“One toke, two tokes, three tokes, four? Is that enough weed, or should I take more?” It’s the start of a soon-to-be-classic ditty that we’re working on in our spare time, but it also sums up the confusion many cannabis users feel when it comes to getting the right THC dose.
We’ve all had those bad trips where we ate too many pot brownies or hit the bong too many times. One minute you’re feeling irie, and the next minute you’re clutching the floor with all your might, afraid you’re going to fall off the planet. It’s not a pleasant experience.
But dating Mary Jane doesn’t have to be a hit-or-miss activity. You can get the right THC dose every time, regardless of how you consume it. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. The experts at Honest Marijuana will show you how.
But before we break it all down for you, it’s important for us to explain how marijuana is measured and what constitutes a dose.
The most basic unit of marijuana measurement is the gram (a metric unit of mass equal to one-thousandth of a kilogram). So you can walk into any dispensary and say, “Five grams of your finest Sour Diesel, madam,” right?
Unfortunately, no, you can’t say that. Technically, you could, but the budtenders would give you a strange look. That’s because somewhere along the line, someone decided that the metric system was just too much for us Americans.
As a result, marijuana pros began measuring larger quantities of pot based on the ounce (a unit of weight roughly equal to one-sixteenth of a pound). It’s a little confusing at first, but you’ll get used to it. It helps to view the gram by how many joints it will produce (roughly 1.5).
So if you think you’re going to need three joints for the weekend, you’ll need at least two grams of marijuana.
Now, most places won’t sell you just two grams, so don’t ask. Instead, use these common marijuana measurements and you’ll look like a pro yourself.
- 1 gram = 1 gram (duh!)
- 3.5 grams = ⅛ ounce
- 7 grams = ¼ ounce
- 14 grams = ½ ounce
- 28 grams = 1 ounce
- 448 grams = 1 pound
Whoa! That was a big jump there between an ounce and a pound! How did we come up with those numbers? Here’s where your high school math teacher would scream, “Show your work!” So we will.
We know that 1 ounce = 28 grams. Google “ounces in pound” and you’ll learn that 1 pound = 16 ounces. So multiply 16 by 28 and you get 448 grams. That’s a lot!
Depending on where you buy it, a pound of pot can cost upwards of $4000. Most people don’t have that kind of money to spend on cannabis—but then, who knows? Maybe you’ll win the lottery.
Now that you’re clear as mud on marijuana measurement, let’s explore what constitutes a THC dose.
THC Dose Defined
The dictionary defines a dose as, “a quantity of a substance taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time.” The difficulty with trying to measure marijuana dosage is that it largely depends on unique differences in your brain, your metabolism, and your circulatory system.
There are also differences in strains of marijuana from one harvest to the next. Just because you could handle a full joint of Fruity Pebbles from a harvest last year doesn’t mean you’ll be able to handle the same amount of the same strain harvested this year.
But all hope is not lost. Our THC dose guide will help you find a comfortable level to start with that won’t have you seeing horrible visions of Chthulu around every corner.
Start A THC Journal
The “right” THC dose is unique to each person. What works for you may not be enough — or may be too much — for another person.
As you’ll see in the next section, a number of “difficult-to-change” factors can influence the amount of THC you need to experience the choice psychedelic effects or the medicinal benefits that our most favorite cannabinoid has to offer.
Unfortunately, many of these factors change from day to day, and even hour to hour. So finding the right THC dose is going to take a bit of experimentation on your part.
The good part is that those experiments involve puffing on a joint or hitting a dab rig. The bad part — if you can call it that — is that your experiments shouldn’t be hit or miss.
You shouldn’t try one THC dose on Wednesday and an entirely different dose on Thursday. Similarly, you shouldn’t pick random numbers out of a hat and hope to eventually find the right THC dose for you.
That’s like putting a bunch of monkeys and typewriters in a room in the hopes that they’ll eventually compose Shakespeare. It doesn’t work, nor will it ever work.
Instead, add a dash of scientific method to the process and record your experience down to the last detail until you’ve dialed it in.
The easiest way to get started is to purchase a notebook (or scavenge one from your little sister or brother). If that’s too much effort, a few sheets of blank paper from your printer tray will do the trick. Or, if you’re more inclined to digital solutions, create a spreadsheet on your computer.
Whatever method you choose, record such variables as:
- Your weight
- What you ate for at least two meals before taking THC
- The amount of THC you took
- How you felt before
- How you felt after
- Anything else you believe has an effect on the experience
When making changes to any of the variables on your list, try to alter only one at a time. For example, keep everything on the list above the same, but tweak what you eat before lighting up.
Is the experience better when you eat a meal containing more fatty foods (e.g., nuts, olive, olive oil)? Or is it better when you eat a fatty meal followed by a vegetable-heavy meal before hittin’ that Thai stick?
When you change one variable at a time, it will be easier to determine which factors have the biggest impact — for the good or for the worse — on your THC experience.
Variables That Affect THC Dose
A wide variety of variables can affect what a certain THC dose does to your body. The quality of the THC product and the concentration of the cannabinoid therein are at the top of the list.
Other factors include:
- Your reason for taking THC
- Your diet
- Your weight
- Your metabolism
- Your tolerance to THC
We’ll provide some general guidelines for finding the right THC dose, but keep in mind that your weight may change. This can cause the amount of THC you need to feel the same effects to change as well.
If you lose weight (because of a decrease in anxiety, depression, or psychosis), the THC dose may go down.
If you gain weight (because of regaining your appetite — yay, munchies — or no longer being nauseated), the amount of THC may increase. That’s why it’s crucial to record your progress so you can adjust things accordingly.
Other factors are not so easy to adjust. Metabolism doesn’t really change unless you make a drastic alteration in your habits (going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle, for example).
In addition, you can’t put a number on your metabolism, so it can be tricky to gauge the speed of your digestion. But, from experience, you probably know whether you have a fast metabolism or a slow metabolism.
Similarly, your tolerance level can have a major effect on the amount of THC you need. Tolerance is particularly stubborn and often requires weeks, months, or even years to change.
Use your THC journal to record, consider, and tweak all of these factors as you work through the process of finding the right THC dose for you.
THC Dose By Consumption Method
If you’re brand spanking new to the world of cannabis—or, really, even if you’re not—it’s always good to talk to the knowledgeable folks at your local dispensary.
They can recommend just the right products so you don’t accidentally buy one of the strongest weed strains when all you want is an easy buzz.
Blunts, Bongs, And Joints
As to how much dried bud is enough, we recommend starting with 0.25 grams (about half the standard joint) to see how you react. The effects of inhaling marijuana smoke are almost instantaneous, so you shouldn’t have to wait long.
If you enjoy the ride but could use a bit more excitement, up the THC dose to 0.5 grams and try again. Some long-time users even enjoy a one-gram joint or bong bowl, but we don’t suggest you try that until you have a bit of experience under your belt.
If you’re leery about smoking even a quarter of a gram (0.25), try experimenting with a one-hitter. These simple smoking devices hold around 0.1 gram per hit. That makes it easy to calculate how much THC it takes to get you high.
Five hits from a one hitter? That’s about 0.5 grams. Next time, you can roll a 0.5-gram joint and toke away without worrying that you’ll overdo it.
With vaporizers, you can’t accurately gauge how much THC you’re getting, so you need to be careful. And because the THC liquid is more concentrated than regular dried bud, it may take fewer hits from a vaporizer to send you soaring.
The nice thing about vaporizers is that you don’t have to consume the whole thing right away. Take one hit, set the vape pen aside, and see how you react. A few minutes later, go back and take another hit. Continue this method until you’re nicely baked.
Keep track of how many hits and how much liquid it took to get you to this point so you’ll know for future reference.
Edibles are an easy way to get the THC you need. They’re also one of the strongest consumption methods for getting THC into your system. That means it takes considerably less than your average joint to get you high.
The recommended starting dose for all things edible is 10 milligrams (0.1 gram), but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to go as low 5 milligrams (0.05 gram) if it’s your first time.
The important part of consuming cannabis in this way is to wait at least two hours after you’re finished eating before taking another dose. It can take anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes for the effects of edible cannabis to kick in.
Unfortunately, the long wait time means that it’s very easy to overdo it. You’re waiting and waiting and nothing’s happening, so you pop another cannabis candy.
Then the 90-minute mark rolls around and—WHAM!—you’re down the rabbit hole with the walls closing in and a bad trip in the making. With edibles, your best bet is to start small, be patient, and increase slowly.
A tincture is a cannabis concentrate that’s administered with a dropper underneath your tongue. Tinctures aren’t meant to be swallowed. Instead, they’re designed to absorb into your bloodstream through the veins under your tongue.
We recommend starting with two to four drops of your chosen tincture to see how you react. Don’t expect to feel the effects right away. It takes a few minutes (up to 15) for your circulatory system to push the THC to your brain.
Cannabis oil is one of the most potent forms of marijuana available. It’s highly concentrated, so you don’t need much to get you plenty high. Cannabis oil is usually measured in drops like the tincture, but some experienced users measure it by the gram per day.
A typical dose of cannabis oil is about the size of a grain of rice (roughly one drop). Start with one drop per day and see how you react.
Dabbing & Butane Hash Oil
Butane hash oil, or honey oil for short, is the result of passing butane through marijuana plant matter. The butane strips off the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. When the butane evaporates, it leaves behind an oily, sometimes waxy, resin that’s packed full of marijuana goodness.
As with every other method on this list, start small, wait a bit, and try again. Take one hit (one inhale) off a dab rig, and then wait 10 to 15 minutes to see what happens.
THC strips are a novel and fun way to get a THC dose without smoking or dabbing. Most THC strips contain 10 milligrams of THC, so that’s a great place to start.
Pop one of these into your mouth, let it dissolve, and hold the liquid under your tongue for a minute or two. The THC will be absorbed into your bloodstream much like it would be with a tincture.
With THC strips, it can take up to 15 minutes before you feel the effects. Don’t go for another strip until after those 15 minutes pass. If 10 milligrams is too much for you, some companies produce low-dose strips with five milligrams of THC.
If 10 milligrams isn’t enough, you can also get extra-strength strips that contain 20 milligrams of THC.
Start Small, Increase Slowly
The key to finding the right THC dose and having a great trip is to start small and increase slowly. If you adhere to that simple rule, you’ll enjoy all your cannabis adventures—without worrying about spinning out of control.
Stay with a certain THC dose for three days to give your body time to grow accustomed. Then, adjust the THC dose up or down according to your needs for the next three days.
If you feel any adverse effects, decrease the dose the next time around. You can always increase again gradually from there.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100 percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.