June 13, 2022 9 min read

You may be familiar with the dosing thresholds for CBD and Delta-8, and maybe even some of the lesser known cannabinoids like CBG and CBC. Now, however, a new cannabinoid formulation is gaining traction–THC-O-Acetate (THC-O)–and it packs a potent punch you may not be expecting.

In fact, it's often said to be up to 3 times as potent as traditional THC products. With such potent effects and so many different formulations on the market, you’ve probably arrived at an important question–how much THC-O should I take?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer because everyone’s dosing needs and THC tolerance is unique. Luckily, we can advise you on average doses and how to safely experiment with your dosage routine until you find the best THC-O dosage for you.

Here's where you should start:

Table of Contents
THC-O is Significantly More Potent Than Delta-9
THC-O Dosage Guide
How to Measure THC-O Dosage and Potency
How Long Does THC-O Take to Kick In?
When Should I Take More THC-O?
How to Get the Most Out of Your THC-O Dose

Key Takeaways

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all THC-O dosage, but dosages typically range from 3-30 milligrams.
  • You may want to start at the low end of the dosing spectrum and increase slowly until you know how THC-O will affect you.
  • Certain product types, like combination cannabinoid products or vapes and tinctures, may make it easier to control and adjust your dosage routine.
Raw hemp material just before manufacturing where it is used to make THC-O products.

THC-O is Significantly More Potent than Delta-9-THC

Before we start, we need to address the most important fact–THC-O is a bit more potent than Delta-9-THC. That also means that it is far more potent than Delta-8, one of the most common hemp-derived THC products on the market. You can’t use your experience with other THC compounds to determine how much THC-O you need, but you can use your overall tolerance to help you figure out where to start.

It’s hard to really pinpoint the extent of THC-O’s potency, but some evidence suggests that it is up to three times as potent as Delta-9-THC. In reality, there are no hard numbers here. Just keep in mind that THC-O is not the same as Delta-9 or other THC analogues and should not be dosed the same. Here’s why it matters:

THC-O’s starting dosage is usually lower than Delta-9’s.

Often when people try Delta-9-THC for the first time, they take doses as low as 5 mg. For THC-O, a beginner dose may be half that–between 2 and 3 mg. For this reason, finding a low dose product or using a tincture or vape that can be dosed in small increments is usually the best choice for inexperienced THC-O consumers.

A high tolerance to Delta-9 may also impact your tolerance to THC-O.

Although THC-O is considerably more potent and has it’s own unique range of effects, there is still some cross-tolerance between THC-O and Delta-9 (or Delta-8). That means that if you are a regular THC consumer, you may already have some tolerance to THC-O products. Still, the starting dose for THC-O is usually much lower than the Delta-9-THC doses you may take, so tread slowly so you don’t overdo it.

Just keep in mind that your tolerance could be the reason behind feeling milder effects than you expected when using beginner THC-O doses. Still, you may consider taking a THC tolerance break first instead of jumping right to larger doses.

A diagram displaying the similarities between different types of THC molecules

THC-O’s Effects are Different

It’s worth noting that although THC-O is usually just described as being “more potent,” it also just has a range of effects that are unique from traditional Delta-9-THC or Delta-8-THC products.

The effects of THC-O are often described to be more “uplifting and energizing,” akin to the effects of sativa-dominant cannabis strains. When taken in large enough doses, the effects may even be described as “psychedelic”–something to keep in mind when adjusting your THC-O dosage.

You may want to read “THC-O Effects” to learn more about what to expect when taking THC-O for the first time.

Now that you know the potency and dosing factors that may affect your THC-O dosing experience, lets jump to the point:

THC-O Dosage Guide—from Beginner to Expert

If you’re just starting out with THC-O, you may be looking for some general THC-O dosage guidelines. The truth is that the best dosage varies greatly, so we like to recommend the lowest threshold and encourage new consumers to start low and slow and increase their dose slowly. This typically means trying THC-O several times before finding the dosage threshold you’re comfortable with. Here’s where you can start:

  • Beginners (those who have not tried THC at all, or haven’t tried THC in several weeks or months) may want to start with 1-2 mg of THC-O.
  • Moderate consumers who use THC infrequently may start with 3-5 mg, and may experience highly potent effects with doses between 10-20 mg.
  • Experienced THC consumers may find start with 5-10 mg. The dosing threshold for experienced THC consumers seeking highly potent effects is between 25-40 mg.

One course of action for beginners or even experienced THC consumers looking for an effective, but manageable THC-O dose is to choose a product that combines THC-O with Delta-8.

Delta-8 is a hemp-derived cannabinoid with mild psychoactive effects. Because Delta-8 is said to have relaxing “indica-style” effects and THC-O is more “uplifting and sativa-leaning,” the two pair together to create balanced “hybrid” effects. Delta-8’s milder potency also pairs nicely with THC-O’s highly-potent effects to create a middleground euphoria that’s great for all consumers.

Our Delta-8 + THC-O Vape Cart is a perfect example of this, and comes in three varieties with hand-selected terepene profiles for targeted effects (Sativa, Indica, or Hyrbid). This disposable vape cart is highly potent with no fillers or additives and contains the perfect proportion of Delta-8 to THC-O for both beginners and THC connoisseurs to enjoy.

Now that you know a bit more about where to start, let’s talk about measuring a proper dose and the different factors that can affect your THC-O dosage routine:

How to Measure THC-O Dosage and Potency

THC-O is typically measured in milligrams, and many dosing methods (like gummies and candies) offer the convenience of pre-measured doses, but there’s no industry-wide standard for how the potency is portrayed on the label.

It’s important to understand exactly how to read the label and verify the information presented before you hop into a dosing routine.

THC-O Potency vs Total Hemp Extract Content

In order to determine how much THC-O is in your product (and each dose), you first need to determine whether the labelled potency refers specifically to the THC-O content or total hemp extract.

Some products may contain other cannabinoids and terpenes and the labelled potency may refer to the total amount of hemp extract. If the hemp extract is only made up of, say, 60% THC-O, then the product might actually be much less potent than the label implies.

To ensure that you know exactly how much THC is in your product, look for third-party lab results. These test results should reveal the actual potency of THC-O that was found in the batch sample. The formula may even include a combination of THC extracts, such as Delta-8 and THC-O. Either way, it will give you a much more accurate representation of how much psychoactive material is in your hemp extract product.

How to Measure THC-O Dosage by Dosing Style

Different THC-O products are measured differently. The style of product you choose may also slightly impact the amount you want to take since the dosing style affects the onset, duration, and intensity of effects.

Most importantly, some dosing styles make it easier to control and adjust the dosage, which is a huge benefit to new consumers who want to experiment with their dosage threshold.

Let’s break it down:

Edibles

Delta-8-THC edibles are generally pre-measured doses, which means you don’t need to measure the dose each time. Edibles in the form of candies and chews may even come individually packaged. Gummies may come packed in a multi-count bottle, but a single gummy usually equates to one dose.

In some cases, you can break or cut edibles to adjust the dosage, but this isn’t an exact science. It may be better to just buy edibles at the potency you need or opt for a different product until you’re more comfortable with your own dosage needs.

Tinctures

THC-O tinctures are a liquid product that usually come in a glass bottle with a dropper lid. This dropper lid usually holds 1 mL of oil when full. Check the label to determine the potency and be sure to pay attention to whether the label refers to the total hemp extract content or the THC-O content of each dose.

THC-O tinctures are convenient because you can adjust your dosage in small increments as long as you understand the potency of your tincture and how to measure it accurately.

If you want to take it even further to get more precise dosages, consider that one drop is approximately 0.05 mL, meaning there are 20 drops in a 1 mL serving. Then, you can break your total dosage down and adjust it in small increments as needed.

Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Cart

Vapes

Measuring the dosage of vaporizers is not an exact science since there’s no way to know exactly how much of the THC-O oil you’re ingesting in each “puff.”

Still, vapes are arguably one of the best dosing method for beginners. Because they take effect quickly and the doses can be easily “stacked” puff by puff, it’s easy to slowly wade your way into THC-O’s effects until you reach the potency you desire.

A THC-O vaporizer should take full effect in 10 minutes or less. That means that instead of taking an experimental edible dose and waiting an hour to feel the effects, you can easily take one puff every ten minutes and wait to see how you feel. Over time, you’ll get more comfortable with how much you need to puff to get the “lift” you need.

Flower

THC-O flower isn’t incredibly common for now, but it is pretty much identical to the way that you measure a THC-O vaporizer dose. Flower takes effect quickly, so just take a puff here and there until you feel the effects you’re after. Be sure to keep up with how much you’ve smoked so that you’re more familiar with your dosing threshold next time around.

How Long Does THC-O Take to Kick In?

The amount of time you should expect to wait to feel the full effects of THC-O is also impacted heavily by the dosing method you choose, as well as some lifestyle and unique biological factors, like your diet, weight, or tolerance. You’ll need to experience THC-O for yourself to understand how your body reacts, but here is a breakdown of the onset time for different dosing methods.

For instance, THC-O vaporizers and flower usually produce near-instant effects, and you should feel the effects of each dose peak after only ten minutes.

Alternatively, standard THC-O edibles take a bit longer because they need to pass through the digestive tract before they can be metabolized by the liver. Edibles may take an hour or more to take effect and the effects usually peak around two hours after dosing.

Tinctures take effect much more quickly, generally in about 45 minutes.That’s because they are meant to be dropped under the tongue, a method called “sublingual dosing” which allows the THC to be absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth, bypassing digestion.

Edibles that dissolve in the mouth, like our candies, caramels, and chews, follow this same path.Because these types of edibles are meant to be savored and slowly dissolved in the mouth, they can be absorbed by the mucous membranes and take effect quickly.

In general, you should allow plenty of time (double the suggested times given above) for effects to peak before deciding if you want to increase your dosage the next time you take THC-O.

A few different THC-O products to show the multiple different dosing styles available.

When Should I Take More THC-O?

When we say you can adjust your dosage over time, we don’t mean to consistently stack doses thrpoughpout the day. This is usually ineffective (with the exception of inhalation methods) because of the onset gap between doses.

For instance, you may not feel the full effects of a tincture for an hour. If you decide to take more THC-O tincture at that moment, you may not feel the effects from your new dose for another hour. The total sum of the effects you experience will never be directly equivalent to the total sum of your stacked doses. Here’s what to do instead:

Adjusting your THC-O Dosage

If you’ve taken a THC-O dose and you aren’t getting the effects you had imagined, you may wonder if, or when, you should increase your dose. The answer is, it depends.

If you feel the effects of THC-O but they aren’t as potent as you had hoped, consider adding a fast-acting dose, like a puff of a THC-O vaporizer.

If you ultimately suspect your dose was too low, you may want to increase your dose. You should typically wait until the next time you take THC-O to implement this increase.

Increase in small increments. For instance, if you took 3 milligrams of THC-O and the effects were far too mild for your tastes, try taking 5 mg next time. You may find that your dosage threshold is higher depending on your tolerance, but it’s always better to move slowly and monitor how you feel.

Get the Most out of Your THC-O Dose

Before jumping into your first run with THC-O, make sure you understand how to read the label and have a feel for the potency of the product you choose. Remember, everyone’s THC tolerance level is unique, and every person will metabolize and experience THC-O differently.

Because THC-O is one of the more potent products on the market, you may need lower doses than you suspect, even if you have a high THC tolerance. When in doubt, take it slow, or opt for a fast-acting dosage method that allows you to stack doses throughout the day.

For new users who want to experiment with the effects of THC-O in a mild, controlled manner, we recommend our THC-O+Delta-8 Vaporizer. This combo-THC formula is a perfect hybrid-like balance that takes effect quickly and can be easily “sipped” to your perfect level of “lift.”


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