that 5 mg edible might last longer.

When taking edibles, it’s important to note how much you take to get a sense of how strong that dose is for you and how long it will last. This will help determine the ideal dose for you.

Understanding CBD and THC levels in edibles

pot brownie, edibles

Adding CBD to THC can enhance the medicinal benefits of marijuana edibles, such as pain or anxiety relief, while decreasing the adverse effects, such as impairment and an elevated heart rate.

CBD partially blocks the intoxicating effects of THC in the body, giving consumers medical benefits of cannabis without as much impairment.

Balanced edibles, or those with a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1, will be therapeutic and produce less impairment than edibles with just THC.

For example, a person who feels moderately stoned or impaired after taking 5 mg of THC will likely feel less or no impairment when taking 5 mg of THC with 20 mg of CBD.

As the amount of CBD in an edible increases, the likelihood of unwanted intoxicating effects goes down. Edibles usually come in CBD:THC ratios of 2:1, 5:1, 10:1, 20:1, and more.

However, keep in mind that consuming excessive amounts of edibles with THC, no matter how much CBD, can still produce unpleasant effects.

What to look for on edible labels

cannabis edibles label

The standard dose for an edible is considered to be 5 mg. When buying from a licensed cannabis store or dispensary, edibles typically come in doses of 5 mg (one dose) or 10 mg (two doses). Doses of 2.5 mg (a half-dose) and 20 mg (four doses) are also seen, but less common.

If buying an individual edible, make sure the package clearly shows how much of a dose the edible is, in milligrams (mg). Some novelty edible products, like potato chips, beef jerky, or drinks can be tricky—make sure the label clearly spells out if the entire package is one dose or how to measure one dose.

When buying a package of multiple edibles, THC content is often listed for the entire package—for example, a box of 10 weed gummies might say “100 mg,” meaning each gummy is 10 mg.

If the dose of an individual edible is too large, you can cut it up and eat half or less.

Can you overdose on edibles?

No one has ever reportedly died from consuming too much cannabis, but eating too many edibles can lead to an unpleasant experience.

Most people do not need emergency medical care unless they have a pre-existing heart disease or another serious medical condition.

Tips for safe edible dosing

When consuming cannabis in any form, and especially edibles, “start low and go slow.” If you haven’t consumed weed much, you’ll likely have a low tolerance, and may want to start with 2.5 mg, a half dose. Wait at least 60 minutes after eating to gauge the effects. If you want more effects, take another 2.5 mg, or even less.

It’s also important to have a positive set and setting when consuming cannabis, especially edibles. Your set, or mindset, and setting, or environment, will greatly affect your cannabis experience.

If you’re in an anxious mood or in an unsafe space, you may have an unpleasant high; if you’re in a happy mood and a comfortable space, your chances of having a positive high will be greatly increased.

However, taking too many edibles can still give you an unpleasant experience, even if you have a positive set and setting.

Remember to stay hydrated when taking edibles. Eating an edible on an empty stomach can also affect your weed experience—the effects will likely hit you more quickly. Edibles will to be less potent if you eat them on a full stomach.

If you don’t feel any effects from an edible after one hour, try eating a snack like an apple to turn on digestion and absorption in your gut.

If you do eat too many edibles, learn how to counteract them in 8 ways to sober up from being high.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, Anna Wilcox, and Pat Goggins contributed to this article.