- How do cannabis edibles work?
- Health effects of edibles
- Why it’s important to know edibles dosing
- How much THC is in edibles?
- How many mg of edibles should I take?
- How long do edible effects last?
- Potential side effects
- How to alleviate overconsumption of edibles
- Tips for first-time edible users
- Perfect your edibles dosage and revel in the benefits
Edibles dosing isn’t an exact science, but it’s a crucial one since cannabis-infused treats are so deceivingly delicious. There are countless forms of THC or CBD-rich edibles, from savory snacks and chocolates to candies, weed cupcakes, and cookies.
Whether you make them with homegrown weed or buy pre-made canna confectionaries at a dispensary, it’s all about finding the right edible dosage.
Reaching for another marijuana-laced truffle, brownie, or gummy is often too easy and a common mistake among newbies.
If you want to revel in the benefits of your favorite edible without negative side effects, then you must understand what edibles dosing is, why it matters, and how it works.
Our in-depth guide and handy edible dosage chart below will help you do just that. You’ll also discover the effects of cannabis edibles, tips for first-timers, and how to manage overconsumption.
Read on to learn all about edibles dosing for an enjoyable experience every time.
How do cannabis edibles work?
Cannabis edibles are consumed via oral ingestion. As such, cannabinoids like CBD and THC travel through the digestive tract first. They don’t go straight to the brain as smoke or vape do.
The liver then metabolizes the active compounds before being released into the bloodstream, where they finally travel to the brain.
With edibles dosing, this roundabout route through the body means the effects take a while to kick in, usually between 30–120 minutes. Factors that affect this timeframe include:
- Edible type: When weed-infused treats like lollipops, lozenges, and gum are ingested but not swallowed, the cannabinoids are sublingually absorbed through the mouth’s mucous membranes. The effects typically manifest quicker in these cases.
- Active ingredients: A higher CBD or THC dosage often works through your system faster than a lower concentration.
- Weed tolerance: Your body’s sensitivity to cannabinoids can either speed up or slow down the onset of the effects.
The high from an edibles dosage also tends to be stronger compared to other forms of cannabis consumption like vaping or smoking. With oral ingestion, your body retains more 11-hydroxy-THC, a psychoactive metabolite that’s way more potent than THC.
Health effects of edibles
People prefer dosing with edibles for the same reasons they buy cannabis seeds, grow their own weed, and smoke or vape it—the recreational and health benefits of marijuana.
Besides being discreet, affordable, and convenient, edibles produce long-lasting effects and don’t pose any respiratory risks like smoking or vaping does.
Still, the health effects of edibles and other forms of weed consumption are much the same. They include:
- Relaxation: Cannabis edibles are often used to ease stress, anxiety, depression, and even insomnia. THC has relaxing and euphoric effects, while CBD is known for its anxiolytic qualities.
- Pain management: Marijuana-laden treats can help manage chronic pain and improve muscle spasticity, bringing relief for migraines, joint stiffness, spasms, aches, and cramps.
- Symptomatic relief: Dosing with edibles can help ease the symptoms associated with various conditions like arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.
- Anti-nausea: Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy use weed edibles to combat nausea and improve their appetites.
Why it’s important to know edibles dosing
There’s no “one size fits all”—the average edible dosage affects one person differently from the next. Numerous variable factors contribute to the onset, duration, and potency of effects, including:
- Personal preference: Cannabinoids like CBD and THC in marijuana-infused snacks largely determine the kind of experience or benefits you’ll get. You need to know how to dose with edibles to achieve your desired effects.
- Weed use: The longer you consume cannabis, the higher your tolerance becomes. While a THC dosage of 100mg would usually overwhelm a newbie, a frequent user may need a stronger dose.
- Body chemistry and health: Your diet, metabolism, gender, weight, endocannabinoid system function, and overall health play a role in how your body and mind react to dosing edibles.
The effects of cannabis-infused confectionery take longer to set in, last longer, and are usually more potent than other forms of cannabis. The implications of overconsumption are generally harsher, too.
When you understand edible dosing, you can achieve your desired effects, maximize the benefits, and avoid the negative side effects of overdoing it.
How to calculate the right dosage for your edibles
The right edibles dosage depends on so many variables, so it’s different for everyone. Finding what works for you takes time, patience, and experimentation.
Whether you’re learning how to make edibles at home or buying them at a dispensary, always start small and gradually increase your intake.
If you don’t feel any effects on your first try, up your edible dosage by 1–2mg the next time. Wait at least 8–24 hours before starting round two, though. You’ll eventually hit that sweet spot where the effects are potent enough without overwhelming you.
Edible dosage chart
The following edible dosing chart gives you a general idea of the different THC dosages and their accompanying effects.
|THC edible dosage||Typical effects||Suitable for|
|Mild edible dosage:1–2.5mg||Gentle physical and mental effects|
Mild relief of pain and symptoms of stress and anxiety
Increased focus and creativity
Those who want gentle relief and stimulation
|Moderate edible dosage:2.5–15mg||Stress and anxiety relief, relaxation, and euphoria|
Modest symptomatic or pain relief
Possible coordination and perception distortion
|Part-time social and recreational users|
Medicinal consumers wanting moderate relief from persistent ailments
|Moderately-high edible dosage:15–30mg||Significant euphoria, relaxation, and stress relief|
Enhanced pain relief
Altered perceptions and impaired coordination
|Experienced recreational consumers|
Moderately-high tolerance medicinal users wanting sustained relief
Those who want a sleeping aid
|High edible dosage:30–50mg||Intense relief of anxiety, pain, stress, insomnia, and other conditions|
Extreme euphoria and relaxation
Significantly distorted coordination and altered perceptions
Frequent recreational or medicinal consumers
Those with low GI absorption of cannabinoids
|Very high edible dosage:50–100mg||Extremely powerful relief of chronic or severe symptoms and conditions|
Intense euphoria, relaxation, and sedation
Highly impaired coordination and perception alteration
Possible side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and elevated heart rate
|Extremely high-tolerance users|
Daily cannabis consumers
Medicinal users with severe or inflammatory ailments
How much THC is in edibles?
The THC content in a single edibles dosage depends on a few factors. Licensed retailers typically sell weed edibles with 1–1,000mg of THC to suit the various needs of consumers.
Cannabis recipes differ from dispensary to dispensary, so always check product labels for info on the active compounds.
Homemade marijuana goodies often vary from batch to batch, too. A THC-heavy strain like Critical Jack or Amnesia Haze naturally provides a higher THC dosage than a CBD-rich cultivar like CBD Kush or MediBerry.
How much THC will get you high?
The amount of THC that causes a high depends on your unique body chemistry and THC sensitivity. Generally, though, a THC dosage of 1–2.5mg is enough for first-timers, while those with a very high THC tolerance can manage up to 50–100mg.
The varying THC:CBD ratios also affect the high associated with edibles dosing. Revered for its medicinal value, CBD also counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Here are some examples of the different ratios:
- A 1:1 ratio: A marijuana edible with balanced amounts of THC and CBD provides mild psychoactive effects. Excessive doses can still cause negative side effects, though.
- A 1:5 ratio: An edible dosage with five parts CBD to one part THC offers mild or diminished mind-altering effects.
- A 10:1 ratio and up: Edibles with higher ratios of CBD are unlikely to cause any intoxicating or psychoactive effects. They’re suitable for daytime users and those with a low THC tolerance.
How many mg of edibles should I take?
A 10mg edible dosage is more or less equivalent to smoking a 0.5-gram joint. So, how many mg of edibles should you take?
Our edibles dosage chart above illustrates that weed-laced snacks with a THC range of 1–100mg suit most consumers of all tolerance levels.
It’s best to start with a low edible dosage (1–2.5mg of THC), even if you’re an experienced or regular marijuana smoker. You can steadily increase your intake until you achieve the desired effects.
That said, dosing on edibles with 30–40mg of THC a day is associated with adverse side effects, including dependency.
How many mg of THC should I take?
Keep in mind that your THC tolerance differs between smoking a joint and edibles dosing because the latter produces more intense effects. Ingesting 1mg of THC produces the same behavioral effects as smoking 5.7 mg of THC.
The maximum recommended dosage in various states across the U.S. is a 10mg THC dosage per single serving. As a general guide:
- Low-tolerance users can take between 1–5mg per serving
- Moderately low-tolerance users can take 2–12mg per serving
- Moderate-tolerance users can take 10–30mg per serving
- High-tolerance users can take 30–60mg per serving
- Very high-tolerance users can take 60–100mg per serving
How many mg of CBD should I take?
When you’re dosing on edibles with a high CBD content, the negative side effects of overconsumption are diminished. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have a mind-altering or psychoactive impact, so it can be hard to know when the effects have manifested.
Overdoing it can still cause unwanted reactions like fatigue, though. Start small with an edible dosage of around 2.5–10mg and work your way up until you’re satisfied.
How long do edible effects last?
The effects of edibles dosing may take up to two hours to manifest, but they generally last anywhere between six to twelve hours in total. The high typically reaches its peak two to five hours after manifesting. In another six to twelve hours, many consumers still feel intoxicated.
Remember that various contributing factors affect the duration of effects, including the edibles dosage, potency, and type. Individual characteristics like health, weight, and metabolism also play a role.
Potential side effects
The potential side effects of THC or CBD-infused food items or beverages largely depend on the active compound.
An excessive edible THC dosage can have undesirable consequences that can last for several hours or even days. Also known as a cannabis overdose or “greening out,” these side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Motor and cognitive impairment
- An increased heart rate
- Anxiety and agitation
- Fatigue and sedation
In extreme cases, edibles dosing exceeding the THC recommendations can also cause short-term hallucinations, delusions, or psychosis.
Even the best CBD edibles have side effects when you consume too much, such as:
- Changes in weight
- Appetite changes
You can reduce the risk of adverse reactions by avoiding overconsumption and starting with small edible dosages.
How to alleviate overconsumption of edibles
Overconsumption is possible, even if it’s only mild. Here are a few tips to help combat the side effects of an excessive edibles dosage:
- If you start feeling paranoid, anxious, or lightheaded, gentle reassurance works wonders in a safe and comfortable environment. Take some soothing deep breaths, put on calming music, have a nap, or distract yourself with a lighthearted TV show or movie.
- Dehydration can make you feel worse, so make sure you drink enough water before, during, and after dosing with edibles.
- If the adverse reactions progress, take 50–200mg of pure CBD to help alleviate the intoxicating effects of THC. You can also use lemon oil, predominantly found in the rind of the fruit. Chew and swallow about a tablespoon of lemon zest for best results.
- Most consumers don’t need professional medical attention unless they have a pre-existing or serious condition. Don’t hesitate to get emergency medical care if necessary, though.
Tips for first-time edible users
If you’re new to edibles dosing, follow the tips below to make the most out of your CBD or THC treats.
Be in a safe and comfortable environment
A safe, peaceful, and chilled environment is always best, but it’s especially crucial for your first time dosing on edibles. An overwhelming or unsettling vibe can negatively affect your experience.
Clear your schedule
Remember, the duration of a cannabis edible high can last for hours, so make sure you don’t have any commitments or time restraints. The last thing you want is a work or family obligation while you’re in an altered state of mind.
Stick to a plan
Although we covered this in detail above, we can’t stress it enough: stick to a small edibles dosage. You can start with a quarter of the recommended dose, noting the onset and duration of effects.
Leave the dose unchanged for your next two sessions, with at least 8–24 hours between each time. On your fourth cannabis edible encounter, you can up the dosage to half of the suggested quantity. It’ll be easier to find the right edible dosage after that, as long as you make any adjustments gradually.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of edibles dosing, you need to have patience. Always wait a minimum of two hours before grabbing another CBD-rich candy or a THC-laced treat. If you don’t account for the delayed onset of effects, overconsumption could ruin your experience.
Grab a bite to eat beforehand
Your body absorbs weed goodies quicker on an empty stomach. A light edibles dosage could work faster and produce more intense effects than usual, which could overwhelm low-tolerance or first-time users.
Grab a healthy snack or have a substantial meal beforehand to aid steady absorption.
Keep “first-time user tolerance” in mind
There’s no scientific explanation, but first-time user tolerance is possible with edibles dosing. Beginners commonly report minimal or non-existent effects during their first three sessions.
Stick it out and don’t alter your dose until the fourth uptake, when you can experience the effects and adjust your intake accordingly.
Perfect your edibles dosage and revel in the benefits
Proper edibles dosing gives you all the blissful benefits of weed-laced goodies without any harsh side effects. It’s ultimately different for everyone, though. Find what works for you with the help of our edible dosage guide, but keep the contributing factors and effects in mind.
Remember to start small, be patient, and stick to a plan, and you’ll reap the rewards soon enough. Ditch the impulsive second helping and steadily adjust your intake instead. It may take some time but keep at it until you strike an optimal CBD or THC dosage.
If you prefer a hands-approach for even better control, you’ll want the best high-THC and high-CBD seeds for your homemade edibles. Grow your own weed stash with top-shelf cannabis seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co., and create the perfect edibles dosage.
About the author: Parker Curtis
Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.