As the saying goes, an excess of anything—even a good thing—can be bad. When it comes to weed, however, it can be difficult to tell how much is too much. For one, different people will have different reactions to the same strain due to things like physiology and even experience in using weed. In addition, different strains of cannabis have different concentrations of cannabinoids; some even have a combination of three or more. Unlike alcohol, there’s also no standard unit of measurement that defines a standard dose or serving of weed.
With these things in mind, here are some things you can factor in to determine how much weed you can reasonably and safely smoke daily:
How Much CBD or THC Is “Safe”?
As mentioned, there isn’t an exact figure as regards to a “safe” amount of CBD or THC. Some people who have been using weed for a long time may have a higher tolerance for cannabinoids; that said, a beginner may still be able to consume a large amount of cannabis if their body is able to metabolize it faster.
When it comes to science, THC has a standard unit of 5 mg. This helps researchers conduct more accurate studies and come up with more reliable conclusions. Nevertheless, there still isn’t a specific figure for a standard dose outside of research purposes.
Meanwhile, for the safety of their customers and fellow users, different cannabis product manufacturers and advocate groups have forwarded their own recommendations. For beginners, most recommend about 2.5 mg of THC; for the maximum serving or dosage, 40 mg of THC is the stopping point.
Do note that these numbers still aren’t exact when it comes to smoking. That’s because joints and other smokable forms of marijuana aren’t like the edibles that you can buy from your trusted marijuana dispensary. These products come labeled with their THC or CBD content in milligrams; meanwhile, even if joints are of the same length and circumference, they can still conceivably contain different concentrations of cannabinoids.
Can You Consume More Marijuana When You Smoke It?
Technically, you can consume more marijuana when you smoke it, whether you use a joint, a bong, or a vape pen. This is because you lose a significant amount of cannabinoids through the smoke or vapor. Depending on the smoking method, you can lose anywhere from 45 up to more than 60 percent of the cannabinoids contained in the weed. That said, the effects are more instantaneous.
This is, of course, in direct opposition to edibles. If a package says one piece of gummy candy contains 2.5 mg of THC, you can expect to get that exact amount. However, it will take much longer to feel the effects, which are also often much stronger and last longer. Considering different factors, it can take up to 2 hours for a user to notice the effects of marijuana edibles.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that homemade edibles are more unpredictable. Even if they follow a recipe, it’s difficult to account for things like different equipment, cooking times, and temperature.
Can You Calculate How Much THC or CBD You’re Getting When You Smoke?
All of the above don’t mean that you can’t measure how much THC or CBD you’re getting when you smoke a joint, however. One of the first things you have to do is check the label or packaging to see the dosage. Even if you experience THC or CBD loss when smoking marijuana, having a general idea of how big of a dose you’re getting can help you avoid overdosing.
Then, account for the CBD or THC loss mentioned above. You lose less when you vape and more when you smoke, by nature of the heating method. Vaping might result in about a 45 percent loss, while smoking a joint can result in up to around 60 to 63 percent loss.
How Do I Avoid the Unpleasant Consequences of a Marijuana Overdose?
While it’s rare for someone to die directly from a marijuana overdose, you can consume too much of it to result in unpleasant side effects. These include things like hallucinations, incoherence, and an abnormally fast heartbeat. To avoid such consequences when smoking weed, here are some reminders:
- Buy your cannabis only from reputable sources. This way, you can be sure that what you’re buying is of good quality and not mixed with other substances.
- Don’t use cannabis with alcohol and other substances.
- Pace yourself. Knowing that you’re losing CBD or THC when you smoke marijuana doesn’t mean that you should smoke faster to get “more” out of the product. Doing this can prevent you from fully enjoying the experience; smoking too fast can also irritate your nasal passages and throat.
- When in doubt, go for a lower dose. Even if you’ve historically consumed a higher amount of cannabis before, it’s best to err on the side of caution. This is particularly true when you’re trying out a new strain.
In conclusion, there’s no way as of now to determine a single amount or serving size of weed that’s “safe” for everyone. The experience varies greatly from person to person, so it all boils down to your personal responsibility. If you need more information or want any clarifications, don’t be shy about asking a nearby dispensary or a long-time marijuana user.