Is portion control an essential part of responsible cannabis use?

Published May 11, 2021 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / José Antonio Luque Olmedo

These days we like to count everything from the number of steps we take in a day to the number of calories we consume at each meal. It’s become an obsession really, as we try to take control of certain aspects of our health. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and in some cases, it can actually really come in handy because even though it won’t give you complete control, doing so can help to guide you towards a goal.

When we hear the words portion control, the very first thing that comes to mind is probably food because most recommendations in regard to the food we should eat are measured in portions or serving sizes, but the term holds relevance to many cannabis consumers today. In fact, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the dosage of cannabinoids, another form of portion control, and whether or not there should be basic standards for consumers.

What is portion control when it comes to weed?

Portions or doses may be measured several different ways with cannabis. One is generally done with a digital scale to weigh the amount of raw product that is to be consumed, whereas others focus more on either concentration of cannabinoids or frequency of intake. For some users, portion control can help them to avoid adverse effects that are usually brought on by overconsumption, but what about everyone else?

Should all consumers be worried about portion control?

Though the experts we hear about in the media who are advocating for portion control through means like maximum cannabinoid content claim that all users need some kind of protection from themselves, most seasoned enthusiasts have never measured a single day worth of weed intake in their lives, and most of them seem to be just fine, so what gives?

When portion control is important

Technically all cannabis consumers should be paying attention to how much product they go through and any sudden trends or changes that might happen. If you’re suddenly paying $300 each week when you can only afford $150, then portion control could certainly be useful, and if you’ve noticed that you’re not quite feeling yourself, something that can happen from taking too much for too long, then it’s important to recognize that it might be time for a tolerance break.

Experienced users don’t have to worry so much about measuring an exact portion amount because they’ve got a built tolerance and confidence with using cannabinoids. Unfortunately, those who are new to the scene don’t come to the circle quite so well equipped. This is especially true for first timers, who might have an uncomfortable reaction after consuming only a microdose of cannabis.

For brand new users, portion control can help to safely guide them through an experience with weed so that they can come out relatively unscathed from the interaction, and they aren’t the only ones to benefit from this method of dosage. Medical users who want to avoid the more euphoric effects of the plant while still benefiting from its power to relieve things like pain and seizures benefit most from consistent and precisely measured doses.

Is portion control for every stoner?

Most cannabis enthusiasts don’t need to be equipped with a digital scale to measure out perfect portions, and there is nothing wrong with letting loose once in a while, barely paying attention to how quickly you work your way through a bag. The market might be focused on selling this perfect idea of portion control, but for those with experience, it’s not until the consumption of cannabis causes a potential problem that this level of diligence truly becomes necessary.

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