Even for cannabis lovers well versed in other methods of consuming marijuana, many still have reservations about cooking with cannabis. Why? Because until recently cooking with cannabis was an inaccurate science, with both medical and recreational users relying on extremely experimental dosing rather than precisely calculated methods. Too often, people claim to dislike edibles because they have previous experience eating too much. If you don’t know what you are doing with an edible, it’s easy to green out.
But edibles don’t have to be an intense, powerful, nor overwhelming experience, unless of course that’s what you are looking for. If you get the numbers right and work out the formula, an edible should be a fantastic therapeutic and cerebral high. Yes, eating marijuana does feel much different than smoking it, but the overall experience should at least feel familiar. Even if you’ve overdone it in the past, today there are clearer methods of safely and accurately determining dosage.
Tips for Dosing Cannabis Edibles
- Less is more: Problems arise with edibles because inexperienced users worry about whether or not the edible is actually taking effect. Maybe you ate a dish one or even two hours ago, but you feel nothing. Is it safe to eat more? To avoid any issues associated with overconsumption, always wait for at least three, if not four, hours before redosing. The longer you can wait for it the better. Its extremely common for novice users to second guess the potency of their infused dish, and subsequently double dose. As both baked goods kick in at the same time, you’ll soon learn to regret your impatience.
- Know your strain: The cannabinoid and terpene content of individual strains influence their potency as well as their possible medicinal values. To avoid an unwanted result, get to know what strain you are cooking with, its basic cannabinoid makeup, and most importantly understand the THC content. As THC is the only cannabinoid that triggers a high, knowing just how much THC it contains is critical to measuring out a safe and accurate dose.
- Do the math, and do it twice: We’ve all heard the mantra: measure twice, cut once. This saying also stands true for calculating the potency of your edibles. One miscalculation could lead to disappointing, or worse yet, pretty uncomfortable, experience. Do the dosage calculation twice, to confirm what you are getting yourself into.
Cannabis Dosage Calculation
Before getting started, determine the following information:
- What is the THC potency? This should be available on the strain label at your dispensary, but an average strain has roughly 10 percent THC. If you are looking
for the potency of other cannabinoids, speak with your dispensary for more information.
- How many milligrams do you have (grams x 1,000)?
- How much oil, butter, or other healthy fat are you infusing, in cups?
Step-by-Step Calculation to Determine Potency Per Serving
- Calculate the THC potency per one gram of weed:
(total product in mg) x (potency %) = (THC content in mg)
10g x 1,000mg = 10,000 mg of weed
10,000 mg x 10% potency = 1000mg of THC
- Calculate potency per cup of the base infusion (oil, butter, or alcohol). The unit of measurement can easily be adjusted to whatever the recipe calls for: metric measurements, tablespoons, pounds, etc.).
(THC content in mg) / (infusion product in cups) = (THC content per cup)
1000mg of THC / 4 cups of butter = 250mg of THC per cup of butter
- Calculate potency per serving:
(THC content per cup) x (XX) cups = (Total THC in the dish)
(Total THC in the dish) / (XX) serving = (THC potency per serving)
250mg THC x 2 cups of butter in the recipe = 500mg THC in the final dish
500mg / 25 servings = 25mg of THC per serving
Once you grasp the basic concept of the calculation, it’s very easy to craft your cannabis cooking experience to suit your needs. If you eat an entire 25 mg serving and determine that it wasn’t powerful enough to treat your chronic pain, try increasing the next time. If the dose was too high and made you uncomfortable, it’s another easy fix to eat less next time.
If you are reading this and have never cooked with cannabis before, maybe you don’t even smoke cannabis, take things slow. Start off with a small 5mg dose or less. You might not feel anything, but as you experiment starting low will help you control how you feel without enduring the negative side effects of overconsumption.
If you are concerned about overdosing, rest easy. To date, there are absolutely no reported overdose deaths associated with cannabis use. There are many intense, uncomfortable experiences when people dabble too much, but there is no risk of dying. As you experiment with finding your own perfect dose, take your time and enjoy the ride.