Edible Calculator: Understanding THC Edibles Dosing

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Wouldn't it be great to have an edible calculator you could use to to figure out the THC dosage in your homemade edibles?  You can.  Either using a regular calculator and some simple math.  Or with Cannademy's special CBD or THC dosage calculators available online or as apps.

But before you use either edible calculator methods, let's talk a little bit about the trickiest part of cannabis cooking, and that is dosing.

Proper marijuana cooking dosages are definitely NOT a one-size fits all proposition.  

The range between what is an appropriate amount of THC for one person as opposed to another is astounding.  

The 10 mg doses that are the max allowed by law in most states, for instance, may be fine for some.  But others will feel nothing from such an amount.  Conversely, the dosage a regular THC user with a high tolerance consumes would be enough to put many folks under the table.

It is impossible for any recipe writer to make an across the board recommendation for the amount of cannabis a given dish needs to be effective.  Far too many variables come into play. 

It is important for the cook to always understand that the amount of cannabis listed in the ingredient section of any recipe is only a recommendation that is to be used as a rough guideline.


Get the edibles dose you need each and every time. Works for edibles or topicals in Imperial and Metric measurements. Even works when cooking with non-lab tested cannabis!

Never guess again!

Edible Calculator Dosing Considerations

Before you can determine exactly how much marijuana to use in cooking, there are some important key points that need to be understood:

All cannabis is not created equal! 

The same amounts of different strains of marijuana will NOT be equal in potency.  Identical strains from different growers or even different crops of the same strain, from the same grower, will vary.  Just because you have cooked with a given strain in the past does not mean that you will know the strength of the food made from the same strain from a different source.

Aside from potency, every cannabis strain is different, each containing varying degrees of specific cannabinoids.  This is why some strains make you sleepy while others make you energetic.  

If you are cooking with a new strain, test its potency and effects both before cooking and before eating a normal portion in order to estimate its strength.  

Unlike big commercial edibles makers, the home cook won't have access to a testing lab to determine just how strong your plant material is.  That's OK, people have been successfully dosing marijuana edibles for centuries without the benefit of testing labs, and you can too.

If you do not have lab tested in cannabis you will need to estimate the THC percentage.  Relax,  It is not that difficult, and both Cannademy's free dosing class and their special Cannabis Dosage Calculators will teach you how to do it.

How often does the person consume cannabis?

As we hav already discussed, people cannabis dosage needs vary A LOT.  But beyond that, the frequency the person uses cannabis will effect how much they will need to physically feel the effects.  

The more you use the greater your tolerance will tend to be.  

However, frequent and heavy cannabis consumers who stop for even a day or two will likely experience a heightened effect the first time they use marijuana again after abstaining, so the condition is not permanent.

  • Hungry? Consuming marijuana edibles on an empty stomach will cause you to feel their effect more quickly and profoundly than if you had consumed them after eating other foods or in conjunction with other foods.
  • Plan on mixing? Alcohol can compound the effects of cannabis and for many people the mix of alcohol and cannabis produces an unpleasant paranoid effect.  Reduce, or better yet eliminate, alcohol consumption when using marijuana.

Learn how to Cook with Cannabis and Stay Healthy

Cannabis Cheri teaches you how to make great tasting, perfectly dosed edibles, to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Recommended Marijuana Cooking Dosages Chart

The following chart will give a dose range for using leaf/trim, bud, and concentrates. Note: this is not anywhere near as accurate as an edible calculator.

There is a LARGE range, as you can see.  This is because each strain is different, containing a different mix of cannabinoids in varying strengths.  The dosage range for concentrates is even wider.

I will stress again that the information below is a very general guideline that needs to be weighed against the factors covered above when determining the amount of cannabis to use in your recipes.  

I know many of you will ignore the advice, but you are better off ignoring the chart below and running dosage calculations like in the links above from Cannademy.  You will get a much better estimate.

The amounts are suggested for a person of about 150 pounds.  Try to determine an amount that seems reasonable for your needs, taking into account the strength of the plant material used and the factors listed above.  

When you've finished cooking, eat a small amount and wait in order to test the strength of a given batch of edibles.

Cannabis Material         Recommended Dosage Range Per Individual Dose

Marijuana Leaf/Trim       1/4 to 2 grams

Average Bud               1/8 to 1 gram

High Quality Bud          1/16 to 1/2 gram

Kief or Hash              1/16 to 1/2 gram

What if the THC Dose is Too High?

Getting too strong a dose is a common problem, especially with people who are new to using edible marijuana.  In fact, there is no easier way to get too much marijuana than by eating it. 

Because it can take an hour and a half or more for the medicine to take effect (two to three hours if you didn't take it on an empty stomach), some people think it's not working and eat more.  By the time it all kicks in they realize they've over done it.

If this happens to you or someone you know, first and foremost, do not panic!  It is impossible to ingest a toxic dose of marijuana.  Don’t take my word for it.  Here’s what the World Health Organization had to say on the subject:

“There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by users.”

So overdosing on marijuana will not kill you.  It just does not work that way in the body. It does not slow your respiratory system or cause organ failure even in extreme doses.  So calm down.  You don’t need to worry about those things.

That said, it is definitely possible to ingest more marijuana than you need or want. 

When this happens you may have feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or even paranoia.  You might also feel dizzy, groggy, nauseous, or get chills.  Your coordination might be effected and likewise you may have trouble talking clearly and could lose your balance when walking.  Some people experience heart rate acceleration, which can further increase the anxiety.

It goes without saying you should not be driving or operating heavy machinery.  The most common real danger in over medicating comes in the form of falls or accidents related to impairment of motor skills. 

Likewise you should especially exercise caution and consult your cannabis physician if you have a medical condition that already causes any of the symptoms listed above.  You wouldn’t want to dismiss serious signals your body is sending because you attributed them to over medicating on marijuana.

Should you discover a given batch of any recipe is stronger than you want it to be, don't discard it!  The remedy is simple, consume a smaller portion next time in order to adjust the dosage downward.

In the meantime, there are things you can do to counter that uncomfortable too high feeling.  See this link for details.

About the author 

Cheri Sicard

Cheri Sicard is the editor of SeniorStoner.com, the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women (2015, Seal Press) and The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook (2012, Z-Dog Media). Her blog is www.CannabisCheri.com.

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