With so many CBD-related options on the market today it can be a bit confusing when trying to figure out what dosage is best for your specific form of cannabis. If you’re taking cannabis medically your healthcare provider should be able to help you with this. And if you’re a recreational user and you’re just looking for optimal dosage options that can provide specific benefits such as relaxation or focus, there are a few things to consider. Let’s explore them.
Unlike with alcohol, there remains no universally accepted comprehensive charting of mental and physical intoxication by THC dosage. Additionally, tolerance factors heavily into intoxication and the experience of being “high” can vary widely from individual to individual.
All of this makes assessing dosing with cannabis with certainty difficult – but not impossible. Here are some simple dosing guidelines to follow for the best effect possible from marijuana or dabs. Below, we’ve split the dosing guidelines up by category.
Smoked Bud Basic Dosing Guidelines
For beginners, smoking .2 grams, or a fifth of a generously-sized joint, will typically work to feel the effects of the marijuana. Depending on the method and reasons for smoking, users with a tolerance reach as high as 3.5 milligrams daily to achieve optimal results.
The amount of THC and combustion of the marijuana buds of the cannabis plant varies widely. Depending on the quality and the growing conditions, the plant material may contain between 3-40% THC. For strains at the higher end of the spectrum that are usually found in legal cannabis stores, containing 20% THC or more, beginners should take extreme caution when smoking (negative effects can include paranoia, extreme drowsiness, and more). One or two puffs of a joint may be enough for a new smoker.
Another factor to keep in mind is the smoking method changes the amount of THC actually extracted from the bud into your lungs. Joints deliver only around 13% of the THC in the buds whereas bongs can deliver up to 80%, and vaporizers are even purer in their THC content, which means you’ll get higher faster.
Ingesting THC Basic Guidelines
For people new to dosing cannabis by ingesting it, 10 milligrams would be a wise starting point. However, experienced users can use as many as hundreds of milligrams daily safely (depending on the person, strain, etc). Marijuana edibles can be an alternative for patients who cannot or do not want to smoke the buds, as they contain extracts from the plant. One major difference between ingesting marijuana extract, which passes through the stomach, and smoking it, which enters the blood through the lungs, is that they are metabolized through different pathways, resulting in far greater psychoactivity for ingested THC compared to smoked THC.
Many doctors with patients new to medical cannabis often prescribe a microdosing regimen, where gradually larger quantities are taken daily until tolerance has been built and/or the optimal dose (meaning the most benefit with least negative side effects) can be discovered. This is especially true for people taking CBD oil or edibles containing significant amounts of THC. The starting dose as low as 5 milligrams can yield noticeable benefits.
The wisest advice for dosing is to begin with small amounts and work toward higher dosages. This strategy will allow safe discovery of the optimal dosage, as the effects of marijuana will range from person to person.