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Science & tech

Dosing homemade cannabis edibles: Why it’s nearly impossible to calculate potency

April 10, 2016

Leafly turned March Madness into an excuse to determine the best cannabis-infused brownie of all time. Eight recipes were pitted against each other in our Pot Brownie Bracketology project, and ultimately a winner was crowned (seriously, you must make these brownies).

In our competition, each brownie recipe called for varying amounts of cannabutter, cannaoil, or in one case, ground, raw cannabis flower (bold move, Batali), so once the brownies were baked, we set out to calculate the potency of each batch. This, it turns out, is easier in theory than in practice.


Pot Brownie Bracketology: The Search for the Best Cannabis Brownie Recipe Ever

Why Our Cannabutter Potency Calculations Were Wrong

Our initial thought process was this: first, determine the potency of the flower that will be used in creating the cannabutter or cannaoil. We used three different strains, each with a different level of THC, so we averaged the three to get an estimated average potency for all of the flower combined: in our case, 18.9%. That percentage represents the proportion of the cannabis’s dry weight that is THC, so we multiplied by our total cannabis dry weight and converted from grams to milligrams to get the the total amount of THC available to be extracted into the cannabutter.

Since we used six cups of butter, we divided this number by six to get (we thought) the average milligrams of THC per cup of cannabutter. Based on how much cannabutter was in each brownie recipe, we then divided this by the number of brownies each batch yielded to determine the final serving size – and knew there had to be a mistake. According to our calculations, each cup of our cannabutter should have had 2,646mg of THC, so a batch of brownies that called for one cup of cannabutter in the recipe and was cut into 12 pieces would theoretically have had over 220mg of THC per brownie. Our strongest batch should have clocked in at a whopping 400mg per brownie – 40 times the recommended recreational dose.

We immediately panicked – had we just made brownies with up to 40 times the recommended recreational dosage of THC? This seemed impossible given that our 1oz-to-1lb ratio of cannabis flower to butter is standard across several leading industry publications. So we got in touch with Dr. Kymron deCesare, chief research officer at comprehensive cannabis testing facility Steep Hill Labs, to figure out what was going on. We were very relieved to find that our calculations were inaccurate.


Recipe: How to make basic cannabis-infused butter

Factors That Influence Cannabis Extraction

“This is a very tough and complicated conversation,” says deCesare. “The reason is because you are mixing apples and oranges in your procedures, each one contributing an error. Once you multiply all the potential errors together, it’s very difficult to figure out which errors become the major contributors to your issues.” In particular, she notes that “because of the excessive amount of time required to extract, we normally see a lot of damage done to the primary drugs of interest,” including THC, CBD and various terpenes.

DeCesare explains that due to the difficulty of getting an accurate analysis, licensed edibles producers generally test at multiple stages. First, they test the cannabis flowers to be used in the production run. This initial analysis provides an estimate of how much of each cannabinoid and terpene is available for extraction. Subsequent testing of the extract determines how effective the extraction process actually was. Finally, testing of the spent plant matter post-extraction confirms the amount of cannabinoids and terpenoids left behind. Home bakers, however, lack the resources to pursue these types of analyses.


Recipe: How to make cannabis cooking oil

So what is lost in the extraction and baking process that kept us from Dowding out on our theoretically 400-plus milligram edibles? For one thing, a given amount of THCA (the non-intoxicating acid broken down during the heating, or decarboxylation, process to yield the familiar psychoactive THC) does not convert to an equivalent amount of THC: rather, the conversion rate is 0.88. While many producers will do this conversion for you and note the potential amount of THC in a given strain on the packaging, some denote only the percentage of THCA present, which adds an extra step to the calculations.

Then there’s the inefficiency of butter and oil extraction. “For clients that normally extract into dairy butterfat, they discover they only extracted between 40 and 60 percent of the cannabinoids and terpenoids,” explains deCesare. Lena Davidson of Botanica, one of Washington state’s largest edibles producers, puts the estimate even lower, at close to 30 percent. Davidson adds that certain oils are even less effective at extraction: in general, butter and coconut oil are the most ideal extractors, while others like canola and vegetable oil retain even fewer cannabinoids.

Overall, “the only way to know for sure [how potent your homemade edible is] would be to have the butter analyzed so you know exactly how much THC is in it,” says deCesare. Davidson argues that even this testing has yielded inaccurate results for Botanica in the past. “We learned really early on that we couldn’t rely on a butter potency test,” she says, “and it was really painful to discover that.” Botanica has since shifted to testing individual products from every batch.


What Is THCA & What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

Tips for Reducing Variation in Edibles Dosing

The difficulty of accurately determining edibles’ potency is staggering even on a professional scale, so it’s no surprise that accurately dosing your own edibles at home is all but impossible. That said, the following are some best practices that can help hobby bakers minimize the inevitable variance in the potency of their homemade edibles.

  • Check the label before you extract. Some producers note THC on flower packaging, while others note THCA. If you see a THCA percentage, use the 0.88 conversion rate to determine potential THC.
  • Portion cannabutter vertically. “Gravity impacts everything,” says Davidson, “and each cannabinoid has a different molecular weight, so they will settle in different places.” Butter from the bottom of the batch will be different than butter from the top, so don’t scoop straight off the top.
  • Measure carefully. Don’t plop a big spoonful of cannabutter into the batter – get out the measuring cups, and fill and level them precisely.
  • Stir well. DeCesare says that “unless you quantitatively measured out consistent [cannabutter] portions into each and every brownie…you have another contributing error in the final product.” The next best thing is to stir until you’re positive the batter is perfectly homogenous – and then stir some more.
  • Portion uniformly. Don’t attack the brownie pan with a fork; cut into equal pieces (using a ruler can help). Cookies are even harder; use a kitchen scale to weigh out equal portions of dough.
  • Plan on variation. Below, deCesare shares a hypothetical example to help home bakers estimate the potency of their edibles. When in doubt, assume that the maximum amount of THC made it into your final product; you can always eat more if you find you were wrong.


Cannabis-Infused Edibles 101: What to Know About Dosing, Potency, and Labeling

Example of Edible Potency Calculation

  1. I have 100g of top-shelf Sour Diesel. I know that top shelf is always approximately 20%, or 200mg THCA per 1g of flower. 200mg x 100 = 20,000mg THCA.
  2. The conversation from THCA to THC is 0.88. 20,000mg x 0.88 = 17,600mg maximum THC available to be extracted.
  3. Under ideal conditions, you get a 60% efficiency of extraction in dairy butter, so 17,600mg x 0.6 = 10,560mg maximum THC likely to be extracted.
  4. If my targeted dosage is 200mg per brownie, then 10,560mg / 200 = 53 brownies containing 200mg each. This is the maximum those brownies will have; they could have a whole lot less depending on cumulative errors.

Have you ever had a hard time estimating the potency of your homemade edibles? Share your story in the comments!

Next up: Learn how to store homemade edibles in Part 5 of our cannabis cooking series!

Image source: Sara Dilley, with special thanks to X-Tracted Laboratories

Brett Konen's Bio Image

Brett Konen

Brett is a former editor at Leafly who loves travel, craft cocktails, and shining a spotlight on unique lifestyle trends.

View Brett Konen's articles

5 part series

  • Patricia L. Colvin

    Brain. Exploded. Trying to figure out how strong these brownies are with 12.1 percent CBD 3.5 grand if flower with 9 X 9 pan 1″ brownies, 81 brownies…..and . My brain just went poof! I seriously forgot this stuff in high school on purpose. Then I married a guy who is Aspergers and does this crap for fun and now he is spouting numbers at me gleefully while I writhe in pain and have PTSD flashbacks from high school Algebra class. Dude, I’m just trying to help his Mom’s Parkinsons and not have her see things. She did so well before, but she was seeing a little dog sitting by my chair. Kinda scary, that. Could be the meds for the disease, could be interactions with the brownie, she could just be officially nuts. All three cause that. But she was not in pain for the first time in months and quite happy without feeling stoned, so I won’t complain.

    • Diabolik Lord

      So… Did you get the brownies right? Did she feel pain? I ask cause my mom is a pain in my ass, I wonder if the brownies will help me lol

      • Silvie F


      • Patricia L. Colvin

        She died back in April 2017. She did.get some reluef, but we took her to the mj store here in WA bc there was so.excited consistency in dosage that way. That, and she started saying we were trying to kill her and made accusations, so we just waited, and the next time her meds started causing g bad symptoms she would call us on the phone and been us to get her some weed. So when we visited, we would take her to purchase her own and try to guide her toward CBD and not THC. We don’t use marijuana, so it was all new for us, too. Her… doctor (representative for the drug companies, I mean) finally wrote a prescription for marijuana literally one day before she died. Before that he was telling her it would react w her Parkinsons meds and she could die. So when her Parkinsons meds had run their course and we’re not longer effective and there was nothing they could do for her THEN he wrote a prescription. Before that, the caregiver wasn’t allowed to be involved in the mj at all and was risking federal charges. At the end, the carb levo dopa CAUSED her to shake. Violently. We’re talking grand make seizure flop all over the room. The emt’s at first thought the caregiver had been abusing her bc her whole.body was.covered in bruises. That kind of shaking. 24/7. Weed brought relief from that for a while to some degree, but at the end, the meds had done their damage. She mercifully died when her heart stopped.

        Advocate for weed, folks. Educate. Big Pharmaceuticals is trying to get their hands on it and they will find it up just lie they did the rest of our healthcare. I don’t believe it’s the cure all, but it definitely helps a lot of things and the government is run by money at people’s lives expense.

        • Crystal Frazier

          I 100% agree. At 26 years old I was prescribed a non-habit forming pain pill called Ultram. A week later I was suddenly jerking about looking as if I was seizing but completely aware of the pain and everyone around me. I could talk but stuttered. The ER docs kept saying I was having a drug over dose. FYI not easy to pee in a cup when u have no control of you extremities. When I tested negative for all drugs (Well duh I told them I didnt do drugs pfft) they sedated me and told me to follow up with my primary. Long story short the handful of Neurologist that I have seen over the 7 year course of this movement disorder all seem to only be able to agree on the fact they believe the sudden onset of what they now believe to be Parkinson’s was caused by Ultram. At 35 years old they still do not know exactly what it is except it’s not a seizure more of a dystonia. I’m currently taking the Carb-Levo-Dopa. As well as using ThC and CBD

          • Chris Glazier

            Ultraman really sucks. Uses same receptors but is not an opiate. My dr swore by the stuff and told me it was not addictive. wrong. I spent some time in jail and they cut me off them because of their supposed opiate like use. I shook and kicked the bed and shivered horribly. Then they even started testing me for cannabis while on it since it was considered opiate like. I was pissed. They weren’t helping and it was the only painkilling drug my dr would approve of. Worthless and dangerous I believe. They make me feel sickly.

          • Der Schultzie Panzertough

            Sorry about your illness. I was going through depression years ago. I talked to a doc about it and he sent me to a psychiatrist. He asked whats it all about. I told him. He said, why dont you be like all the other people and just do what your supposed to do, even if you dont like it. I said….If we all acted like that we would be robots and what kind of life would that be for persons like you. He looked at me funny and said….I have more than 20 anti depressants……what one you want? He started naming them. I said……Marijuana will be legal in 6 months….prescribe me a ounce. That otta last me a year. He looked at me funny and said….why would you say something like that. I said….cos I can tell the future. He laughed….and asked me what I wanted….I said….nothing….I will wait till its legal. Six months later medical marijuana law passed. I saw him again. He said….you are here only to get what you asked for. I said….Yup….told you so. He said…sorry, I cant, its till illegal in the feds eyes. I walked out and said….sucks to be you.

        • Der Schultzie Panzertough

          That was awesome Patricia. Sorry about your mom. My mom is 89 and has dementia. She is prescription free. However, she has bad moods and starts to throw things. Like her walker at ya. Or what ever she can get. For a year we dealt with hiding things or keeping small things out of her reach. We moved her car to another location in case. Her tantrums about driving yesterday and just got here are annoying as heck. We talked to dozens of people. Even her doc. We didnt tell about the fits. But asked about the meds for dementia or altimers. He said, shes on cruise control. Just feed her and go along with it. The new meds havent been tested and might cause her internal damages in time. So, 2 months ago I talked to a person who cares for elderly people. She said try brownies. So we did. We bought 10 to see if they work. Half first time. Just a little so we gave her the rest and it was a relief. She picked up the new paper and started laughing and the people over there (that really are not there) werent there anymore. She laughed at things on TV, smiled and actually was hungry. So we made some breakfast. She loves bacon eggs hash browns and toast. Though its very small portions….its better than not wanting to eat. Or sure I will take a piece of toast. I agree…..the big drug companies are probably those who were exporting them into USA illegally. Now there is a big demand for cocaine and heroine derivatives for pain meds they have them grown where ever and brought here “Legally” ha ha….blue collar, white collar…what ever collar….so the doctors are the drug pushers of America and the ones on the street are far out of sight and hardly ever heard of. Nothing like the 80s. Marijuana is slowly coming out of the closet and I am sure….since our Constitution was written on weed paper…aka hemp paper, Im pretty sure all them presidents and others were pretty stoned when they signed it at some big pot party. lol. emphasis added. But ya, we ran out and boy did I give my wifey some words when I asked…..hey, moms a little edgy….can you go get one. She said….we ran out. Gurrrrrrrrr. So I smoked some weed in the camper and made sure she got a few wifs. Like a big cloud or two….Yup…she mellowed out right away. Anyway. good job on you.

          And for the rest of you voters…..I thank you so much for going out to vote on our `109 year war against the fiber companies. OOps….the government and making Marijuana legal in some states. Oregon has several 100 acre crops going good. That is for CBD oil. So its said. THe THC level is .003. But if it wasnt for the voters…..we would not have it so much better. No more hiding around the back of a building for a puff….no more Bush hiding for another puff. You can go in your back yard and puff puff the magick dragon and not have to worry about Johnny law.

          When its voting time….I dont care who you vote for or even if you vote for the people. What matters is if a Marijuana issue is up and it needs your back……Marijane’s got your back after you mark that spot and shove it in a mail box or where ever it goes. Then you stand back….and watch it work.

          I supported the I502….there was another arguing it…..they even got hostile to me at the Hempfest. Demanding what is so good about my I502…..I said….If we get our foot in the door…..what you dont like about it….you can work on that to make it better. The face turned calm….and walked away.

          Keep up the good work people. Keep it up

    • Anne Marie Greymoon

      Hey…maybe she’s psychic as well as having Parkinson’s!
      …not judging…if it’s helping, all cool! 🙂

    • Controlled_Ascent

      Great story.

    • Chris Glazier

      There has been an add on tv that Parkinson’s and some other patients experience visual and auditory hallucinations. Could be the disease. 81 brownies from an eighth seems like it’s very weak to begin with.

  • Well and I could add another layer of complexity to the equation, I’m not only a do it yourself baker I’m a do it yourself grower, harvester and curer as well. And I didn’t properly label my jars so I don’t know what on earth I’m cooking with or how strong it will be. One thing I have learned is that for me personally, it takes much less to get high through edibles than it does through smoking. I just put baked pot in nutella and I believe with trial and error I’ll be able to ‘eye ball it’ because that way I can actually see how much raw material is in the nutella. Also, if it’s too strong it can be diluted easily. Every new batch is like cannabis roulette. I’m learning the discipline to start slowly each time I accidentally blast my face into another dimension. This was even more dangerous when I was making ethanol extractions. I accidentally stirred what was left on the spoon into my eggs one morning and I will NEVER forget that day.

    • Bob Skilnik

      I agree. I mix it all up then hold on. Maureen Dowd’s coming over next week. I’ve got something special for her.

    • aurora hall

      I need more details on “that day”.

  • Daniel Porsch

    since I’m brain dead i just got the magic butter machine. i have 1/4 oz bags so can someone break it down from there. weed is sativa about 15%thc

    • Mike Oconnell

      love the MB, still learning

  • Mitch Mandell

    I found this thc calculator that really helps. It does the math for you. It’s not overly complicated but it is accurate.

  • DedBob

    So lets say you have a oz of 20% thc flower, you grind it and use only the kief so hypothetically you get say 5grams of kief, now you use the kief in coconut oil with the calculations which are used for flower. I don’t understand how this can be correct. so 5 grams of kief is 10000mg at the 20% thc. so if i put that into 100ml of coconut oil, i will have 100mg per ml. The same can be said for concentrates, shatter / wax etc… how can the same gram have only the same level of thc? please help me understand this….. TIA

    • Brian

      You’re talking about one oz in your formula. He is talking about roughly 3.5 ozs in his. One oz of 20% could have a max of 5,600mg. So if you literally knocked off all the trichs and got 5g of thc “kief” then that 5g’s would be 5,600mg not 10,000.

  • Para Salin

    Is there a lab out there, somewhere, that I can send a sample, that will test and report potency to me?

  • Bob Paul

    you can get around this by just simply pre-decarbing your ground flower. i broil it on foil for 2min in the toaster oven. then mix it right in your dough. i like to use peanut butter pillsbury dough off the shelf. measure heaping tablespoons for each cookie so you wont taste it at all. portion out then combine all the dough, roll it out, and even scatter the pre-carbed, ground cannaflour, press it in gently, then knead well to mix, then re-portion. each pkg of dough will make 10 cookies at that size.

    • SRMCON

      That’s a good recipe and simple. That is how I also ‘decarb’ my herb. Do you think it’s 100% efficient turning THCA to THC? or 88% like cooking in oil for an extended time? I decarb at 220F for 30-45 (depends on strain and moisture content) minutes in an oven. I’d be careful of using a toaster, since the temp might be above 250F and cause you to lose some of your THC as it’s vaped off. With this method you also don’t have the 60% efficiency loss to oil extraction, since the whole flower is ingested. more bang for the buck. Good job!

  • Infinity Sewell

    I need help I have 28g of tree I need to know if I use 2 cups of butter and 7g of tree and my recipe calls for 1/2 cups of butter how much should I put in of the cannabisbutter if I want only 10% THC and how much would each dose be of 12 brownies or 24 brownies

  • chantal leach

    hi . I have just purchased the cannabis oil instead of the dried flower and would like to use it in edibles is there a conversion for the premade oil or should I just start to pour it into batters ? please help if you can .

  • paul w

    I made some pot brownies the other day and I can’t believe the amount of pot people are putting into their butter .I started by measuring the amount of bud I use in my vaporizer about a .25 of a gram and that is all I need at a time.So for every gram I can get medicated 4 times. I put 5 grams into a 1.5 lb butter for 6 hours and made a pan of brownies that I divided into 16 squares. We found that half a square at a time is a very nice place to be.

    • Controlled_Ascent

      Yeah, I agree with that.

  • Jedediah R. Smith

    I realize there are a lot of experienced users on this page that might think a targeted dose of 200 mg per brownie is fine. But the article references the recommended recreational dose of 10 mg. Why are you using a targeted dose more than 20 times that in the potency extraction example? There seems to be quite a range in dosage out there. Anyone coming across this page for the first time or new users should be cautioned that a 200 mg brownie is far too potent for a casual user.

    • Tan Lapley

      Thanks Jed. I was thinking 100g to make 53 brownies is whacky.

      I have just started cooking my bud and after reading a few articles on this site… I got lots of questions.

      So i have made 3 batches of cookies. I did not decarboxylase the bud first but instead ground it up fine. Added it to my dry ingredients and cooked for 40 min at 300. The recipie i created did not have egg and used 2 cups of butter and 2 cups of canola oil. I also used 15g of pretty good bud. Probably close to 20%. I rolled the cookies in wax paper to make the cylinder as uniform as possible. I then used a ruler to make 29 lines at 10mm apart.

      A buddy at work explained what he does to make butter. He also mentioned that concerting it to butter wasted a bit.

      The batches which i cooked for 40 min seemed better then the 30m batches.

      I want to continue to grind the bud up and cook with it. Combined with brown sugar and corriander, bud tastes great.

      What do you suggest for decarboxylase before hand? Will it make more potent cookies? Am i decarboxylasing already?

      Last night i took 10g and ground up. Put on a cookie sheet and started to cook it at 200F. But after 20 min it got really smelly (alot alot more then when i make cookies for 40 min) and we were concerned it would affect the kids.

      What do you guys and gals think? Any pointers?

  • Chr

    It is not correct that good weed has 20% THC in it. It is much much less. When you see the specified THC content is 20%, that dosen’t mean that 20% of the weight is THC, it means that 20% of the cannabinoids in the weed is THC. But the total weight of cannabinoids is probably max. 15-25% of the total weight, and 20% of that is then THC…. so that brings the total amount of THC down to maybe 4-5% of the total weight, but here I’m guessing, because nobody ever specifies the total amount of cannabinoids. Also it depends on how dry the weed is. There is a big difference in weed with 50% RH or 65% RH. So it is really almost impossible to calculate THC content unless you have access to chemical analysis.

    So all the math here is simply plain wrong, sorry to say 🙂

    I don’t know how you should calculate exactly, because there is no information on the THC content related to weight. What I usually do, is to estimate how much is needed if smoked or vaped and then use that amount for the cooking. This is plenty enough.

    So lets say you need 0,5g pr person, there are 5 persons, then you put in 2,5 g in the food. If you extract, you must make an estimate on how efficient your extraction mentod is. I make tincture on 99% alcohol and assume I get almost 100%, but that could be different from method to method.So if you only are able to extract 50%, you will need to use 5g in above example. It is simply not possible to be more precise than this with the information given on the seeds/weed that are sold out there.

    When that is said, beware…eating can be much more effective than smoking because you get everything, nothing vanishes in the sky like with a joint, where maybe 50% goes up in the air.

    • frosticus

      this doesnt sound right. Good weed is ~20%. THC measurement is by % of total weight. Not percent of available cannabinoids. maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think so.

    • SRMCON

      dude, what planet are you living on? Most of the top shelf weed is around 20% THC by weight, after drying and curing. If you buy in a reputable shop that has everything tested you have a good starting point. I grow my own and know the strain, so if the plants are grown with max yield and with the right nutrients you will get a pretty consistent THC %. As the author states, the whole process is full of inaccuracies that are cumulative through the process. Converting THCA to THC is only 88% efficient, and the extraction is only 60% efficient. So if have 1g of your dried bud which comes in at 20% THC(A), then you would end up with 106 mg THC after using the above butter method.

      Personally I did a lot of experimenting with store-bought edibles to find my ideal amount. I’m not a hard core user, so 20mg will get me a nice high and 40-45 will give me a heavy high. But I have smaller friends that get ripped with just 10mg, so each individual really needs to do their own testing.

  • Suzanne Pyne

    If I bought the THC oil from a store. 1 ml = 488mg THC. How many brownie mixes would need I need to use? I would make my own butter but my housemate doesn’t like it.

  • Lynne Hipgrave

    Just grew my own and got a cup of tops, i want cbd oil, if there thc in it I don’t care, is it the same double boiler method ? Or do I need to extract with alcohol, another method I’ve heard about

    • SRMCON

      Lynne, it’s the same method whether you are extracting the CBD or THC. This discussion is about cooking with butter (or coconut oil, my fave, since it’s so clean and on par of getting a good extraction). I’ve also done alcohol and cooked it off to get a concentrated oil, which you can then vape or ingest. This is similar to the RSO (Rick Simpson oil).

  • Isaac Dunn

    I’ve been making my own medibles with flower and estimating THC content. I am confused by the common 10mg dose that seems to be gaining popularity with the microdosing community. Even on sites such as Erowid they claim 20mg will have you stoned. With no tolerance, I need around 50mg to feel anything let alone being stoned. Hubby hash oil bars used to be dosed with 1 gram hash oil which is at least 800mg THC. Based on that, I’d consider a recreational dose to someone with zero tolearance to be between 50-100mg, not 10mg! Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

    • Mike

      I personally feel comfortably stoned with 20-25mg edibles, but will easily feel too stoned when it gets to 50mg. I don’t have a low tolerance either and I use wax for the most part. I gave my sister in law half of a 10mg sour gummy worm and she was stoned off her ass though, and she definitely has no tolerance. I chalk it up to being sensitive.

    • martin browne

      I agree completely! I have been making edibles for years and estimate my cookies at about 100 mg, a nice mellow dose. 10 mg is silly IMHO – now microdosing with LSD may be a different sort of animal….

    • JG

      I live in Denver. Used to smoke a ton of weed in my late teens early 20s but stopped for 10 years or so. Recently I’ve been eating edables a few times a year so my tolerance is LOW. I obviously buy my edibles from legal pot shops which have been rightly regulated to dose their edibles accurately at 10mg. 10mg is perfect if I haven’t consumed THC in a long time and 20mg is good if I’ve done it a couple times recently. 30mg has me feeling high as shit! There have been far too many hospital visits here in CO early on in the legal weed era due to unregulated edibles and inexperienced users. Giving 100mg to an inexperianced or uncommon user is downright irresponsible. A recommended 10mg dose is perfect because 1. You can always take more, and 2. Experienced users know they have to take more. 10mg makes perfect sense to me.

    • KEK

      So I first smoked when I was 13 and was really into it and also was constantly around herb and had tried everything and smoked in many different nations. I am talking phish tour, spending time out west, Amsterdam before legalization here etc etc. Due to circumstances, I had to take a good 5 years off (and no it wasn’t arrest, it was more self care) so this destroyed my tolerance. When I returned, 10-15 mgs destroyed me and had me high as hell.

      The problem with edibles as this article mentioned is its hard to measure doses. For somebody like you or I whom make our own its impossible unless you get distillate (which I used now). In the stores, the doses are also usually way off but some of that is due to shadiness in the industry. The thing is nowadays its essentially theft to do so, so they need to get it together.

    • Chris Glazier

      I dont get those small dosages either. It takes around 200mg of wax/oil per dose (average 60 to 90% thc so I’ve read) for me to get to where I can feel buzzed or get the right pain relief. Many people who aren’t using it regularly like me think that’s too much after it kicks in. I now make my cookies at 100mg doses and I can eat 2 if necessary but one still helps with pain and others wont end up in bed with just one cookie. A few times they get impatient and eat 2 anyways unless they already learned that lesson, and end up going to bed.

      I do know that at the end of the day I get very sleepy especially if I eat 2 throughout the day. Not stoned sleep but genuine sleep.

  • littleob

    Good day to all and a Happy and healthy new year. A little about me. I tell people that I am living proof that MMJ works and is a wonder plant. Over the past 5 years I have eliminated 500 mg Opiates, Antidepressants, Muscle relaxers, antiinflamatorios, Sleeping pills, although I am still disabled my quality of life as you can imagine is a little better lol. So on to cooking I think being consistent in your butter and oil production is very important. I grow so I might have a benefit here but I will use the whole plant to cook with. When I started I would make a small batch of oil or a stick of butter, make some cookies, I could then determine what to expect. I now use a MB machine which adds that consistency I was talking about. When the oil or butter in done in the MB I have another nifty machine called T Check. What it does is tests the concentration of herbal compounds in liquids like oil, butter, alcohol. I recommend both machines to give you a good consistent product to cook with. Thanks Bertt for doing a great job for us


  • dale grealy

    Hi I have a question when adding the chopped flower to the mix instead of adding it straight in loose
    an old girl once told me she would put the chopped flower in a stocking and simmer it like that do you think it is good or bad idea ??
    Thanks dale

  • Sangsta

    The article quotes “targeted dosage is 200mg per brownie” BUT edibles in dispensaries are 10mg per piece. Why is the author targeting such a high dosage per brownie?

    I understand that 200mg is the Maximum amount. So I calculated what would be the minimum expected using the following assumptions. Low grade weed 10% THC(A), Same 0.88 THC conversion, Low extraction of 30%. Heres what I get following the Author’s methodology:

    1. I have 100g of bottom-shelf Sour Diesel. Assuming a low scenario of approximately 10%, or 100mg THCA per 1g of flower. 100mg x 100 = 10,000mg THCA.

    2. The conversation from THCA to THC is 0.88. 10,000mg x 0.88 = 8,800mg THC available to be extracted.

    3. Under non-ideal conditions, you may get 30% efficiency of extraction in dairy butter, so 8,800mg x 0.3 = 2,640mg THC likely to be extracted.

    4. If I make the same amount of 53 brownies, then 2,640mg / 53 = 50mg THC dosage per brownie. This is the minimum those brownies should have; so they could have anywhere from 200mg to 50mg THC dosage per brownie.

    Going back to my comment thread. The author creates a recipe to target a max 200mg dosage and we can see even with low range estimates each brownie would still have at least 50mg THC.

    Why are these dosages 5-20 times stronger compared to the dispensary edibles at 10mg THC each?

    • Chris Glazier

      Colorado put the max of 10mg on recreational I believe. Not sure about medical but they are making a crap ton of money with 10mg treats. Michigan has mg listed by law but there isn’t a limit on how much is there. Just divides up dosages. Other states dont have that limit. If you have the limit in your state and need stronger it’s just best to make your own. $$$

      I find I need 100 to 200 mg for medical use. The mgs are measured by the oil I add to the recipe and that is only estimated to be 60 to 90 % actual thc ( wax) so my doses are in the actual realm of avg 80% 80mg to 160mg actual thc.

  • Prospero

    Made my first batch of cannabutter the other day. 7.2 grams of 20.5%THC Gorilla Glue popcorn buds in a quarter pound of butter. Assuming 100% conversion/extraction efficiency, 1/4 tsp of that would have just over 15mg THC. My impression was that the 1/4 tsp dose was a bit stronger than a typical 10mg commercial edible. That would suggest an overall efficiency of >75%. Next up: ginger cookies.

  • Grass Chief

    Great recipes. Like the ideas very much. Awesome writing.

  • viledrummer1

    I’ve been making cookies with the lumber from the plants I grow for 20 years. I learned how to do it from a friend. I have no way of knowing how much active ingredient is in the pot I grow, I use very rough measurements for the proportions of butter to pot, and don’t weigh the cookie dough for each cookie. However, they work! I use them to help me sleep, I eat one cookie a few hours before bedtime, I get a nice buzz, and then I go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. All that to say, you can treat edibles as a chemistry experiment, or just find a recipe you like and it will probably work out. But I can see how it could be a big headache for commercial producers.

  • Myste

    I believe he meant a clean panty hose type stocking (which DOES work) not a nasty ol’ sock 😆

  • Nick Kiefer

    I had just been using the amount of weed I would normally smoke to get very high, and doing some top-of-my-head math to extrapolate how much to use in edibles. I tend to err on the potent side though (because I hate when edibles don’t really “work”). Ok, but oops, I sampled 1/2 a cookie when they came out, and got high to the verge of what I’d call an overdose – barely able to walk, approaching nausea (not pleasant – like too stoned)… and I have a high tolerance! I was planning to give these cookies as Christmas gifts, so I ended up having to cut them in fourths, and put little warning signs inside the gift boxes. I recommended 1 piece (1/4 cookie) to start, and see how you’re doing in an hour, waiting 1.5 hrs, to be safe. Having an empty stomach or not makes a big difference. That was part of my initial test’s problem – very empty stomach. Thanks for this article though, and pointing out factors I didn’t know about.

  • xby24q

    Maybe it’s me but… DIY dosing seems pretty simple. If you have 7 gm of flower and you make, lets say 16 cookies with a #30 disher….. then you would have 0.4375 gm of flower in each 1 oz cookie….. and – I’m not sure where I learned this but if you take 1000 units of THC and divide by 28 gm/oz you get 35.7 units of THC per gram of flower.[which seems to be a completely made-up number to be used only as a reference number and not the actual THC contained within any said edible]…. which means your cookie would have 15.625 units of THC per cookie…… AND now just take 0.4375 gm of flower and look at how much that is….. roll a joint……. smoke it…….. now you know how much THC is in your edibles…[so-to-speak] ..AND, keep in mind that you are not selling these DIY edibles – the numbers are purely for >>>> your reference…… .. I should also add that this is not canna-butter….. which in my opinion is just a COMPLETE waste and not at all reliable in dosing amounts. All you have to do is decarbox your flower and then you can use said flower in anything….AND the flower ‘softens’ up when you cook it or get it ‘wet’ so you can chop up the stems also….. because I don’t always want to be forced to eat butter every time I want an edible… and for some reason “people” want to make things more complicated then it has to be………. Go buy an oven thermometer and set your oven to 250*F – place thermometer in oven and let the oven heat up for 30 minutes – I actually use a baking stone to help spread-out the heat and to use the stone as a type of baffle from the heating element…..- Make sure the oven is 250*F exactly, if not >> fix it….. Then place ground-up flower in a pie-pan [whatever] and Bake for 30 minutes – remove from oven to cool………… >>>> USE IN ANY FOOD or even eat it as is.[yuck]….. you can even smoke it – BUT you have now boiled off all the terps [taste and stink] so…. stink-less weed if smoked – lol – and edibles that have no weed taste 😀 …Enjoy the Decarbox’d flower in anything and remember to…….. KISS the flowers

  • Fox Fae

    My first time trying to dose was the first time I experienced cannabis.
    To keep it short, my friend’s sister made a fresh batch of cookies and offered me one. My friend and I later went on to eat the entire batch of cookies while her sister was out. The popcorn ceiling was popping and spinning by the end of the night, and movement was not an option.

    This was about 8 years ago. These days, the formula above actually just helped me to dose the fruity rice crispies I made for a friend with MS, so I guess the moral is sometimes a crazy experience can lead to wonderfully beneficial things? 45mg per treat at max, if anyone was wondering. 1/4 at 20%, for 16 pieces. And yes, the clean-up afterward gave a lovely buzz.

  • Steve Cancel

    We have a brownie mix powder we came up with mainly to combat this issue. Check out our video here:

  • Chris Glazier

    It also happens at lower temps it just takes more time to convert it all. You are decarbing some unknown amount at those temps for that time. At least I can’t can’t figure it exactly. There was an article here about decarbing in a jar in the oven to contain smells and get more uniform results.

  • Chris Glazier

    Yes. Drs like to separate every component of a drug and hope or think they know what it does. Cannabis works differently in that each part of it has some part in what the overall drug does. And that’s how it seems to work the best but they wont be happy with it until its studied to death and years down the road. Older users and med users really have a better idea of how stuff works especially if they have read up on papers and studies from other countries that have been doing them for a long time.

  • Chris Glazier

    28g ÷ 18= 1.05 something g = just about 1000mg yes.

  • Syd Chaden

    My husband and I are elderly; I’m 80 and he is about to be 90. For the past few years, we have had major difficulties getting more than 2-3 hours sleep at night. We tried everything on the market, including homeopathic remedies for sleep, and nothing worked. Tried to get a Rx for sleeping pills but had to decline them because they cost me over $260 a month even with my Medicare paying a portion. So, I had my grandson pick up 2 pkgs of Cannabis infused butter and I started baking. Along with the infused butter, I added a cube of butter and baked 100 peanut butter with chocolate chip cookies at 300 degrees. It is Heavenly to be able to sleep for 8 hours again with just one cookie an hour before bed. Now everybody is out of the cannabis-infused butter, and we are back to the starting line again.