Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 11, 2023

Apart from joints, bowls are some of the most common devices used to consume weed. The reason why many cannabis users like bowls is because you don’t depend on rolling papers – all you need is your bowl, some weed, and a lighter, and you can get blazed in no time.

Talking about smoking, if this is your primary method of consumption, it’s good to know roughly how much THC you consume. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound that gets you high, can make you feel blissful when taken at adequate doses, or paranoid when you overdo it.

Given how commonly used bowls are, in this article we’ll talk about the THC content in a bowl, how to calculate your dosage, and we’ll also share some general information about various consumption methods.

How You Consume Cannabis Influences How Much THC You End Up Absorbing

It doesn’t matter which marijuana strain you use and what its THC levels are, the amount of THC you end up consuming will always be affected by the method of consumption you use. In other words, the bioavailability of THC will vary depending on whether you smoke, vape, or ingest cannabis.

So, for example, smoking weed (joint, bong, or any other method) involves combusting the cannabis flowers at a very high temperature which also destroys about half of the cannabinoids and terpenes. This means that you won’t consume the full THC content that’s present in the weed prior to lighting it.

Vaporizing weed, on the other hand, heats the dry herbs at lower temperatures which means it preserves a big percentage of the active ingredients. Vaporizers and vape pens are built with temperature control settings that allow you to customize your vaping experience because different active ingredients are released at different temperatures

Similarly, with dabbing a small amount of THC is lost because the way dab rigs vaporize the concentrates ensures minimal loss of the THC content.

With edibles (brownies, gummies, cookies, etc) a lot of the THC gets lost before they hit you because edibles are broken down in the digestive system. However, as they get processed later in the body, their effects are felt more strongly.

Which Consumption Method Delivers the Most THC?

By far, inhalation has the best bioavailability because THC reaches your brain in a matter of minutes. Out of all inhalation methods, dabbing is the most successful because the loss of THC is minimal, plus concentrates naturally contain high THC levels.

Tinctures taken sublingually with a dropper are right behind because they get quickly absorbed by the salivary glands. 

And, as you already figured, ingestion has the lowest bioavailability, but it’s no less effective. When you eat weed gummies, or any other edible, they have a special way of being handled by the body which is why the effects last for a lot longer.

How to Calculate the Amount of THC Per Dose

When calculating the amount of THC per dose, you should take into account variables such as the potency of the strain, to begin with, the loss of THC due to combustion, as well as the size of your bowl.

You should know that 1 gram of cannabis flowers weighs about 1000 mg in dry weight. Depending on how much dry herbs you have, the best way to calculate how much THC you will get per serving is to multiply their weight in grams by 1000 and by the THC percentage of the marijuana strain.

So, for example, you have 10 grams of dry herbs with THC concentration of 15%. To calculate how many milligrams of THC you get in those 10 grams, use the following equation:

10 x 1000 x 0.15 = 1500, meaning that 10 grams of weed for your bowl contain 1500 mg of THC.

How Many Mg of THC Are In a Bowl?

Some people like to consume weed intuitively and don’t bother much with the amount of THC they consume, while others, especially medical marijuana patients, like to know the rough estimate because it’s easier to adjust the dosage to their tolerance, preference, and/or needs.

The typical bowls usually fit about 0.25 grams of weed, but there are bigger ones that can fit 0.5 grams to 1 gram. There are also special kinds of bowls called one-hitters that hold exactly 0.1 gr of weed, just enough for a single hit. 

The amount of weed you fit in your bowl will vary depending on how tightly you pack it. However, you should remember to not overload your bowl, or else the airflow will suffer and you won’t get a proper smoke.

In any case, when you smoke from a bowl, a large percentage of THC will be lost between puffs and in the sidestream while the dry herbs are burning. While these variables cannot be calculated with certainty, they can give you a rough estimate of how much THC you’ll consume.

What About the Average Joint or Dab?

Joints definitely hold more weed than bowls. You can freely customize the size of a joint, but the average joint usually holds about 0.5 gr of weed, although 1 gram joints are also common. You can also buy them pre-rolled at your local dispensary.

Dabs are currently the most potent cannabis products on the market with high THC levels of between 60-99 percent THC. The standard (and safer) dose for a dab is the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. It may sound ridiculous, but since dabs are very powerful, this is more than enough for most users. 

The tricky part about dabs is that it’s hard to measure the exact amount of THC you’ll be getting per dab. However, it helps to know that, unlike smoking, with dabbing, most of the THC is preserved.

Like We Always Say, Start With a Low Dose

Wherever you are on your weed journey, when it comes to dosing, the smallest effective dose is the best dose. The body builds up a tolerance to THC over time anyway, so you really don’t need to consume more than you need. This also lowers the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects like paranoia, especially for first-time users.

Bowls aren’t hard to dose, since with inhaling weed you will start feeling the effects after about 15 minutes and you’ll know whether you need more puffs. However, it’s good to know exactly how much you need so that you don’t burn precious dry buds if you don’t end up consuming them.

The Takeaway

The average bowl of weed can fit about 0.25 grams of weed, although there are bigger bowls. That being said, you should also take into account that due to the combustion, a large percent of the THC will combust. This doesn’t mean that smoking weed this way is ineffective, it’s just how the active ingredients behave under high temperatures. If you know the potency of your weed, you can easily calculate how much THC you will get in a bowl.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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