According to experts in cannabis wellness, there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. Dose might be the most important factor.
While it almost physically impossible to ingest a lethal dose of cannabis, consuming too much THC can lead to unpleasant side effects like paranoia, drowsiness or impaired movement. To decrease your chances of adverse side effects, use Jointly to find your minimum effective dose.
Jointly is a cannabis wellness platform that helps you achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. When you report your cannabis consumption on Jointly, you can track precise doses across different ingestion methods to determine how different doses affect you.
Our data indicates that Jointly works best when you report at least 10 cannabis sessions. If you only fill out a few reports and then stop, you won’t have enough data to start to see trends and improve how you consume cannabis.
Your minimum effective dose may be different for different goals—and it might be smaller than you expect.
For example, a 2017 study looking at how cannabis affected people subjected to a psychosocial stress task found that 7.5mg of THC appears to decrease anxiety, but 12.5mg produced a small but significant increase in anxiety. For most people, low doses of THC are likely to produce better results.
For focus and create, the minimum effective dose may even be a microdose. Research conducted in the 1970s found that 3mg of THC improved divergent thinking—a measure of your ability to brainstorm—while 6mg of THC impaired divergent thinking.
A recent paper published in 2019 argued that a single dose of cannabis should be standardized at 5mg of THC. However, determining a standardized dose of THC is complicated by the reality that different ingestion methods have different pharmacokinetics (PK).
PK refers to the way a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted from the body. For example, when you orally ingest cannabis, you can have levels of 11-OH-THC (pronounced 11-hydroxy-THC) that are ten times higher than if you smoke or vape cannabis.
11-OH-THC is the active metabolite of THC, and it is much more psychoactive than THC.
There is also a large degree of variability in how people respond to a dose of oral THC. As a result, creating an exact equivalence between a dose of THC in an inhaled product versus in an edible is “extremely difficult.”
The Colorado Department of Revenue tried to figure it out. They suggested that 1mg of THC in an edible produces a behavioral effect similar to 5.71mg of smokable THC.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. Typical recreational doses of CBD range from 5mg to 500mg. However, scientific studies on CBD typically use much higher doses than recreational consumers take.
The average dose studied is 750mg per day. Research suggests that doses up to 1500mg per day are well tolerated in healthy humans over the long term. Many people feel that pairing THC with CBD allows for a more mellow psychoactive experience and less adverse side effects. As a result, when cannabis users accidentally ingest too much THC, they often take CBD to balance the experience.
In general, you want to avoid consuming doses outside of your “therapeutic window” to decrease your chances of adverse side effects.
According to Dr. Dustin Sulak, the “therapeutic window” is the range between your lowest effective dose and the dose at which you experience unwanted side effects. People who are new to cannabis typically have a narrow “therapeutic window,” whereas seasoned cannabis users will have some degree of tolerance that allows them to have a wider “therapeutic window.”
Microdosing is the best way to find your minimum effective dose. The idea behind microdosing is that you start with a very low dose, wait until it takes effect, and then add subsequent microdoses as needed until you achieve the desired effect.
Finding your ideal dose is easier than ever. Cannabis products are lab tested and accurately labelled. New dose-focused delivery methods are popping up on the market. But everyone is different.
To find your ideal cannabis dose, use Jointly to record how different doses of cannabis affect you. Jointly can help you find the minimum effective dose for each of your wellness goals. Remember: start small, determine the potency, and add more as needed. If you find that your minimum effective dose is no longer producing the same effects it once did, you can increase your dose or wait longer between cannabis sessions.
Jointly is a cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and match with the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences of hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.
With Jointly, match with top-rated products, and build lists of your favorites to save, share, and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.
Jointly also helps you track your cannabis experiences through reflections that help you understand what’s working, and what’s not. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your experiences.