Calculate THC Strength In Edibles
3 min

How To Calculate The Strength Of Edibles

3 min

Heard too many horror stories about the strength of weed edibles? Don't fret. With our simple guide to edibles dosing, it's never been easier to properly enjoy the magic of weed edibles.

We’ve all heard horror stories of people who got it wrong when trying cannabis edibles. Unfortunately, enjoying edibles can be tricky, especially if you’ve never eaten them before. Their effects can take a long time to kick in and may last several hours, making dosing edibles far from straightforward.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of cannabis edibles, how they work, and how to enjoy them.

Why Edibles Hit So Hard

The first thing to understand, before even working out dosage, is that the high from eating cannabis is often perceived as a more powerful than smoking. This is because of a fundamental difference between the ways the body deals with smoked and ingested marijuana. Basically, when ingested, THC is metabolised into a much more potent form by the liver. This makes a comparable dose much stronger than when it is smoked.

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How To Calculate Your Edibles Dose

How To Calculate Your Edibles Dose

In order to properly calculate your edibles dose, you need to know the potency of the weed you’re using to make cannabutter or cannabis-infused cooking oil.

Luckily, if you live in a place where marijuana is legal, you can find out the amount of THC in your strain by looking at the packaging or asking the budtender at your dispensary or coffeeshop. Alternatively, if you’re using your own homegrown strains, you can find out the amount of THC either on the seed pack or on the retailer's website.

Once you know the percentage of cannabinoids in your flower, you can use the following formula to calculate how much THC or CBD (in mg) are in 1g of dry flower.

Every gram of dry cannabis flower is equivalent to 1,000mg. Hence, we can take the total amount of weed we’re using in our cannabis-infused butter or oil recipe and multiply it by the cannabinoid concentration (in a percentage) given to us by our dispensary or seed bank.

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If, for example, we’re using a 20% THC strain, we can assume that 1g (or 1,000mg) of dry flower will contain roughly 200mg of THC.

If, on the other hand, we’re using a strain with a 1:10 CBD:THC ratio, with 15% THC, we can assume that 1g (or 1,000mg) of dry flower will contain approximately 150mg of THC and 15mg of CBD.

While there are still no strict guidelines on THC dosing, most legal cannabis markets regulate cannabis edibles to have no more than 20mg of THC per serving. That being the case, the formula above lets us see that 1g of 20% cannabis bud is enough to create ten 20mg doses of cannabis edibles.

Cannabis Edibles Dosing Guidelines

Cannabis Edibles Dosing Guidelines

Finding the right dose with edibles isn’t exactly simple, given that everyone reacts so differently. If you’re new to weed or are trying edibles for the first time, we recommend starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it, if need be, at your next session.

To get an idea of what to expect from different doses of cannabis edibles, use this table:

THC Per Serving  Possible Effects Recommended Users
2mg Unlikely to cause any noticeable impairment. Best for infrequent edibles users, or previous users who have taken a long break from marijuana.
2.5mg Still not likely to cause any kind of impairment, but may subconsciously help lower social inhibitions or improve focus. Some may find the effects of this dose to be similar to having a glass of red wine. Recommended for people looking to support cognitive function without the “high”.
5mg Produces a comfortable high in most occasional marijuana users, characterised by improved mood, “the giggles,” appetite stimulation, and heightened senses. Recommended for occasional users looking for a fun yet controllable high.
10mg Causes a strong psychotropic effect in occasional users (characterised by euphoria, laughing, impaired perception, and a strong appetite), and causes a mild, comfortable high in most regular cannabis users. Recommended for irregular users seeking a strong high, or as a base-level dose for experienced users.
15mg This dose is usually uncomfortably strong for inexperienced users. Regular marijuana users consider 15mg of THC to produce a strong yet still manageable dose. We only recommend this level of potency to regular users.
20mg Most regular users find this amount of THC to produce a very strong, long-lasting physical stone marked by strong psychotropic effects, appetite stimulation, and distraction from things like pain. We recommend this dose only for experienced edible users.
25mg+ Most regular users find a 25mg dose of THC to be overwhelming. However, remember that regularly using cannabis leads to tolerance. If you’re a daily user that struggles to feel the effects of marijuana, you may want to up your dose to this level.

With this information, you can figure out how strong you want your edibles to be per serving, as well as how to divide your cannabis up to achieve this potency. Of course, this guide uses approximations and assumes that weed is evenly distributed throughout whatever infused dish you are making. It is best to use it as a baseline; from there, use your own judgment to discover your ideal dose.

Also, keep in mind that you should adjust the amount of cannabis you use in your cannabutter of infused oil recipe depending on the amount of servings you plan to prepare. Eating lots of small doses can still add up to one big, overwhelming high. For a detailed look at how to incorporate cannabis into your cooking, check out our list of the 10 best cannabis recipes.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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