THC Dosage Fundamentals: How to Find Your Proper Dose

January 21, 2022

By Anna Rivera 

When you start using cannabis as medicine, tracking your dosage is very important. You will be able to gauge how much cannabis your body needs and how often you need to take it to feel improvement.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to figuring out your ideal dosage. There is a trial & error process that occurs before you find a dose that works with your system. This is due to body individuality and the Endocannabinoid System has the most influence when it comes to cannabis dosing.

Some other factors to determine the correct dose include:

  • Sensitivity to cannabinoids
  • The severity of the condition you’re trying to address with cannabis
  • Your biology and how it interacts with cannabis
  • Body Weight
  • Metabolism 


A way to determine your ideal dose is called the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ and it stems from an ongoing trial & error process. According to Leafly, your Goldilocks Zone is related to homeostasis (a consistently stable internal condition): “…the best way to understand homeostasis is to think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The classic fairy tale illustrates the idea that the best outcome often lies somewhere in the middle, between two extremes. We don’t want things too hot or too cold, but just right.”


Dosing with any therapeutic is not similar to dosing with pharmaceuticals, at least not yet. There is still more scientific research being conducted and outcomes vary because every single person reacts to THC differently. This will determine their effect on cannabinoids, which is why it’s important to take your time and a measured approach to dosing.

Here are some factors to consider:


    • A person’s tolerance is their reaction to the use of THC, and their need to progressively increase their dosage to achieve a desired effect.

    • Not all tolerance is the same because various parts of the brain and tissues develop tolerance at different rates.

    • With that being said, your THC tolerance window can increase over time. This is the range in dosing that offers symptom relief without drastic side effects. This is why it’s important to start low and go slow; it allows you to gauge your ideal therapeutic range without getting discouraged due to under or over consumption. 

Related article: Marijuana Tolerance, Withdrawal Symptoms, and 5 Tips to Take a T-Break - Monroe Blvd


    • The more you consume to reach a desired high, the more cannabis products you’ll need to purchase. These transactions can add up quickly, especially when buying from dispensaries. It is suggested to stick with strains that satisfy you and learning about their lineage will help you understand why they work well with your system.


    • If you’re consuming cannabis for symptom management, you’ll need to dose consistently to properly help you feel better. Learning how to split a certain amount of milligrams throughout the day will help you closely monitor your consumption and your pockets. 


    • Overconsumption is very common, especially with edibles. The reason for this is because THC converts to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a smaller molecule that is absorbed in the liver, rather than the lungs. This process makes THC much more potent, more intense, and can take up to two hours to take full effect.

Related Article: Marijuana Edibles for the First Time

What if you got too high? Like, TOO HIGH!

When you smoke too much cannabis, it is called ‘greenout’ and you may experience nausea, dizziness, or even vomiting. The best thing to do is to remain calm! You won’t die from too much THC.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in this situation, try the following anecdotes:

  • Take a shot of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice: Researchers say it can be due to the contribution of limonene, a common terpene found in citrus fruits that has anti-anxiety effects.
  • Chew on peppercorns then spit them out: Researchers advise this is due to the release of caryophyllene, a common terpene that has calming effects
  • Engage in deep breathing: This technique helps to calm the central nervous system
  • Place yourself in a tranquil environment: It’s advised to watch tv, listen to music, or even take a nap
  • Don't freak out: Please don’t call for medics to save you. Give your body the chance to process the high. It will go away, guaranteed!

Related Article: Marijuana and Anxiety - Tips and Tricks To Overcome Your Paranoia While You're High

Depending on your ingestion method and/or dose, you can start to feel relief within 1 to 24 hours.

The main rule in consumption is to “Start Low, Go Slow”! It is best to slowly increase your dose and track your consumption so you are aware of what does and doesn’t work for you. 

Are you a cannabis newbie? 

The best thing you can do is to be aware of the amount of cannabis your body can handle, no matter what consumption method you use.

Here are some tips that can help you make better informed decisions:


  • Establish an initial dose. Consider the following factors:

      • How potent is the cannabis product? Ensure to read labels and ask questions if the milligrams/potency aren’t clear on the package.
      • Ingestion method – ex: a full stomach can influence onset and duration (with edibles) 
      • Drug interactions – if you’re taking prescriptions/supplements, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner about wanting to add cannabis to your health regimen.
      •  Contemplate these general dosing recommendations:
        • Inhalation – Take 1 puff, roughly 1 second long & gradually increase by 1 puff
        • Consumption – 2.5mg-5mg and gradually increase by 2.5mg

    Related Article: First Time Smoking Weed

    Are you struggling trying to find the right does? 

    As previously mentioned, finding the right dose is a trial & error process, so the best way to use cannabis is to start low and go slow. Tracking your dosing activity is key to helping you keep track of your consumption. People typically use sticky notes, a journal, apps, or a simple cannabis dose tracker worksheet.

    Monitoring your cannabis intake is also a great way to learn about titrating, which is the concept of continuously adjusting your dosage as needed. 

    There are 3 general dosing ranges to keep in mind when you’re ready to consume:

    • Microdosing (taking small amounts of a substance): About 1mg-20mg of cannabinoids per day
    • Standard Dosing: About 10mg-100mg cannabinoids per day
    • Macrodosing (also called heroic dosing): About 50mg-800mg
    • Very extreme dosing and not recommended to take without consulting with a trained professional 

    What if the initial dosing doesn't work?

    Here are some recommendations to follow in the event the dosage you begin with doesn’t provide the desired effect:

    • You can split your daily doses throughout the day.
      Ex: instead of consuming 15 mg twice (total of 30 mg), try taking 10 mg three times
    • If the dose is too high, you can decrease it and also split it if necessary
    • Change the ingestion method or product 


    Determining your ideal dosage is a time consuming process that will allow you to figure out what THC quantities are suitable for your condition and your body’s tolerance levels.

    Take your time trying out ingestion methods, various THC products and documenting the process so you can reference what worked best for you. Keeping a record to track your dosing is ideal in helping you determine how you want to proceed implementing THC in your wellness routine.

    If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share with us!


    Anna Rivera is a cannabis content writer and founder of Green Annalist, which offers quality hemp botanicals and cannabis wellness coaching services.

    She is also an advocate for social equity and is also fighting to clarify the stigma attached to cannabis via educational content.