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Cannabis 101

Edibles dosing chart: Interpreting potency in infused cannabis products

April 19, 2018

Edible forms of cannabis, including food products, lozenges, and capsules, can produce effective, long-lasting, and safe effects.  These forms of cannabis are also the most likely to produce unwanted effects and overdose symptoms, which can be very unpleasant.  The difference is, of course, the dose.

Here, you’ll find a chart that describes typical effects felt at different ingested doses. However, there are factors to consider when choosing the right dose for you, which you can read more about below.

Cannabis Edibles Dosing Chart

Weed edibles dosage chart

Click to enlarge (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)

The Right Dose Varies Between Individuals

Every person has a unique internal physiologic environment and can therefore experience different results with various medications. One person’s response to a dose of edible cannabis can vary significantly from the next, even more so than other medications or herbs. Why?  Several factors are involved, including previous history of cannabis use, gastrointestinal factors, and the function/sensitivity of one’s endocannabinoid system. Approximately 3% of my patients area ultra-sensitive to THC and do well with very low doses (e.g. 1mg).

Related

A Physician’s Perspective on Optimal Cannabis Dosing

Understand CBD and THC Contents

Adding CBD to THC can enhance the medical benefits, such as pain or anxiety relief, while decreasing the adverse effects, such as impairment and elevated heart rate. CBD partially blocks the intoxicating effects of THC, so consumers who wish to experience the medical benefits of cannabis without as much impairment can best achieve this with products that contain both CBD and THC.  It’s important for consumers to know the content of each of these components, and the ratio of CBD to THC.

Products with a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1 are powerfully therapeutic and produce less impairment than a THC-dominant product. Excessive doses of these products can still produce classic cannabis overdose symptoms.

Related

How to Assess THC and CBD Levels in Cannabis Strains and Products

As the CBD:THC ratio increases, the likelihood of unwanted intoxicating effects decreases, and the quality of the medical effects will also change. At a 4:1 ratio or higher, adverse intoxicating effects are unlikely unless one takes a very high dose. For example, a person who feels impaired after taking 5mg of THC will likely feel less or no impairment when taking 20mg of CBD + 5mg of THC.

Dosing Recommendations for Consumers New to Cannabis Edibles

Starting dose: 1-2.5mg of THC (plus CBD if available/desired)

To avoid the potentially erratic absorption via the gut, I recommend starting with an edible that can be held in the mouth and absorbed primarily though the oral blood vessels under the tongue and in the cheeks.  Tinctures, oils, lozenges, mints, troches, dissolving tablets, and gummies are all good options. Cookies, chocolates, and other food products can also be used if they are intentionally held in the mouth for 1-3 minutes before swallowing. Tinctures and oils are usually the easiest to use for precise dosing and gradually increasing the dose to find what works best for you.

Related

Microdosing Cannabis Edibles: Finding the Best Product for You

I encourage those new to cannabis edibles to wait two hours before taking an additional dose of cannabis. The most common mistake in cannabis dosing occurs when a person doesn’t feel any effect from an edible after one hour and decides to take another dose; two hours later, the individual experiences the unpleasant effects of an overdose.

If you’re unsure if a particular dose of cannabis is affecting you, I recommend learning Healer’s “Inner Inventory,” a fast and simple self-awareness tool that can be used to determine if you’re feeling the effects of a particular dose of cannabis. For strategies to methodically increase your dose of cannabis to achieve optimal results, see Healer.com/programs.

More Tips for Consuming Infused Edibles

  • If you don’t feel any effects from an edible after one hour, try eating a snack like an organic apple to turn on the digestion and absorption in your gut.
  • Some people who are new to cannabis require 2-3 doses before they feel anything at all, so it’s often best to try the same low dose three times with 8 to 24 hours between trials before increasing the dose.
  • I’ve infrequently met patients who seem unable to absorb any significant amount of THC through the gut. In these individuals, absorption via the oral blood vessels or the lungs is the best option.

Related

4 ways edibles can hit you faster

Tips for Relieving an Edibles-Induced “Overdose”

  • A calm, safe environment and gentle reassurance that everything will be okay is the primary treatment.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • A large 50-200mg dose of CBD (without significant amounts of THC) can act as a partial antidote. Lemon oil, found predominantly in the rind and in lower amounts in the juice, has also been used historically for this purpose.  Grate a tablespoon of lemon zest and chew it up before swallowing.
  • Most people do not need emergency medical care unless they have pre-existing heart disease or other serious medical conditions. For ongoing vomiting and diarrhea, intravenous rehydration may be necessary.

Related

8 ways to counteract a too-intense cannabis high

Dr. Dustin Sulak's Bio Image

Dr. Dustin Sulak

Dustin Sulak, DO, is the founder of Integr8 Health, a medical practice in Maine that follows over 8,000 patients using medical cannabis; Healer.com, a medical cannabis patient education resource; and Cannabis Expertise, a continuing medical education curriculum. Recognized as a leading clinician in the application of medical cannabis, Dr. Sulak is committed to providing education to clinicians and patients on the use of medical cannabis.

View Dr. Dustin Sulak's articles

2 part series

  • Etidorhpa

    i’m going to take 500mg and go driving! Happy 420!

    • 360dunk

      At a time when half the country is debating whether to go legal, your’s is not a sensible approach. Why screw things up for others? The more cases of impaired driving, the worse it looks for those states which are straddling the fence on the cannabis issue. Do your weed responsibly and don’t drive.

      • Etidorhpa

        Please feel free to read my other post to confirm that I was being completley sarcastic .And I agree with you 1000%

        • 360dunk

          Right on…..I didn’t interpret it as sarcasm.

  • 360dunk

    Been taking 10-15 mg of THC edibles every evening for the past 8 years, intentionally leaving the dosage steady so my tolerance won’t build up too high. Seems to work great….sleep is never a problem, I wake up feeling refreshed, there’s no desire to up my dosage or move on to other drugs. Coupled with a few tokes on a joint, my aches and pains at the end of the day are dealt with efficiently. No need whatsoever to use opiates.

  • Terry Glancy

    For micro-dosing – you start w/ 1.0 – 2.5 mg THC & you say to possibly add CBD for 1:1 – so does that = 1.0 – 2.5 mg THC + 1.0
    – 2.5 mg CBD or do you mean 0.5 – 1.25 mg THC + 0.5 – 1.25 mg CBD? Thank You Dr. Dustin.

    • jimbro44

      I believe he meant of each… adding cannabanoids induces whats called “the entourage effect”, with cannabinoids having their original effects AND synergy with other cannabinoids giving you totally different effects.

      You will get higher from a 2:1 thc to cbd product than you will 100% thc. Found from a nih.ncbi study.

  • tkingt

    I have PTSD from Vietnam. Just received my medical marijuana card. Any recommendations for anxiety and depression?

    • jimbro44

      I would try anything and everything you can…. everyone’s body is different and there’s no guarantee anything will affect everyone the same way.

      The other thing Id say is start small…. you can always smoke more, much more difficult to un-smoke it lol.

      I would definitely try to find a place that tests and maybe start off with a lower thc strain and a high cbd strain…

      Best of luck to you!

      Medical cannabis has changed my life.

    • Ricco Rosario

      Blue Dream

      • Violet Eve

        <3

    • PS: I found all MMJ helps lift depression by morning. You may not feel it right away after taking it but certainly by the next morning the fog of depression eases – you can get out of bed without thinking about eating the barrel of a gun or not that day. In My Personal Experience that is….

      • Violet Eve

        well i will tell you that not everything yu hear is right. it never did anything for mine. ive tried all strains and terps

        • PCisAfalsegod

          You need a good happy trip on some mushrooms. They make me feel like a whole new person for about six months..colors are brighter and I’m a happier person all around. Strangely enough..I don’t get a whole lot out of them while eating them, but it’s still fun.

    • Michelle Lollis Parks

      Research. Research. Research! There are so very many cannabis strains that it can get overwhelming. This website is actually an awesome tool to help you determine what strains would benefit you more. You can search by ailments or effects, as well as just search by known strain names. Also, read the reviews! That will help you to determine strains, products and brands to try or avoid, for that matter.

    • jerome caldwell

      Yes I have Mulitple sclerosis I’m trying to get a weed card need help

    • jingles

      CBD content is important. High THC might make you feel TOO ‘high’, and if you want to be relaxed and feel less stress/physical pain, CBD is the best of the cannabinoids (also the least psychoactive, aka not at all). Your budtender should have good info on what works best for what, but I recommend that edibles be saved for a time when you don’t need “instant acting” – they are VERY slow to kick in, 2-4 hours reliably. (Cannabinoids don’t absorb in the stomach – they wait all the way til the small intestine, unless it’s through the mucous membranes in the mouth, which is why a lot of CBD dosage is sub-lingual.)

      All the articles will tell you to start small and slowly escalate a dose; this is a good idea. When smoking or vaping, you feel the effects very soon (within 5-10 minutes, tops; sometimes in as little as ten seconds). It’s very easy to take one puff and wait a few minutes to see how you feel. (Sometimes weed that is described as “creepy” takes a while to kick in when smoked, but again, this is still less than 15 minutes!) Edibles on the other hand take FOREVER and yes, it’s hard to gauge if you try to eat more after a couple hours. Therefore I suggest that you consider the two categories, and their effect on you, sort of separately. Edibles are going to work on you in one way, and flower/vape is going to work in another. You may have to consider them and their dosages completely separately in order to figure out how best to medicate. Metabolism is a real big factor in how edible THC is processed; my whole family has incredibly high tolerance for consumed cannabinoids, but not inhaled, and guides like this are downright inaccurate for us – but a lot of that is due to chronic use of the chronic, as it were.

  • jimbro44

    Awesome info, thanks Dr.!

    I have GI issues, they are calling IBS-D but I have several ‘red-flag’ symptoms according to the IFFGD.

    I take RSO every day for pain and it also directly counteracts my diarrhea (the gut is the only place where cannabinoid receptors NEVER get tolerance! So even if you don’t feel it, your stomach will).

    I am at huge doses now, up to 1/3 gram a day and it’s about 80%thc rso, with up to 2% of other cannabinoids (cbd, cbc, cbg, most recently thc-v which I found odd since you’re supposed to use indicas…)

    Anyhow, the fact that some people can’t absorb ANY, definitely makes me aware to the fact that maybe due to my GI disorder or not, that I have poor absorption of edibles.

    I seem to metabolize many drugs very quickly, so idk if that’s a factor as well.

    I can’t wait until mmj is part of my PCP care i.e. helping w my use, advice, drug testing to check metabolites etc.

  • Pat LO

    I’m a female senior citizen
    As a young adult any time I tried marijuana I never felt anything. I could never figure out what the big deal was.
    Last year I had the opportunity to ingest a couple different edibles. They were from a Colorado dispensary. With all the talk of the improved quality & potency of this generation of marijuana I was told to take small amounts.
    Well guess what…..absolutely nothing.
    I read online that some people are immune to it’s effects. Is that true.

    • JCR

      I am also a senior citizen I suffer from failed back syndrome after 4 surgeries for fractured back and sciatica. I am on Oxycontin and Percocet for break through pain and I have never been high or feel the effects of meds. I am trying edibles to help with muscle spasms, pain, nausea from migraines, and anxiety attacks I have no buss I will have to check back as I have just tried a few. My internest for 20 years told me about 5% of people have something in their genes that do not allow them to get high.

      • Chuck14od

        I myself was on Every Narcotic daily for 18 years, massive amounts. But I always was in pain, and the every increasing doses rarely helped. Then my teenage son gave me a bowl of strong cannabis, and it was the first time that I had ever slept through the night, and felt almost pain free, in almost two decades. I am Not a medical care provider, but I have read that 5 percent of humans do Not feel euphoria from narcotics. I believe that was exactly what my issue is with them. I do believe that it is the Euphoria that gives one a sense of pain relief. If one does not feel that, the narcotics will do nothing positive for them, in my experiences and opinion. I walked away from all that, and get relief I had never imagined possible, from Cannabis.

        And as you stated, ‘you never felt high’, nor did I even though at my peak I was taking the equivalent of 100 Percocets worth of oxicodone through Oxycontins Daily. And various family members, one in particular, was always trying to scam me out of them, or flat out stealing them, and in time, I realized that so many people would do anything to get their hands on them, yet I never could understand Why. I obviously never got whatever feeling that most get from narcotics, and what drives all the problems today because of it. I am thankful that I do not. Cannabis saved my life…

        • TweetyBird

          Percocet does not make me high, but it does provide pain relief. For 3 to 4 hours. Meanwhile, a cannabis brownie about 1.5 square inches provides pain relief that lasts all day.

    • Try a concentrate edible [not for high for pain] and a concentrate vape for ‘break thru pain’ – if I just smoked the way we’ve done before these newgen methods have been out, I’ll still get high. But if I eat the concentrate? No high. No pain either. What I’ve heard which they just notice with pain patients at my dispensary is those in pain ARE NOT GETTING HIGH from edibles/ingestibles. Not even concentrate makes me high as stated but a J of medical grade would be like starting all over again for me. Giggles too. The oil concentrated vape doesn’t and nor did my opiates. But they are gunning for those in a major way and not even being terminal is enough to stop the madness.

    • clinton

      yes i never get high of off edibles and anyone that tells me they do i tell them its a placebo effect and its all in your head. i can remember in my teens my buddy’s all acting like a bunch of idiots on brownies and me just sitting there like i don’t feel anything.

    • jingles

      It’s possible, but also more likely that your dosage wasn’t high enough/that the marijuana you smoked as a youth was very low quality. If you want to try again, go for a slightly but measurably higher dosage, and try mixing approaches: have some edibles AND smoke a little, or something like that. If you don’t care to give it another shot, then don’t, but you may have simply been cautious enough that you didn’t get enough of a dose. Some folk metabolize edibles VERY differently and regularly take doses of 300mg+ at once.

  • George Pizzinato Jr

    I been smoking weed for 35 years and got no desire to go after anything stronger it helps me sleep and num’s the pain in my lags I’ve had and tried other pills prescribed by the doctor but only to get upset stumick and or get and Algeria reaction to them

    • bigblue52

      Try proofreading before you post

      • George Pizzinato Jr

        Yes well I have tried your edibles and they work also

      • George Pizzinato Jr

        Bite me idiot

      • Silentrose

        Maybe don’t be a Dick, to someone you don’t know anything about, Captain Grammer!

  • 5alley

    I will be visiting San Francisco from the UK in October. I have been diagnosed with metastatic Lung Cancer, numerous small tumors in both lungs but not in any immediate danger of life termination. I would like to try edibles for stress/ depression etc. I was a heavy smoker of grass/hash in my younger years, I’m now 68. Would I be able to cope with high THC after all this time. With my lung problem, would I be able to try vapes ? How about roll-ups as long as there is no tobacco involved ? I realise that every patient is different and so doses must vary, but any advice would be gratefully received .

    • Jalyn Barber

      I highly recommend using a vape, as they are much easier on the lungs. I probably would stay away from smoking without a vaporizer. I would also go for a CBD/THC mix, rather than just straight up THC. You will get some of the psychoactive effects from the THC but you also will find some pain relief from the CBD. Or edibles are always a good choice as well. Again, I recommend a mix of CBD and THC. I hope this helps, and you have a good time in San Francisco!

  • clinton

    i NEVER get high off of edibles

    • Pat Ron Shiruba

      then you need to make your own until you start feeling it. I used 2 ounces in 24 cupcakes and people i know who USED to say the same thing arent anymore

    • Violet Eve

      same here, they just make me feel like shit, like i ate the apple or something. if you have smoked a bowl from an apple, that apple if eaten will make yo sick, thats how edibles make me slightly the same feeling

      • Jack the lad

        You’re not supposed to eat the apple? Why would you waste a perfectly good apple? I always eat the apple.

  • Eric2h4l

    I kept seeing OVERDOSE i thought it was impossible

    • Melissa Mimi Fisher

      Overdose on mj isn’t the same as say an opioid od . It’s more of a wish you were dead thing .( I kid, I kid) I ate too much once. Had some paranoia, and uncomfortabilty . Luckily my husband was there and experienced the same thing. So, it’s possible, but not deadly . Actually as you come down it gets better .Then of course you get very hungry!

    • jingles

      Overdose as in, you feel really sheisty and do not have a good time, not as in, it kills you dead. I believe the lowest estimate anyone’s ever made at an LD50 is somewhere around twice your body weight of weed smoked in one hour.

  • CommonSense1

    Rehab time

  • ARACELY

    My 62yr mother inlaw recently started chemotherapy, she found herself crying with body pain the first night,norco did nothing for her,we have been talking to her about edibles she seems to be on board with us,just need recommendations,I’m afraid of going to some random shop and the attendant not having the knowledge to help us.

    • Violet Eve

      pure cannabis oils of high quality everyday

    • Bigindin

      Hippie Sugar Baking Company
      (They’re also on Facebook)

  • jingles

    As a longtime smoker who needs a dose of edibles in excess of 300mg simply to feel the slightest buzz (that I would get equivalent from one or two inhaled hits only), this seems extremely off.

    • Violet Eve

      thats kinda what i was trying to say in my previous post

    • PCisAfalsegod

      Your gut obviously doesn’t absorb it well. That is covered in the article. Sounds like you need a tincture that you can put under your tongue and it soaks right in. Easy to make with everclear and a little time.

    • Paul Craven

      Same here. I’ve taken 100 mg tablets and felt nothing.

  • Violet Eve

    As a long term smoker, I cant relate to information so plainly being provided today, all of the sudden, there is actual medical advice and ways of measuring it’s benefits and side effects for the consumers…I have been smoking for so many years illegally that I seriously feel weird reading this stuff. Its crazy, if it was just flowers made into edibles, okay. But oncentrates being made into edibles, and changing what kind of high youre getting, seems weird, and thats just me. Ide rather focus on carboxyiated cannabis oils from pure organicly-raised strains for use in pure concentrates, like the Dragon Ball. And seriously, I don’t need advice from any “medical professionals” about something that I was taught was a drug back in D.A.R.E. and i had to take it twice two different years in school, so it was bashed into our brains that it was a brain damaging substance that my Mom self medicated herself for her depression, was made out to be a drug addict. to the student of the DARE program, yeah…bascallly, now they are telling us how much and what it will do? Ive been using it now as low burn concentrates and Im not really sure why there is so much information out now as opposed to before, when it was full prohibition on cannabis, yet…everyone was using it!!!!!! but just because a prohibition lifts? It just weird for some reason.

  • Larry Sullivan

    I used to never get high off of edibles, until I started MAKING MY OWN CANNABUTTER, using ONE OUNCE of BLUE DREAM SATIVA infused into ONE POUND of organic, salted butter. Once I found my “Dosage size,” which I drink in my coffee, I now get a GREAT body and head high, which lasts for 6-8 hours each time. BLUE DREAM SATIVA IS THE SHIT! It’s uplifting, motivating, and fills me with energy. I don’t mess with any Indicas. Indica is a DRAG. lol #MakeYourOwnCannabutter

    • JustSayin

      tech me how to decarboxilate

      • Richie Schneider

        You just have to heat it up for a little while. I just made some fruity pebbles treats yesterday and I put 1.53 grams of this wax or shatter concentrate and put it in the oven on a piece of parchment paper at like 250 degrees F for 30 minutes, then mixed that with 3 T melted butter and 4 cups of marshmallows. Then I melted it all together and added the cereal and put it in a pan and cut it.

        I made them for Father’s day. I had never had like a great edibles experience before, just didn’t seem to affect me. These have been another story! It’s so easy to make with concentrate instead of flower!

      • Jeffrey Schaefer

        Buy an Ardent Lift and save yourself time and effort. Great for infusing oils too. Over 90% extraction in most cases for your decarbed cannabis. Worth the price. Lab results posted on the Ardent Lift site to verify. They go above and beyond helping their customers.

    • Paul Craven

      You should always use unsalted, clarified butter. I buy Ghee, clarified butter, at a local Indian grocery store. You can buy it online.

  • Alucard_the_last

    I ate a small brownie type delicious almond edible (apprx.75mg) then went to the gym. Big mistake. I was VERY HIGH. I couldn’t open the locker because I was tripping and everyone including the staff knew something was wrong with me when I went to get help at the desk in how to lock a locker. I just wish I was somewhere out in nature or on the strip or something.

  • Tom Webb

    Hi all, what’s the CBD that would benefit my wife. She has bone pain as side effect from her oral chemo pill. Also the best type plant for diy.
    Thanks Tom

  • i will always smoke medical cannabis no matter the consequences toward it ..

  • disqus_7FV5KnwBu4

    As a first time consumer took 100-200mg pure THC. I saw the death a few times during the night, then need 2-3 days to back to normal 🙂 Hope I have read this article before taking it. Anyway thanks for the great info.

  • Alexander Julian Vera

    Lmao right was just thinking that