THC Dosage Overview: Finding the right mg dose for you
Finding the right THC dose for you can seem like an arduous process. However, once you pinpoint just what you need for a good experience with each type of cannabis product, you grow more confident about exploring your options. Below is an in-depth explanation of how to understand the THC potency of different products, what to consider before picking a certain potency or dose, and tips for an overall good experience.
First, Understanding THC Potency
Different cannabis products have different descriptors when it comes to THC potency. Flower, vapes, and concentrates are labeled with a certain THC percentage. For example, you may see a certain strain that says it is 25 percent THC, a vape cart that says 70 percent THC, or a concentrate that says 85 percent THC. By contrast, edibles and tinctures will show potency levels in THC milligrams.
The difference here is important to understand. Vapes, concentrates, and flower are most often smoked, which means the percentage you see represents what percentage of THC is in that weight or volume measurement of the product. For example, one gram of concentrate that says 85 percent THC is literally 85 percent THC.
To determine the milligrams of a product from THC percentage, you have to convert the weight of the product into milligrams. Remember, one gram is automatically 1,000mg. Now, multiply the percentage of that concentrate by the weight in milligrams. For example, if you have 1 gram (1000mg) of 85% THC concentrate, the formula would be:
- 1000mg x 85% THC = 850mg THC in the full gram of concentrate
Factors That Affect the Right THC Dose for You
Each individual can have a unique experience with THC. This is why so many people can need a different potency or amount to feel the desired effects even if two people are using an identical product. Take a look at a few factors that can affect the right THC dose for you.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the system in your body that processes cannabinoids. This system is made up of a multitude of receptors, and every person can have different concentrations of receptors or receptors that are more sensitive than others. Likewise, metabolism, age, and even weight or whether you have eaten can affect how the ECS receives and breaks down cannabinoids from cannabis.
Tolerance levels affect how much THC you need, and tolerance levels can be quite ambiguous. Typically, people who use cannabinoids more often have a higher tolerance, which could also be translated to a lower sensitivity to cannabinoids. In other words, they may need more THC to feel the same effects as someone who never uses cannabinoids.
The consumption method is a hugely important factor to consider when it comes to how much THC to use. Be sure to get a good understanding of how much of a THC dose you are getting with different products, as this will make it easier to keep intake at a good level for you. However, the consumption method also affects how quickly the cannabinoids enter your system and start to affect you. Therefore, different dosages may be needed with different types of products.
Choosing a THC Starting Point Based on Product Type
Smoking cannabis involves inhaling the cannabinoids into the lungs, which means a rapid onset of effects. Most people start to feel the effects within just a few minutes. If you are just starting with cannabis, this rapid onset can be good; you can effectively judge whether you’ve had enough without waiting a long time for the effects to kick in.
You can use the above-given formula to determine how many milligrams of THC are in a certain amount of flower. But it can be helpful to have a general understanding of what different percentages mean as far as potency:
- 10% THC or lower is generally going to produce milder effects
- 10 to 20% THC is the general range for most consumers with more intense effects
- Over 20% THC is intensely intoxicating for most consumers; not best for beginners
Tip: A good rule of thumb as a beginner is to be mindful of the percentage and always go slow. Take a few puffs and wait several minutes to gauge the effects.
Vaping cannabis also produces effects relatively quickly or within a few minutes. The delivery to the system is the same even though the product is different. Unlike flower, however, vapes are made with cannabis extracts, which are essentially oils that have little-to-no plant material. Therefore, vapes can be considerably more potent than flower.
Tip: Try one vape pull from a lower THC-percentage vape. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes to monitor effects, and then adjust as needed.
Tinctures can be easier to dose than flower or vapes. The onset of effects varies depending on whether you simply swallow the tincture or place it under the tongue for a sublingual dose. Sublingually can yield effects in about 15 to 20 minutes. Ingestion can mean effects don’t kick in for up to an hour or two. And, tinctures can vary drastically in terms of potency, so pay close attention to the milligrams stated on the bottle.
Tip: A good starting point with THC tinctures is around 2mg if you’re a beginner. Try this small dose and increase it by a milligram or two after waiting a full day for your next dose.
Concentrates, which are usually smoked using a dab rig, are considered some of the most potent forms of cannabis. Much like extracts used in vapes, the plant material is stripped away, so you’re left primarily with terpenes and cannabinoids. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see concentrates that are as high as 99 percent THC. These products are designed for the cannabis user that wants to use as little product as possible for the most intense experience.
Tip: Concentrates are best reserved for an experienced cannabis user due to their high potency. It can be easy to take too much and have a bad experience.
Edibles are the slowest to break down because the THC has to be broken down by the digestive system before affecting the ECS. Further, the liver actually transforms THC into a new form of THC that is considered more potent and longer lasting. Edibles may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to deliver effects, and those effects can potentially last for many hours. An average cannabis consumer with experience with edibles will normally ingest between 5 and 10mg.
Tip: A good beginner dose with cannabis edibles is usually between one and two milligrams of THC. Most edibles contain more THC, such as 5 to 10mg, which means you may have to cut a serving of an edible in smaller portions to achieve the right dose for you.
Finding Your THC Sweet Spot – Start Low, Go Slow
When you first start out with THC, the best rule to follow is to start with a low dose and adjust slowly. It can take several attempts over the course of several days and multiple adjustments to find the right dose for you personally. If you feel safer sticking with products that contain only fractional amounts of THC (0.3 percent or less), be sure to look at the hemp-derived extracts, vapes, and tinctures available at Southern Sky Brands.