So, how much edible cannabis should you consume? There is no correct answer here as it depends highly on your physical condition, what it is you’re treating, your size and gender, and the makeup of your specific endocannabinoid system. We’re all different.
Most edible cannabis products list the amounts of cannabinoids per serving. For example, a piece of candy might contain 5 or 10 milligrams of THC and/or CBD, or it might contain far more. Some products such as brownies and candy bars may contain multiple servings. Patients need to be aware of this and dose accordingly to avoid having an unpleasant experience.
Because edibles are slower to take effect, it’s not extremely uncommon for patients to over do it and end up having an unpleasant experience. Don’t make this mistake. It can take from 30 to 90 minutes for the psychoactive effects to kick in. The peak effects might take 2-4 hours to be fully realized. Onset time can be influenced by many factors, including the type of product (eg. candy vs. baked goods), a patient’s gender, eating habits, weight, and metabolism.
Patients should also be aware that candies will take effect much faster than baked goods. When consuming baked goods, it’s best to start with small bites. Then wait at least one hour to gauge the effects. If more is needed take another small bite. Over time, by “listening” to your body, an ideal dosage can be determined.
It’s a good idea to start small when ingesting edibles. For smaller people it’s advisable to start with 5 milligrams, or 10 milligrams for larger people, and then work your way up until you feel relief.
Keep in mind that edibles are more potent than smokable products. The Colorado Department of Revenue commissioned a report utilizing the findings of a clinical study. It indicated that 1mg of THC in an edible product creates similar effects to 5.7 mg of THC in smokable marijuana.
When eaten, enzymes convert delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy tetrahydrocannabinol, or 11-OH-THC, which is a far more powerful psychoactive compound than THC. This explains why edibles often seem more potent and have a longer lasting effect than smoked of vaped cannabis.
In most cases, somewhere between 10 and 100 milligrams of THC and CBD combined should be enough to provide relief. However, if you’re dealing with a serious condition such as cancer or seizures you might need more. Definitely seek a qualified medical marijuana doctor’s advice in this case.
Also keep in mind that more is not necessarily better in every case. Cannabinoids produce what’s known as a bell curve effect. That means that there is an ideal dosage above and below which the effects fall off. Taking more than you need can be a waste of money and might produce unwanted side effects such as extreme intoxication.
At this time, there are no universal standards in place for THC dosage. The California Department of Public Health stipulates that single dose servings shall not exceed 100 milligrams of THC. Similar guidelines are in place in Colorado, Washington and Canada. Furthermore, 100 milligrams of THC might be far too much for some patients — especially those new to cannabinoid therapy.
There is also a practice known as microdosing which involves taking very small amounts of THC on a daily basis. If CBD seems to effectively treat a condition, adding small amounts of THC — say, less than 5 milligrams a day — might actually increase the effects without causing intoxication.
Due to various factors, there can be some inaccuracy in labeling. The manner in which products are stored and handled, and inconsistency in quality control during production can cause discrepancies between the dosage listed on the label and that actually contained in the product.