Dosing Edibles The Right Way

Randy Robinson April 19, 2019 0 comments

Dosing edibles doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s a quick and simple way to measure.

Making edibles is as simple as cooking some cannabis in an oil then making something, anything, with the oil. But what if grandma can only handle 10 mg THC in each brownie? Basically, here’s a way to figure out dosing your edibles without getting a math degree first.

Making edibles can be fun, challenging, and incredibly messy. It can also be an easy process. Knowing how much THC ends up in each serving could mean the difference between getting a good night’s sleep or debating a call to ER.

To pull this off accurately, you need two things: (1) lab data for your cannabis, and (2) a digital scale.

anti nausea bud in muffin cup

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Step 1: Figure Out What You’re Dosing Edibles With

You need to jot down some numbers. Ensure these numbers are correct, because every calculation that comes after will depend on these initial values.

  • Record the THC value in your cannabis.
  • Record the weight of your cannabis (preferably in grams).

Likely, THC was reported as a percentage. Basically, to translate that to mg, take the percentage and multiply it by the total weight of the cannabis you’re planning to work with.

  • (% THC) x (weight of cannabis, mg) = mg THC present

For example, if you have 20% THC and 3 grams of cannabis, the calculation is:

  • (0.20) x (3000 mg THC) = 600 mg THC

Step 2: Correct the Dose

According to a Leafly interview with Kymron DeCesare, a chemist at Steep Hill Labs, you need to do a quick correction to account for the THC that’s actually available for your body to use and the THC you calculated purely by theory.

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  • Step 2: (mg THC present) x (0.88) = mg THC available

To do this, simply multiply mg THC by 0.88. So:

  • (600 mg THC) x (0.88) = 528 mg THC

dosing edibles candy

Step 3: Correct for Loss

Now, for the sad part. Basically, the process for extracting cannabinoids with butter or ghee leads to significant loss of plant compounds. Further, that loss can range from 40% to 70%, depending on what you’re cooking, and what oil or fat you’re using.

If you’d like an extremely conservative calculation, go with 70%. If you’re feeling confident about your extraction skills, go with 40%. To stay safe, let’s go with 70%.

  • (mg THC available) x (0.3) = mg THC extracted
  • (528 mg THC) x (0.3) = 158 mg THC

We multiplied by 0.3 (or 30%) because that’s how much we’re left with if we lost 70%.

So in our example, you’ll actually only end up infusing your whole dish with a total of 158 mg THC.

dosing edibles right perfect special brownies

Step 4: Divide by Servings

Further, with some idea of how much THC you’re working with, you can now estimate the amount of THC in each serving.

  • (mg THC extracted) / (# of servings)

Let’s assume you’re baking brownies. You plan to cut it into 9 equal pieces. That becomes:

  • (158 mg THC) / 9 = 17.56 mg THC

Yowza. That’s about 18 mg THC in each brownie, and we went with the conservative estimate! The average “recreational” serving should only have about 10 mg THC, nearly half of what we’re putting into our batch.

Step 5: Take a Risk

In reality, you can’t accurately calculate how much THC is going into your food with pen and paper alone. Too many variables affect the infusion process, so the only way to know for sure is to get your edibles lab tested. (unlikely in most areas.)

With 18 mg THC brownies, grandma may want to break each one in half. Or maybe she’s a weed veteran, and that’s the perfect amount – for her. Further, she might want to take each half a half hour, or hour, apart.

chocolate of all kinds cannabis dosing edibles

Calculation Scheme: For Reference

TLDR? Here’s a Dosing Edibles cheat-sheet for everything above.

  1.  First (% THC) x (weight of cannabis, mg) = mg THC present

  2. Second (mg THC present) x (0.88) = mg THC available

  3. Third (mg THC available) x (0.3) = mg THC extracted

  4. Fourth (mg THC extracted) / (# of servings)

In the end, the most important thing is to not be intimidated by the math. Further, you may not have to be so uber-accurate at dosing edibles if you are making special brownies for Friday night. Dosing calculations come into play when you are making your own medicine.

Overall, it’s worth the extra effort to get the painkilling dose that you need, instead of hoping this cookie does the trick. Best of luck in your edible journey!

Author avatar

Randy Robinson

As someone who wanted to know everything but couldn't decide on anything, Randy completed degrees in English, World History, and Molecular Biology. During their studies, they received an externship at the biotech firm Cannabis Science Inc., focusing on phytocannabinoids as anti-tumor and anti-cancer agents. Based in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado, you can find Randy on Twitter, Instagram, and Medium @RanDieselJay

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