Potent cannabis oil concentrates, non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) products, and innovative, smokeless delivery systems transformed the therapeutic cannabis landscape. It’s no longer a secret whether marijuana has medical value. Now, it’s about learning how to enhance your therapeutic use of cannabis to suit your lifestyle and situation. Read on to better understand how to navigate proper cannabis dosing for adults.
Cannabis Dosage and Doctors
For doctors as well as their patients, optimizing therapeutic cannabis can be a challenge. Cannabis was never part of their med school curriculum because the legalization of it is a fairly new development.
As a result, few feel they are qualified to counsel patients about dosage, ratios, different administration modes, and side effects. Cannabis comes in a wide range of potencies and many various forms. Also, its distribution and production are not standardized in states where cannabis is legal for therapeutic use.
Beginners Guide to Microdosing
One of the most common misconceptions about cannabis therapy is that you have to get ‘high’ to experience symptom relief. Preclinical science notes that a small amount of THC can offer health benefits. Oral administration of a low THC dose (1 mg/day) resulted in inhibition of potential disease progression in an animal model. This effective dose is smaller than the amount associated with the psychotropic effects of THC.
Cannabis remains federally illegal and this means there are consequent research restrictions. Clinical data is lacking to determine if low-dose THC therapy can protect against atherosclerosis in humans. The practice of microdosing is growing among those who want the medical benefits of cannabis. Microdosing is the consumption of a sub-psychoactive or slightly psychoactive dose of cannabis.
Although banned by federal law, cannabis medicine is currently accessible in many forms through the different state laws. Products such as infused sublingual sprays, concentrated oil extracts, edibles, tinctures, gel caps, topical salves, etc. can be found in shops across the states. Check your local state laws to see what is legally available in your area.
Managing the intoxicating properties of cannabis is a critical factor in terms of using it medicinally. Some people enjoy the ‘high’ of cannabis, while others do not. It is crucial to know one’s sensitivity to THC to implement an effective treatment regimen.
Cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause the same intoxicating effect as THC. CBD can neutralize or lessen the THC high depending on how much one consumes of each compound. A more significant CBD:THC ratio means less of a high. Today’s cannabis patients have the option to heal minus the ‘high’ feeling.
Essentially there are three types of cannabis and resin-rich cannabis products:
- Type 1 : (THC-dominant) – High THC, low CBD (famously intoxicating cannabis varietals)
- Type 2 : (THC & CBD) – Mixed THC and CBD cultivars (intoxicating, but not as edgy as THC-dominant varietals)
- Type 3 : (CBD-dominant) – High CBD, low THC (non-euphoric marijuana or hemp)
The THC:CBD ratio is the most crucial component when formulating dosage strategies.
It’s Easier to Add Than Subtract
The saying “start slow and go slow” is appropriate for cannabis therapy. If a new patient smokes or vapes for the first time, start with a single inhalation. Wait at least 15 minutes before inhaling again. The effects of the inhaled cannabis take between immediately to a few minutes to kick in. Inhalation of smoke or vapor provides the quickest relief of acute distress. If necessary, the patient can inhale additional puffs every 15 to 30 minutes until desired symptom control.
For edibles and tinctures, it’s essential to remember that it can take at least 60 minutes to feel a dose. Patients with little or no experience using cannabis should start by ingesting small amounts. About the equivalent of 1.25 to 2.5 mg of THC shortly before bedtime for two days. If no unwanted side effects, increase the dose of THC by 1.25 to 2.5 mg for the next two days. Continue to increase the quantity of THC by an additional 1.25 to 2.5 mg every other day until satisfaction. In the event of adverse side effects, reduce the dose of THC to the prior amount.
Different Strokes For Different Folks
Type 1 – Managing THC
Some may need to ingest a cannabis preparation multiple times during daylight hours in addition to their night-time regimen. On days 1 and 2, start with one dose of the equivalent of 2.5 mg THC. On days 3 and 4, increase to 2.5 mg THC twice a day. If well tolerated, up the dose incrementally to a total of 15 mg THC (divided equally throughout the day). Amounts exceeding 20-30 mg/day [of THC] may increase adverse events or induce tolerance without improving efficacy. Adverse events mainly pertain to THC and are dose-dependent. Very high doses are more likely to cause unwanted side effects.
For many medicinal products, the higher the dose, the stronger the therapeutic effects. This is not necessarily the case with cannabis. THC and other cannabis products have biphasic properties. This means that low and high doses generate opposite results. Smaller quantities tend to stimulate while more significant amounts sedate.
This means that starting low and gradually upping the dose of cannabis will produce more potent effects at first. Unfortunately, dosage increases can result in weaker therapeutic effects and increase side effects after a certain point. It’s crucial to understand that everybody builds tolerance at different rates and responds to THC differently. Check in with yourself frequently when using cannabis to gauge the side effects and therapeutic effects as well.
Can I Take Too Much?
Over-consumption of cannabis occasionally results in some adverse effects. Symptoms of cannabis overdose closely mirror the symptoms one would expect cannabis to relieve at appropriate doses. Such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, spasms, tremors, sweating, paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety, dis-coordination, and disturbed sleep. Severe overdoses can lead to acute psychosis and hallucinations.
By increasing the dosage slowly and introducing THC in small amounts, you minimize the risk of harmful side effects. The goal is to take enough THC to achieve therapeutic effects and a low enough amount to minimize the adverse.
Type 2 – CBD and THC: It takes two to tango
While they work great on their own, together, THC and CBD work best in terms of cannabis therapeutics. Both have incredible medicinal attributes. The CBD enhances THC’s anti-inflammatory and pain-killing abilities and reduces unwanted side effects. CBD magnifies the beneficial impact of a small amount of THC, so you don’t need to take an intoxicating dose.
Although most patients benefit from the lowest effective dose, others benefit from a high-dose cannabis oil regimen. These patients often engage in a regimen that includes a substantial amount of THC as well as CBD. CBD makes high potency oil treatment easier to manage by reducing THC’s intoxicating effects. A steady regimen over several weeks will help build a tolerance to THC’s intoxicating effects if high doses are necessary.
Results Are Individual
Cannabis therapeutics are specific to each person. Not a single THC:CBD ratio or dosage is optimal for everybody. As small as 2.5 mg of CBD combined with a tiny THC can have a therapeutic effect. If necessary, much larger doses of good-quality CBD-rich formulations are safe and easily tolerated.
The best way to start is with low doses of a CBD-rich remedy and increase the dosage. Take a few small amounts for the day, rather than one hefty dose. Low-THC products are not always the ideal treatment option. A balanced combination of THC and CBD can have a more significant impact than either by themselves.
The goal is to administer consistent, measurable doses of CBD with as much THC as the person is comfortable taking. Experiment, observe the effects and adjust the amount until you find the right combination of both compounds.
Type 3 – Full- Spectrum CBD-Rich Products
Microdosing is a sensible option for those who don’t want to get too intoxicated too quickly. Large dose CBD therapy is another way of healing without the ‘high.’
Type 3 CBD-dominant cannabis (with little THC) or pure CBD isolate (No THC) won’t make a person feel stoned. On the other hand, CBD isolates lack critical aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids, which enhance therapeutic effects. Single-molecule cannabinoids are not as versatile or practical as whole plant formulas.
Full-spectrum CBD cannabis oil is effective at lower doses and has a larger therapeutic window than a CBD isolate. The therapeutic synergy observed with plant extracts results in the requirement for a lower amount of active components.
For people as well as pets, cannabis dosage should be determined individually. Several factors come into play, including one’s overall health and endocannabinoid tone. Diet, exercise, sleep patterns, day-to-day stress, and genetics influence health and endocannabinoid tone. Cannabis is best as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some dosage variables to consider:
- Cannabis experience. Has the patient used cannabis before? Or are they a pothead who already uses cannabis every day but isn’t getting the best results? A veteran user may need a larger dose than a new user. Or a regular user might need a break from getting high to reboot his or her sensitivity to cannabis.
- Time of day. Optimizing one’s therapeutic use of cannabis may entail using products with different CBD: THC ratios at other points during the day. More CBD for daylight hours, more THC at night.
- Preventive dosing. Prolonged small dose therapy may be advantageous for managing chronic symptoms. Studies indicate that cannabinoids have neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties. These properties limit the potential damage of a traumatic brain injury or a heart attack.
- Cannabinoid acids. Raw, unheated cannabis contains CBD and THC in their “acid” form, CBDA and THCA, which are not intoxicating. Cannabinoid acids can be effective in minimal amounts. Precise dosing is difficult when juicing raw cannabis. Other delivery systems are becoming available for CBDA-rich and THCA-rich products.