Calculating Dosage: How Much THC is in Your Cannabutter (or Cannaoil)?

Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol

In the beginning of Wake & Bake, a lot of the questions I in my inbox sounded like this:

I’ve got 10 grams of trim, an eighth of fire and some stems and leaves from my friend’s indoor grow, if I make a cup of cannabis coconut oil, what would be the right dosage for me to take?

I kid you not.I used to write these questions off. I’d tell them to try it themselves; to “start low and go slow.” On crankier days, my response emails had somewhat of a “how the fuck should I know” vibe.I’m sorry to share this sad sad news, but… there’s just no way for me to know what the potency of your cannabis is, what your tolerance is, what you’re taking it for, how medicated you want to be, etc… I just don’t have a superpower that allows me to gauge the THC level of your cannabis coconut oil is and see how the cannabinoid profile is going to personally affect you.

Becoming a THC Detective

But this dismissive attitude wasn’t helping anyone. I started thinking that if folks wanted to get a better idea of how much THC was in a teaspoon of their oil, I could start there.I started thinking about it, and I believe I’ve figured out a relatively simple way for folks to ballpark their homemade cannabis oil dosage. I shared it in the second edition of Wake & Bake: a cookbook, and I really wanted to get it out into the world because it’s fun for your brain.This method will help you get a better idea of how much THC is in your cannabis infused coconut oil, but it doesn’t scratch the surface of telling you what the overall cannabinoid profile looks like or how the oil will effect you. We tend to focus on THC, but other cannabinoids definitely contribute to how effective/potent your oil is and how it affects you. There are other factors that contribute to how potent your oil is (to you), but we’ll have to talk about all of that in another post. This one is already going to be a doozy.I’d just like to issue a quick disclaimer before we begin:

This post is  a rabbit hole. There’s a lot of guesstimating and conjecture involved. I’m not a medical professional and am not sharing this information as medical advice. I am not a marijuanamathmatician. Please consult your doctor for more information and to talk about the dosage and strains that would help treat your medical condition(s) if it is legal in your state. This post is for entertainment and information sharing purposes only. Cannabis oil can be much more potent than your calculations lead you to believe depending on your tolerance, body composition and even what you ate that day. Start low and go slow whenever consuming edibles. Never operate heavy machinery or make important life-altering decisions under the influence of cannabis. Keep out of reach of children, pets, and unstable adults. 

Luke’s Question: How Many Grams of Cannabis Per Cup?

Luke wrote in last week and our conversation inspired me to share the formula for finding the approximate amount of THC in a given “dose” of cannabis oil. He asked:

I was wondering… in the instructions it says use a cup or about 7 grams of herb to one cup of oil.  I have 14 grams of medical grade shake.  I was hoping to make 2 batches out of it following this recipe.  I notice that 7 grams of my shake might not be a whole cup.  That’s just from looking at it in the bag.  Do you think 7 grams exactly will be enough for a cup of oil assuming that there might not be a whole cup of herb, or should I reduce the amount of oil to keep it potent?  I’m hoping to be able to take teaspoon size doses each day.  I’m also a veteran smoker so I have a decent tolerance and also usually eat about a joint’s worth of avb everyday, which makes me feel quite nice in the mornings 😉

I suggested that Luke reduce the amount of oil to keep it potent. I think it’s a lot easier to add more regular oil to make it less potent than to add more infused oil to a recipe to increase the potency, especially when you’re trying to bake with cannabis.I’ve noticed that If I really pack a cup with trim/shake, I can fit up to 18 grams of cannabis in each cup. Luke had 14 grams and said that amount of his herb nearly filled a cup. In just a minute, we’ll come back to Luke’s story, but right now… to answer the question you’re all dying to know…

How Many Milligrams of THC in One Teaspoon of Oil?

When you buy an edible in a store, it will probably say something like “50 mg” or “100mg”. But what does that number mean and where does it come from? Can you figure it out for your homebaked edibles? Yes! Let’s do some motha-fn-math.1 gram cannabis = 1000mg dry weightOn average, many marijuana strains contain about 10% THC (that percentage is generally higher if you’re using buds as opposed to trim or shake).That would mean that out of 1000mg of dry weight, 100mg of that would be THC.Sounds easy, right? For every gram of cannabis you infuse into your oil, you’d get a 100mg edible. Right? Well cowboy, hold your horses. Some strains of marijuana are much higher than 10% THC, and could increase the THC content of your edible exponentially.This Skywalker OG = 20% THCMarijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol  This Maui = 12% THCMarijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol          This Mystery Nug = 10-23% THCMarijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol  So… If we bake a big cookie using 1 gram of Skywalker OG, it would be approximately 200mg.If we bake that same cookie using 1 gram of Maui, that cookie would be approximately 120mg.And if we bake that cookie using 1 gram of mystery nugget, that cookie could be anywhere from 100-210mg.

Simple! Right? Well…

To make matters more complicated, the purple erkle that we grow…Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol  Can have a completely different THC percentage than the one that you grow. It may even be a different THC percentage than the one right down the row…Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol  If you grow our own or know the strain of your herb, you can look up the THC percentage online.If you get your cannabis from a dispensary, you’ll know exactly how potent your strain is and can dose your baked goods accordingly by doing a teeny tiny bit of math.If you just don’t know wtf is in your bag, you’ll have to test it yourself before using in recipes. What a pity.