By Steven Voser

A guide to dosing cannabis flower, oil, edibles, extracts, and more.

Whether you consider yourself a recreational or therapeutic cannabis user, finding the right dose isn’t always easy. The chemical profile of strains varies greatly, and how a strain was grown can also have a huge impact on its final potency. Finally, how you consume cannabis also greatly impacts its potency and effects. Keep reading for an in-depth look at finding a starting dose for cannabis, regardless of whether you prefer to smoke joints, dab, or munch on edibles.

Calculating the Strength of Your Dry Herb or CBD Oil

First things first; before we can calculate an ideal dose, we need to determine how strong the cannabis actually is. Whether it’s THC-rich herb or CBD oil, the process of determining concentration/potency is actually less difficult than you might imagine.


How to Calculate Milligrams of THC per Gram of Dried Bud

Calculating the amount of THC in a gram of bud isn’t an exact science. However, if you know the percentage of THC in your flower, you can at least get a rough estimate of how much THC you’ll be ingesting per gram. Use this formula to figure it out:

mg of dried bud × % THC (as a decimal)

If, for example, you’re about to roll a joint with 0.5g (or 500mg) of our White Widow Automatic (14% THC), the formula would look like this:

500mg × 0.14 = 70mg THC

Remember, this calculation only works if you know the THC (or CBD) content of your bud. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can buy cannabis legally (from a dispensary, cannabis club, or coffeeshop), always remember to ask your budtender for the potency of the flower you’re buying. When growing at home, on the other hand, consult your seed bank for information on the average potency of the given strains.

How to Calculate Milligrams of CBD in CBD Oil

Determining the amount of CBD per bottle, per ml, or per drop can be tricky as some manufacturers choose to label their products using mg, while others use percentages.

If you’re provided with a total number of mg of CBD per bottle, you're good to go. You can simply divide this figure by the number of drops or the number of ml to figure out your dose. If, on the other hand, the producer provides mg of CBD per drop or per ml, but doesn't provide total mg of CBD per bottle, simply multiply this figure by the total number of drops or ml to get the total mg per bottle.

Even if all that’s provided is the ml of liquid and the CBD percentage, you can still easily figure out the total amount of CBD per bottle.

Let's break it down in detail:

If you’re using our 40% CBD oil (which comes in a 10ml bottle and features 20mg of CBD per drop over 200 drops), the formula would look like this:

20mg CBD × 200 drops = 4,000mg CBD per bottle

If we didn’t give you the amount of CBD per drop but instead gave the total CBD per bottle (4000mg), you could use one of the following two formulas to determine your dose:

4000mg CBD / 200 drops = 20mg CBD per drop
4000mg CBD / 10ml = 400mg CBD per ml

Finally, if all we gave you was the CBD percentage and the ml of liquid per bottle, you would convert the latter figure into milligrams, then multiply it by the percentage of CBD:

10ml = 10,000mg of liquid
10,000mg × .40 = 4000mg CBD per bottle

Again, these formulas only work if you know the concentration of the oil you’re using. Never buy CBD oils without proper labelling or dosing information.


How to Read Vape Labels and Other Cannabis Packaging

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can buy cannabis legally, you may have a hard time wrapping your head around the labels of vape cartridges, edibles, pre-packaged flower, and the many other products available to you.

Remember to always carefully read the packaging of any cannabis product you buy, and pay close attention to the dose/potency information. Some products (like vape cartridges, for example) tend to have labels outlining the total amount of cannabinoids (in mg) in the cartridge. Edibles, on the other hand, may contain information on both the total amount of cannabinoids in the entire edible and the suggested dose (also in mg).

Finally, flower tends to have labels outlining the total percentage of cannabinoids in the flower, which you can calculate into a mg dose using the formula provided above.

1. How to dose dry herb

  • Typical dose: 0.25–0.5g of dried bud

One of the biggest advantages of smoking/vaping cannabis is its fast onset. Once inhaled into the lungs, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals in your dried herb are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. While the exact onset will vary depending on the strain, your tolerance, and the potency of your flower, you should feel the effects of smoking/vaping dried bud within 5–15 minutes.

A standard dose when smoking or vaping dry herb is roughly 0.25–0.5g. In fact, most pre-rolled joints sold in legal markets tend to contain roughly 0.5g of dried bud. Using our White Widow Automatic example from above, a 0.5g joint would contain 70 milligrams of THC. If you’re trying a new strain or just starting to consume cannabis, beginning with a 0.25g dose is a great idea. Remember, you can always up your dose if need be.

Smoke Dry Herb

2. How to dose cannabis edibles

  • Typical dose: 10mg of THC or CBD

Edibles bought from dispensaries or legal cannabis retail shops should come with clear dosing instructions. Make sure to carefully check the label on your edible, and, if it outlines its cannabinoid content as a percentage, use the following formula to determine how many mg of cannabinoids the edible contains:

total weight of edible (in mg) × % cannabinoids

If you’re cooking with cannabis, on the other hand, calculating the strength of your edibles is a little trickier. When making your butter or oil, remember to take note of the percentage of cannabinoids in your flower and the amount of flower called for in your recipe.

Let’s imagine you’ve made 250g of butter with 28 grams (1 ounce) of flower with a THC percentage of 18%. Use the following formula to calculate the total amount of cannabinoids in your butter:

28,000mg of flower × 0.18 (18%) THC = 5040mg of THC in 250,000mg (250g) of butter (2% THC)

Now, let’s imagine you’re making a brownie recipe that calls for 150g of butter. Your batch of brownies will contain a total of 3g THC (150g butter × 0.02% THC).

With most cannabis edibles, a single dose consists of 10mg of either THC or CBD. You can also find products that contain 100mg or more of THC or CBD per dose, although these are normally not actually meant to be taken as a single dose.

When consuming edibles, it is important to realise that it can take some time for your body to metabolise the active compounds. Other consumption methods, such as smoking or vaping, have an immediate effect, but edibles can take up to two hours before "hitting".

Because of this, it is not recommended to increase your dose until a full two hours have elapsed. While it’s not possible to fatally overdose on cannabis, it can be very easy to overdo it with edibles and experience an unpleasant “trip”. Taking it slow is the way to go, for both novice and experienced users.


3. How to dose CBD oil extracts

  • Typical dose: 10mg of CBD

Remember to use the formulas mentioned above to properly calculate the strength of your CBD oil in mg.

A typical dose for an oral CBD oil extract made from hemp starts at 10mg, but this will vary depending on your own requirements.

CBD oil products available on the market today vary widely in concentration and purity. Before taking them, you should make yourself familiar with the recommended dosing protocol for each particular product.

CBD oils are well-suited for microdosing. You can take 2.5–5mg of CBD per dose, several times throughout the day.

Hemp Ceed Oil Extracts

4. How to dose full-extract cannabis oil

  • Typical dose: Up to 1 gram, divided into multiple doses

Full-extract cannabis oils (like Rick Simpson oil, for example) are highly concentrated cannabis concentrates. To calculate the total mg of cannabinoids in your oil, use the following formula:

total amount of oil (in mg) × % cannabinoids

These highly concentrated cannabis oils are among the most potent forms of cannabis, with powerful effects even in small doses. Many holistic users take up to 1 gram of full-extract cannabis oil per day, divided into multiple doses. For a single dose, you can take one small droplet of concentrated oil. Repeat 3–4 times per day. Do be mindful that one full gram of concentrated full-extract cannabis oil is already a very high dose. Always consult a medical professional before taking high doses of cannabis.

5. How to dose topicals

  • Typical dose: Depends on product

Topicals such as cannabis creams, sprays, and ointments for pain relief and inflammation are applied directly to the skin. They are non-psychoactive, which means there is little risk for overdoing it. Most of these topical CBD products come with recommendations for proper usage. You can start with the recommended dosage and use more or less as desired.

Cannabis Creams Topicals

6. How to dose transdermal cannabis patches

  • Typical dose: 10–20mg of cannabinoids per patch

Transdermal patches are available in varying strengths, with most of them ranging from 10–20mg of cannabinoids per patch. When you apply a transdermal patch to your skin, the effect can normally be felt within 20 to 60 minutes. Here too, it can be recommended to start out with a lower-strength patch and work your way up if needed.

7. How to dose BHO cannabis extracts (dabs)

  • Typical dose: 25mg per dab

BHO extracts contain high concentrations of cannabinoids and are designed to be vaporised either in a dab rig or conventional vaporiser. If you're buying BHO from a dispensary, coffeeshop, or another licenced retailer, remember to ask about the potency of each product, as they can vary greatly.

If you’ve just bought 1g (1000mg) of shatter with 70% THC, the total amount of THC in that piece of shatter is 700mg (or roughly 28 doses). While it’s impossible to divide 1g of BHO into exact 25mg doses, you can use a dab tool to load grain-of-rice-sized doses into your chamber or nail and adjust the amount as needed.

Cannabis Extracts Dabbing Vaping

8. Microdosing

  • Typical dose: 5–10mg

Microdosing cannabis is a new rising trend among medicinal cannabis consumers. When microdosing, you are taking minimal doses of THC, about 5–10mg per dose, once or several times throughout the day. The idea behind microdosing is that you take just enough THC (known as the “minimum effective dose”) so that you feel the desired effect, but can still function and go about your daily routine.

You can microdose with most forms of cannabis, although it is most common with oils since they are easier and more accurate to dose. However, you can also microdose when you smoke or vape. For this, you can just take a small puff or two each time. Microdosing is a great alternative consumption method for users with a low tolerance for THC.

No matter what your preferred method of consuming cannabis is, we recommend that you always start with a lower dose. When you listen to your body and observe the effects, this is the best way to find the ideal dosage for you!

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