How much should I take? This is a pretty common question to ask before chomping into a cannabis edible. For newcomers to cannabis, eating THC-infused edibles can be a more inviting option than smoking. However, figuring out the right dose can be tricky. Even if you’ve tried edibles before, you may have discovered that one type of edible had a certain effect, but another edible was entirely different. We’re here to help you gain a better understanding of edible dosing, and what to do in case you accidentally ate too much (it happens).
Edible dosing is based on milligrams of THC per serving. The THC comes from a type of infusion, like butter, hash, crude oil, rosin, or a different kind of cannabis extract. It is much more potent than THC from smoking cannabis because it has been highly concentrated.
Each state has a legal limit for serving size, and in California, the recreational dose is 10 milligrams. You can buy more than this at one time, but these laws are designed to help people know where to start. Is 10 mg the right dose for everyone? Not exactly.
THC is a psychoactive substance that affects the central nervous system. Everyone has a unique response to cannabis-based on the way their endocannabinoid system (ECS) works with the compounds in cannabis. Because of this, a group of friends can eat the same amount of THC and each person can have a very different experience. One person may feel energized and uplifted, while another person is ready for a nap. Yet, a third is cracking open the fridge door to see what kind of snacks might quell their munchies.
When dosing, it’s crucial to approach it individually and not be swayed by what someone else suggests. You must wait two hours after eating edibles to see how they affect you. It can take a while to notice the full effects, so even if you think they aren’t working, wait it out. You can always take more, but you can’t take less.
General Edibles Dosing Effects
Figuring out your dose is a personal quest that can only be discovered through experimentation. However, there are some guidelines for what to expect when you eat a certain amount of THC.
Microdose | 1-5 mg THC
A microdose is considered to be a sub-perceptual dose. Even for those unfamiliar with cannabis edibles, a few milligrams may go unnoticed. Yet, for some people, 5 mg is the perfect amount to feel just a bit different than sober but not inebriated. This is a great place to start if you have never tried cannabis edibles.
Mild Dose | 5-10 mg THC
Once you’ve tried a microdose, you can step up to a slightly larger dose. Ten milligrams is considered to be a mild recreational dose. You can expect to feel blissful and stoned, but not overwhelmed by the effects.
Moderate Dose | 10-20 mg THC
For more experienced users, 10-20 mg hits just right. At these doses, you can expect a more robust high throughout your head and body. If you are looking to relieve pain and feel relaxed, work up to 20 mg.
Large Dose | 20-50 mg THC
For anyone looking for more sedation or pain relief, 20+ mg should offer these benefits. Go slow to work your way up to this dose, or you might experience uncomfortable side effects like nausea, paranoia, or dizziness. This is not a first-timer dose, and even experienced users should increase their dosage slowly.
Mega Dose | 50-100 mg THC
Hold onto your horses, folks, you’re in for a wild ride. Unless you have a high tolerance or are looking to treat severe pain, anything over 50 mg is a mega dose. Not many people are taking this much THC for fun, and it’s typically reserved for chronic pain, and folks treating severe medical symptoms.
As you are experimenting with cannabis edibles, you may accidentally over-consume a time or two. This can feel like a loss of motor control, dizziness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, anxiety, paranoia, and getting stuck in thought loops. While uncomfortable, please know that you are not in danger. These side effects will subside, and in the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help calm your nervous system and feel better.
First, find a comfortable place to lie down. Focus on your breathing and practice repeating soothing mantras to yourself. “I am safe,” or “I give myself permission to rest” might be helpful phrases as you settle into the high. Once you’ve had a little time to come back to your breath, have a glass of water, hot tea, or a light snack.
Other tips include taking a hot shower, practicing some light yoga, talking with a friend or loved one, and watching a funny show or movie. Don’t worry, you will begin to feel less stoned soon. Next time, you’ll know to take less and increase your edible dosage more slowly. We’ve all been there 🙂