How to increase potency in edibles.

by Cannadish
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High dose edibles are a lifesaver for some. Those combating chronic pain and other illnesses often require higher than normal doses. And when the standard 10mg dose just won’t do it, many start asking themselves how to increase potency. Unfortunately, it’s not quite a simple as dumping more bud into your batch. The fat present in edibles can only be infused with a certain amount of weed. But by taking a few simple precautions into consideration, you can drastically increase the potency of your edibles.

Edible Dosing

The standard dose for edibles is 10mg. While for beginners this is generally more than enough, the heavy hitters may find it simply doesn’t cut the mustard! Those with high tolerances due to heavy use commonly require up to 50mg for noticeable effects. 

Some go even higher. Comedian Joey Diaz once recounted a story on the Joe Rogan podcast where he shared a 1000mg edible with a friend. Needless to say, the result wasn’t pretty. Diaz is renowned for his high tolerance, but even his tolerance was not enough to stop the ensuing overwhelming paranoia.

How To Calculate Dose in Edibles

Doses in edibles are expressed as milligrams of THC. In the current age of legalization, 10mg in one edible has become the legal limit in many jurisdictions and thus has become the benchmark.

The THC rating of an edible can be easily calculated with some simple math. 1 gram of cannabis flower equates to a total of 1000mg. By establishing the percentage of THC present in the strain you use, you can effectively calculate the dose of THC.

By way of example, 1000mg of a strain with 20% THC would result in their being 200mg of THC within the batch. If this batch is used to make brownies, you can simply divide the total amount of THC by the number of brownies you make, and you’ll get the dose per edible.

While this provides a rough estimate, unfortunately, it’s not quite so straight forward. Several inefficiencies exist which can further affect the amount of THC present in edibles.

How Much THC Can You Infuse?

You can’t simply dump THC into an edible recipe and expect it all to be bioavailable. THC must be infused with a fat for optimal absorption. And it’s in this process where the inefficiencies begin to manifest. 

Studies show that THC can be infused with oil with efficiencies of between 80-96%. So, in the worst case, you stand to lose 20% of your THC. When it comes to the quantity of oil required to infuse with the THC, you can expect to successfully infuse around 700mg of THC with one ounce of oil under ideal circumstances. That’s an impressive amount, and by extrapolating upward you can make more and more potent edibles simply by calculating how much fat is required to infuse with your THC.

Additional Inefficiencies – Did you Decarboxylate?

If you’re cooking with flower, then the decarboxhylation process can result in the reduction of THC if not done correctly. By not efficiently converting the THCa present in the raw flower to THC, it simply remains inactive and not bioavailable. Pay special attention to the temperature to which you expose your cannabis during the process. 240°F is generally regarded by many to be the sweet spot.

How To Increase Potency Substantially

If your goal is to bake a 1000mg edible, then you’ll require a substantial amount of flower to do so. In addition, you’ll have to factor in how much of it will actually infuse with the oil as well as how efficiently you can decarboxylate. To avoid the aforementioned issues, one way of increasing potency without increasing bulk is to use concentrates.

Hashish, tinctures, or shatter can all be added to recipes to increase potency. Many concentrates such as tinctures don’t require any decarboxylation and can be added to a recipe simply by stirring them into the mix. Nor do many of them require to be infused with fat, and this is something which greatly helps with potency. You can add as much as you like without having to worry about it not being bioavailable after ingestion.

The use of potent concentrates like shatter will ensure a massive increase in potency. Double-check your math before dosing. Any mistake might leave you in a hole for a while!

Redefining the Limits. Infused or Uninfused?

Some recipes will call for infused fats while in others call for uninfused. If you’re wondering how to increase potency further, then always go with the infused option. With the ability to bind with more THC, you help ensure extra potent edibles.

Additional Techniques For Increasing Potency

Lecithin is an emulsifier which will help with bioavailability. The human body has a much easier time digesting and absorbing food that has other compounds attached, and THC is no exception. Lecithin for its part will also help distribute THC and other cannabinoids more efficiently. It’s what is known as a surfactant, and while its inclusion won’t change the effective dose, it will increase the amount of THC you absorb. And that’s good news for everyone!

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