Cannabis How-Tos

Cannabis Oral Sprays: How Much Should I Take?

Get the basics on THC and CBD oral sprays, including how to use them, how to determine how much to consume and the timing of onset of potential effects.

A hand holding a cannabis oil oral spray bottle

    When it’s packaged into a portable bottle with a spray top, cannabis oil — made by mixing cannabis extract with a neutral oil, such as olive or sunflower — can be consumed as an oral spray. Cannabis oral sprays may contain THC and/or CBD and are a smoke-free option for consuming cannabis. Explore how much oil spray you should take, how to calculate the dosage, the effects you may encounter and more.

    How do oral sprays work?

    Unlike ingestible products such as edibles, which are absorbed through the digestive tract, the cannabis in oral sprays is consumed through oral absorption: The cannabinoids are absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth, specifically those under your tongue (sublingual) and in your cheek (buccal), and travel into your bloodstream.

    How do I use an oral spray?

    To use cannabis oral spray effectively, shake the bottle well before using to ensure the extract is evenly mixed with the oil. Then push down on the pump a few times to ensure you’ll be getting a full spray. Spray the oil under your tongue or inside your cheek and hold it in your mouth for 15 to 20 seconds before swallowing. Note that this is the typical way oral spray is used, but always follow the directions on the specific product you are consuming.

    How much cannabis oral spray should I take?

    The first step in deciding how much cannabis oral spray to consume is figuring out how much THC and CBD is in each spray. The best way to do this is to read the product packaging. The total amount of each cannabinoid in the bottle will be listed, as well as the amount of each per spray or per “activation.”

    As with any cannabis product, there is no recommended dosage for oral sprays. Start with a low amount of THC, such as 2.5 mg THC or 0.2 ml of oil, and wait 30 minutes to two hours for the effects to become apparent before consuming more.

    If you’re new to consuming cannabis or trying a product for the first time, Health Canada recommends choosing one with low THC potency. 

    Learn more about understanding cannabinoid content on product labels.

    How long will it take to feel an effect?

    The length of time it takes to feel an effect from consuming any cannabis product depends on many factors, such as the dosage, your frequency of consumption and your genetic makeup.

    The consumption method also plays a part: As cannabis spray is consumed through oral absorption, your body processes it differently than when you inhale cannabis, for example. While smoking or vaporizing cannabis produces an effect within minutes, it may take 30 minutes to two hours for the effects of oral spray to become apparent . The effects of CBD and THC sprays generally peak after about two hours and can persist for up to 24 hours.

    The onset of effects from absorbing cannabis orally can be slow and erratic.

    What are the potential effects of cannabis
    oral spray?

    Consuming a cannabis product that contains THC can produce numerous short- and long-term effects on both your mind and body. Some of the potential short-term effects include:

    • Fatigue, sleepiness and increased feelings of calm and relaxation
    • Feelings of euphoria
    • Changes in perception and time distortion
    • An impaired ability to pay attention and remember
    • Panic and anxiety
    • Loss of coordination and reduced reaction time
    • Dissociation, paranoia and delusions
    • Slower, faster or pounding heartbeat
    • Chest pain
    • Seizures

    For some people, regularly consuming cannabis containing THC can present the risk of developing long-term effects and conditions, such as psychosis and/or schizophrenia, cannabis use disorder and impaired concentration and memory. Get more on the health effects of cannabis consumption on our evidence-backed information hub, Cannabis Made Clear.

    How will I know what effects I’ll experience?

    Everyone will experience their own unique effects from consuming cannabis oral spray, depending on factors such as THC potency of the product, the method of consumption used and the amount that’s consumed.

    Even if you consume the same product twice, other individual factors may influence and vary the effects you experience. These include your:

    • sex, weight and age
    • genetic background
    • health history and any current mental health conditions
    • frequency of cannabis consumption and previous experience
    • personality and current mood
    • individual metabolism and how much food you’ve eaten recently

    Is it possible to consume too much oral spray?

    Yes, it is possible to consume too much oral spray — but it’s important to know that there has never been a documented case of death caused by cannabis overconsumption, which is also called cannabis poisoning or “greening out.”

    Consuming THC always comes with the possibility of experiencing undesired or unpleasant effects, particularly if you’ve overconsumed. If you think you’ve consumed too much — and especially if you’re experiencing loss of contact with reality, chest pain, seizures or a panic attack — seek immediate medical attention.

    Cannabis oral sprays offer a convenient, portable way to consume cannabis. Always read the packaging information carefully to ensure you know how much THC and/or CBD you are consuming and that you’re using it in the way the Licensed Producer intended.

    5 Simple Steps
    to Rolling a
    5 Simple Steps to Rolling a
    Cooking Safely
    with Cannabis
    Cooking Safely with Cannabis