Cannabis Consumption – Methods and Dosage

Oct 7, 2020Cannabis Education

You may have heard the phrase, “start low and go slow” when referred to cannabis use. This catchy phrase is around for a reason – it’s good advice! Especially for new users, it’s hard to calculate how much cannabis is needed to achieve your desired effect, which is why it’s always smart to ease into it.

Each user has different tolerances and experiences with cannabis, and with so many new products on the market it’s important to know how each form of consumption will alter your outcome! We’re all about educating our consumers to enable the best high possible, so read on to understand different ways you can consume cannabis products and how to find your proper dose.


Onset: 1–5 Minutes

Peak Effect: 5–15 Minutes

Duration: 1–4 Hours

This is recommended for first time cannabis consumers because the effects will onset immediately after exhaling. Smoking or vaporizing cannabis has the fastest onset time compared to ingestion or sublingual methods. Start by taking one hit from a vaporizer or from a pipe if using combustion. Slowly inhale, taking a somewhat deep breath in, then exhale.

Inhalation can be done using either combustion or vaporization of raw cannabis. Combustion refers to cannabis that is smoked using an open flame to burn the cannabis and activate the THCa by converting it to THC. Each time you inhale, about 2–5mg of THC is consumed per inhalation. This may vary based on the strain, potency, and the device that’s being used to consume. Vaporization refers to cannabis that is heated to the necessary temperature to decarboxylate the THCa and convert it to THC. 


Did you know?

Decarboxylation is the chemical change that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide(CO2) as a byproduct. Decarboxylation is needed for cannabis to be effective – consuming raw cannabis flower will likely have little effect as the raw THCa cannot be absorbed by our body. Decarboxylation of THCa can be achieved through heating the cannabis over 250 degrees, other cannabinoids and terpenes will require different temperatures based on their chemical composition.


Onset: 30-120 Minutes

Peak Effect: 1-5 Hours

Duration: 3-8 Hours

Infused edibles have a longer onset period, usually between 30–120 minutes. The effects from edibles also last longer with some lasting up to 8 hours for some consumers. Infused beverages are reported to have a faster onset period than edibles with a similar duration. Effects will vary based on the food or drinks you have consumed prior to ingesting an infused edible or beverage, as well as your individual tolerance, metabolism and body fat content.

It is recommended that you begin by consuming 5mg and wait for the proper onset time before ingesting any more cannabis.


Onset: 15-30 Minutes

Peak Effect: 35-50 Minutes

Duration: 2-7 Hours

Tinctures, lozenges and various infused edibles can be used absorbed under the tongue. Sublinguals have a mid ranged onset period, usually between 15–30 minutes, and often have a similar duration as edibles. Sublingual absorption allows some compounds to enter the bloodstream that might otherwise be broken down by digestive processes, which provides different effects that onset more quickly. The effects will also vary based on your individual tolerance.

It is recommended that you begin by consuming 5mg and wait for the proper onset time before ingesting any more cannabis.

 Read more about topicals here, or check out our menu page to learn more about the different types of products you can find at Native Sun.