Figure 4: Different consumption methods will influence the cannabinoid and terpene levels that consumers ingest. Vaporization occurs at lower temperatures than combustion, and is less likely to cause further breakdown of THC into CBN or destroy terpenes. However, the cannabinoid and terpene content of vapor will vary with different vaporization temperatures. (Amy Phung/Leafly)
Things get tricky when we look at the “total THC” level, which is 21.35% here. Total THC is supposed to refer to how much THC will be present as a percentage of dry weight after the THCA has been converted into THC. On this example label, “total THC” is 21.35%. But wait, if we have 1.0% THC and 23.2% THCA, why isn’t total THC 24.2%? Shouldn’t we just add the THC and THCA percentage levels together, since THCA will get converted into THC? Nope. There are a couple things that make this tricky.
Figure 2: Example label of a cannabis flower product sold in Washington state (Platinum Cookies by Western Cultured). Notice the numbers listed under “Potency Analysis.” This product contains 23.2% THCA and 1.0% THC by dry weight. “Total THC” represents the total potential THC level of this product—the amount of THC present if all THCA is successfully converted into THC. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)
Second, the process of turning THCA into THC is not 100% efficient—not every THCA molecule will be converted into a THC molecule, and at very high temperatures, some of the THC may degrade into CBN. Our friends at Steep Hill Labs estimate that 75% is a representative upper limit for what fraction of THCA will end up as THC. In that case, for every four molecules of THCA that get heated during consumption, only three get successfully converted to THC.
Final THC levels depend on consumption method
“Heating of cannabis extracts at 200°C for five minute results in almost 100% decarboxylation of THCA to THC, without forming CBN.”
To better understand how different consumption methods affect decarboxylation rates and the final THC content in cannabis products, Leafly spoke with Rudolf Brenneisen, PhD. His lab at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, has extensively studied how decarboxylation rates and THC availability are influenced by different products (specifically, vaporizers) and routes of administration.
You want to know the theoretical maximum percent dry weight value for the THC content of your product. The same logic applies to CBD. If the product is labeled well, this value should appear as “total THC” or something similar, and should be calculated as follows:
THCA, THC, and decarboxylation
Let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can estimate THC levels in cannabis products (the same logic applies to CBD).
First, THC isn’t quite as heavy as THCA, so we need to account for that. This makes sense if you look at the chemical structures for THCA vs. THC (Figure 1). THC is just THCA after a piece gets chopped off. So, THC is lighter—it’s 87.7% of the molecular weight of THCA. That’s why total THC on the above label is 21.35% instead of 24.1%. When you see something like “Total THC” on a product label, they should be getting that number using a calculation that takes this into account (see Method 2 in Figure 3 below).
3 grams of hemp flower containing 17% CBD was used then the entire recipe contains 510 mg (3 X 170 mg = 510 mg).
If you used 3 grams of hemp flower in your chocolate chip cookies, the total dosage for entire recipe is 510 mg. If you want each cookie to have 20 mg of CBD, then divide your cookie dough into 25 balls of dough.
How ever you choose to calculate CBD dosage – with hemp flower or with CBD oil mixed with a carrier oil, the calculations follow the same pattern.
Spacing your CBD Dosage
Everyone is different so the reaction will be different, ’’and the speed of the reaction differs. After any dose, wait 3 to 4 hours ’’and increase the dose by 5 mg until you achieve the desired effects. If 30 mg is the correct dosage, then that is the amount to infuse in your morning coffee or your smoothie. Or if you are having an infused cup of coffee morning ’’and evening, split the amount into half. If you want to eat three cookies, then divide the cookie dough so that each cookie has 10 mg.
5 mg may be the exact amount needed to give a nice relax feeling which is the amount of CBD hemp in one brownie. The best way to experiment is to not eat another brownie for 1 to 2 hours so you do not get an over load.
1 gram of hemp flower containing 17% CBD used in the tea, the entire recipe would contain 170 mg so divide the amount into your tea bags of the dosage you want for each cup;
Calculate CBD Dosage – The Flower to Flour of it All
Let us presume that you have already decarboxylated your hemp flower ’’and ground it to a consistency of flour if you are using it to bake up some chocolate chip cookies.
John/Jill Doe weighs 180 pounds so 18 mg to 108 mg would be the dosage range but you can start lower than that if you prefer.
Oohhh. Ok cool! I feel stupid so thanks! (It’s my fault so no worries lol)? I’m not sure why I didn’t figure that out in my own haha
Take the percentage and add another zero to it and thats the total mg CBD content in a gram.
you just need to know the cbd content percentage in your flower. example, if you have 20% cbd strain, and you want to consume 20mg only, then you have to smoke or vape 100mg of flower. you need a scale that measures Miligrams.
If you don’t have a scale, I suggest just finding your ideal dosage by limiting it to the amount of hits or full bowls of a specific pipe you use.
Have to measure the bud in grams to estimate your dose of cbd. Example: a flower rated at 18% cbd means that 1 gram of the flower consists of 180 mg cbd.
Say you have a 10% strain so you have 100mg per 1g of bud. Then just measure it on a scale and roll it up or pack it in a vape.
I’ve never thought about it like this. I’ve wanted to make edibles but didn’t know how I would know the mg of cbd I was using. So simple I feel stupid for not knowing
As the title says, I see People measuring their doses in mg, but I use just flower for now. Is there a way to accurately(or only kinda guessing) how much cbd I’m using? If I make an oil infused with this, is that easier to figure out?