How To Determine The Potency Of Your Edibles

Published :
Categories : Cannabis recipes

How To Determine The Potency Of Your Edibles

It's important to know how potent one's edibles really are. Here, we help you calculate the potency of your delicious THC-filled edibles with a comprehensive example.

There's a common caption next to memes referring to edibles: "These edibles ain't shit!" with the meme displaying someone completely spaced-out. It's very common to miscalculate the potency of edible weed. Here, the word “potency” strictly refers to the amount of THC the edible contains. Determining the potency of your edibles is crucial to ingest the desired and required dose of THC. Ultimately, it’s not an exact science, even on a commercial level. Here’s a guide to help you calculate the dosage more accurately for better medicinal and recreational results.


Let’s present a common miscalculation often made by using the following short story—because short stories are fun. Let’s call the protagonist Bobby, a cannabis aficionado who thought he calculated his edibles correctly.

So, Bobby decides to grow some high-class cannabis. He finds a seedbank website and purchases OG Kush seeds that produce 20% THC. He grows that strain in his indoor cannabis garden. He harvests the plants, dries and cures the buds, and decides to make some edibles.

Bobby weighs out the dry weight of the buds, which measures to 100 grams. He calculates 20% of that (the advertised amount of THC produced), which measures to 20 grams of THC, so 20,000 milligrams. Bobby wants each edible cookie to contain 100mg of THC, so he'll need to make 200 cookies. He extracts the cannabinoids from the dried herb in 180g of butter, which renders him with 200g of cannabutter. Bobby calculates that every gram of cannabutter has 100mg. He uses all the cannabutter, makes 200 cookies, and tries one of them—but they’re not as potent as he initially anticipated. What did Bobby do wrong?


First of all, the amount of THC that's advertised on websites for each individual strain is often not accurate. Instead, the THC levels are usually elevated slightly above their actual amount. So that OG Kush that was advertised to contain 20% actually produced only 18%.

The expertise of the grower and the conditions under which cannabis plants grow greatly influence the quality of the final product. The temperature during the flowering stage of Bobby's plants was too high, and the cannabinoids and terpene production got stunted. So that 18% of THC actually turned out to be 14% THC.

Now that Bobby has buds that contain 14% THC, this measurement doesn't actually refer to THC, but THCA. Only when the THCA compound (which is not psychoactive) is decarboxylated does it become THC (which is psychoactive). When Bobby made cannabutter to decarboxylate the THCA and attach the cannabinoids to the fat, not all THCA got converted. Depending on the expertise of the cannabutter maker, anything between 40–80% of THC will be included in the butter. When the cannabutter was ready for making cookies, Bobby didn't mix the batter correctly, and the size of the cookies was not uniform.

So, let's calculate Bobby's cookies correctly. He produced 100g of bud, which contained 14% of THCA. That is 14,000mg of THCA in total weight. Bobby didn't know exactly how to make cannabutter, so only 50% of THCA actually got converted into the cannabutter. Now he's left with 7,000mg of THC. If Bobby could portion correctly the 7,000mg of THC over 200 cookies, that would be 35mg per cookie. However, since he didn't stir the cookie dough thoroughly with the cannabutter, and some cookies were larger than others, some of the cookies comprised 20mg of THC and some contained 60mg.

How To Determine The Potency Of Your Edibles


The best way to actually achieve a controlled dose of THC in edibles is to purchase them from a dispensary. These edibles will have been tested for THC content, although there is still a surprising amount of inconsistency even with branded products. If you want to make edibles at home, it's best to do it from cannabis concentrates, especially if they have been tested and labelled.

When making them from the dried herb, which has an ambiguous amount of THCA, the best practice is to ensure that the conversion to cannabutter goes as smoothly as possible.

When making cookie dough, the butter should be thoroughly mixed into the dough and the cookies should be weighed into homogeneous batches. This will create uniform potency. This practice is optimal, because if you don't know the exact THC amount in each cookie, at least you know that all cookies have around the same potency. To eyeball the average amount of THC, here’s how much is contained in various cannabis formats in relation to their weight:

• Trim: 3%
• Buds: 15%
• Kief: 40%
• Reclaim: 40%
• Concentrate: 70%