Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound found in cannabis, or cannabinoid. It's one of more than 100 cannabinoids produced by the plant, but the most prominent psychoactive component. Cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, and others, all interact with our body's endocannabinoid system, influencing pain response, mood, memory, appetite, and more.
Each cannabinoid works in slightly different ways, but THC is unique because it binds strongly to the CB1 receptors in our brains. This connection is responsible for the relaxing buzz and other effects associated with THC.
What Is The Right Amount and Cannabinoid To Start With?
Cannabis contains a universe of powerful compounds. THC is one of many, and it comes in many different forms. From Delta-8 to Delta-9, trying to figure out where to start is like trying to read a recipe in a foreign language.
When in doubt, keep the following simple guidelines in mind:
The Golden Rule
Your number one rule, no matter the cannabinoid, is to start low and go slow. Start with a small serving size and if needed, increase slowly over time.
What if you don't feel anything with the first serving? You'll never want to double down unless you've waited several hours. More than a few people, even those with lots of experience, have been surprised by two servings hitting hard and all at once. If you haven't felt anything, it might be best to sleep on it, then try again the next day.
A Microdose to Start
Now, how much THC is best for beginners?
Start with 2 to 5 mg. This is a blanket recommendation for any new and psychoactive cannabinoids, like Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, among others.
It’s better to start increasing the amount once you’ve familiarized yourself with the effects and perhaps have even built up a tolerance.
There are nuances to the effects of each cannabinoid, and experiences vary on an individual basis. That being said, with THC, you can generally expect effects like:
- Gentle euphoria
- Elevated senses (hearing, taste, etc)
Between Delta-8 and Delta-9, however, there are some key differences—namely, the potency of these effects. Most people find Delta-9 THC to produce a more acute effect, while Delta-8 is typically lighter.
Timing is Everything
Since you don’t know exactly how your body might respond to THC, it’s best to take it at a time of day when you have no obligations (for example, after work in the evening rather than before a shift.)
This way, if it makes you feel mellowed out or especially sleepy, you don’t have to worry about missing anything. You can simply allow yourself to enjoy the relaxation it offers.
What Product Do I Start With?
Today, there are dozens of different ways to dabble with THC and thousands of products to try. If you are new to the world of cannabis and unfamiliar with the effects, what's the best product to start with?
Let's first cover the different types of products on the market. Most cannabis products fall into three core categories. Although there’s no right or wrong choice, as a beginner you’ll want to consider how the form factor you choose affects serving size, onset time, and difficulty.
Gummies and Edibles
Amount of THC: Consistent
Effects: Edibles tend to last longer than inhalable THC products and can be more intense due to how your body metabolizes THC. However, the exact milligram count can help to achieve a predictable experience every time (if the products are tested for potency).
Onset time: 45 minutes or more