Dosing and Delivery of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana has medical value.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, marijuana comes with few side effects, and has never been shown to be fatal in terms of misuse or abuse.
There are different administration methods, dosages, and frequency to account for when administering marijuana, as there is no standardized dosing information.
Increasingly, studies are becoming available that prove – beyond anecdote, the medical benefits of marijuana; out of 4 scientific databases, there are about 24,000 abstracts as of 2017. But physicians aren’t covering medical marijuana or cannabis in medical school.
So let’s learn more together now!
So how do we use medical marijuana?
First, ask yourself, what are your goals? What do you want to achieve with using medical marijuana? Do you want to improve your quality and length of sleep, reduce anxiety and stress to live life every day? Get specific on your individual goals. Write them down.
“Start low, go slow.” Optimal benefits come with using the lowest, effective dose to achieve your goals. Using too much, too quickly will decrease its effectiveness and increase negative side effects. Start with a subtherapeutic dose of 1mg-2mg, 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD (if extra sensitive use a higher CBD:THC). Keep a journal of the strain, administration, dose, timing of administration, frequency of administration, and any feelings experienced. Include other information such as daily nutrition, hydration, exercise, and daily activities.
During the first 3 days, the goal is to feel only the slightest effect and build cannabinoid receptors. On day 4, increase the dose by 1mg beyond the minimal effect. The main goal is to discover your lowest therapeutic dose to effectively achieve your personal goals.
Know that every person’s body responds differently and builds tolerance at different rates. Some people experience their desired effects with lower doses, some with higher. Titrate (increase your dose) slowly. If you are needing a higher dose to get the same effect(s) then you have likely exceeded your optimal therapeutic dosage.
The THC:CBD ratio is paramount when formulating dosages as well,
● Type 1 (THC-dominant) – High THC, low CBD
● Type 2 (THC & CBD) – Mixed THC and CBD
● Type 3 (CBD-dominant) – High CBD, low THC (w/ THC-Free CBD, the entourage effect is lost but you can still benefit).
Consider, also, whether the strain is an Indica or Sativa. Indica is commonly relaxing, sedating, and calming. An easy way to remember is Indica=In-da-couch. Sativa is more energetic and uplifting.
Let’s talk overdosing. Symptoms of marijuana overdose include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, spasms, tremors, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, discoordination, and disturbed sleep. Extreme overdoses can lead to hallucinations and even acute psychosis. THC is non-toxic, and won’t harm you, even in high doses. A few remedies for overdose:
● Lemon zest, simply grind a lemon peel and sprinkle it on some food then eat the food.
● Drink a cup of chamomile tea.
● Hydrate and wait it out. You’ll be back to normal soon.
Let’s talk different delivery methods:
For inhalation, smoke out of an herbal vaporizer or long-stem glass or ceramic pipe. Start with a single inhalation, check in with how you are feeling. Wait 15 minutes before inhaling again. If necessary add a single inhalation every 15-30 minutes until
The oral/mucosal application can come in the form of tinctures or lozenges. There’s a difference between an oil-based and an alcohol-based tincture. Instructions for tinctures are generally placing drops under your tongue, allowing them to be absorbed through the mucosal membranes, then swallowing the rest. But instructions may be different depending on your condition and the base of the tincture.
Ingestibles are anything that move through the digestive tract. However, edibles can be difficult to dose due to either being mislabeled, or too much is consumed. Capsules are also considered an ingestible and are easier to dose. A starting dose for ingestible: Beginner 1-5mg, Moderate 5-10mg, Expert 10+ mg
Topical applications include salves, balms, massage oils, or any skincare products, which you can rub into any spot on your body from head to toe.
However, do not use topicals on open wounds or broken skin.
Transdermal applications like patches & gels are applied to venous parts of your body, such as the top of the foot or the inner wrist. Some balms and creams may be transdermal because they penetrate deeper. Please also do not use transdermals on open wounds or broken skin.
Suppositories are an application to consider whether vaginal or anally, depending on your condition and research. Please look into whether this is a good option for you and your goals.
In summary, medical marijuana is a journey. Be patient and open to trying the best administration, strain for your condition and goals. Be willing to learn and talk about all the details of medical marijuana. Have a starting point, a methodology and a program for titrating from that starting point to determine what works best for you based on your individual condition(s) and/or goals. Understand too medical marijuana is not a “magic pill” please consider eating more organic, non-gmo fruits and veggies, stay hydrated with high-quality water, move your body, keep calm and get great sleep.
By Marcella Povis of Natural Journey