Whether you have a medicinal condition you want to try treating with cannabis, or you're wondering what all the fuss is about “getting high,” your first few experiences with marijuana will depend largely on proper dosing. For beginners, this can be especially challenging, as there are thousands of marijuana strains to choose from, a growing industry of cannabis-infused products, and potent concentrates that are fairly new to everyone.

How cannabis uniquely affects each person further confuses matters, but as cannabis prohibition across North America lifts we are seeing demands for dosing standardization from consumers and producers alike to help assure safe and reliable experiences. Until that time, we have a few tips for beginners on dosing marijuana flowers and products made with cannabis oil extracts. Just remember - the golden rule is to start low; you can always increase your dose (slowly!) in the future.

Smoking/Vaping

Inhaling smoke from marijuana produces an almost instant effect, and a daily dose of dried cannabis flowers for newbies typically ranges from between 0.25 to 1 grams to be used throughout the day. Being able to take a single puff from a weighed-out joint, bowl, or vape chamber and assessing how it makes you feel before taking another is the best way for someone new to cannabis to gauge its effectiveness and how much one needs.



Cannabis-Infused Edibles

Cannabis-infused food, drinks, and capsules are absorbed through the digestive tract and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect. It's commonly recommended that those new to marijuana start with low doses of 1-5 mg edibles until they can work up to a “standard” single dose of 10 mg edible. This becomes tricky as cannabis-infused products are refined to be more pleasant to the palette (you can't mindlessly munch on these medicinal treats) and consumers ignore recommendations to wait until feeling the full effect of their first dose before ingesting another one.

Tinctures/Sprays

Sublingual tinctures and sprays infused with cannabis oil work a bit faster than edibles, typically taking effect in about 15 to 45 minutes, and beginners should start with just a couple drops of a tincture and a single spray under the tongue. Some tincture droppers are marked with dosing lines to make measuring how much liquid to take easy, but the trick with these products is to let them absorb in your mouth rather than swallowing them right away.

General Considerations

1. Be aware of your alcohol use; according to a 2015 report from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, when one uses cannabis simultaneously with alcohol it produces much higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in one's blood. 


2. Consider whether you have an empty stomach or not; a full stomach can mean the difference between a cannabis dose kicking in quickly or being delayed as well as the effectiveness of the amount taken. 


3. High altitudes can affect one's reaction to cannabis; something new and experienced cannabis users alike should keep in mind.