How To's

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

As with over-the-counter and prescription drugs, dosing matters when using cannabis.

Dosing, when it comes to cannabis use, is equally as important as it is with over-the-counter and prescription drugs.  While products including the flower itself will identify the amount of CBD and THC in them, it is extremely important that you consider a number of other factors when determining how much to use.  Here are some things to consider and suggestions to help you win the race:

Are you a novice or a pro?

Again, just like with anything else, your body builds up a tolerance to things it is exposed to on a regular basis.  Therefore, if you are a person using cannabis for the first time, or again after a long period of time, then you are a novice.  However, if you have been using it but are now considering it more for its medicinal effects, then you, my friend, would be a pro.  Neither is bad nor good, but each has specific implications when trying to determine your proper dosing. In a nutshell, when you are a novice, think small amounts and slow pace.

Experience is everything

Your body is very complex and unique; therefore, the experience of one person can be very different than another.  As you try different products, strains and amounts it will be important for you to keep track of how these changes affect you.  Consider keeping an Experience Journal to log your journey.  This will be something you can share with your doctor and the staff at your dispensary.

Metabolism Matters

My best friend in high school could eat an entire pizza and would not gain a pound!  Me, on the other hand, only had to smell it and the pounds jumped onto my body. We clearly had a huge difference in the way we metabolized food which affected our experiences with pizza.  I’m sure you have stories of people whose speech is slurred after drinking a single beer and others who can chug a keg and pass any field sobriety test. Metabolism matters with food and alcohol, and it matters with cannabis.

There are other factors, in addition to your body’s own unique metabolic rate, that can affect how you process the plant. Below, are a few of them:

  • Age. The younger the person, the quicker he/she metabolizes cannabis.  Older people, therefore, may require smaller doses.
  • Severity of your symptoms or disease
  • The amount of stomach acid you have

Method of Administration

How you consume cannabis directly affects how your body will absorb it.  Inhaling (vaping), suppositories, tinctures under the tongue (sublingual), and transdermal patches all have higher absorption rates; however, the effects are quicker.  Taking cannabis orally (i.e. edibles, drinks, capsules, etc.) has a lower absorption rate, but the effects last longer.

MOA Suggested Dosing
Inhalation
  • 1 puff, wait 5-10 minutes
    • Positive reaction = STOP
    • No reaction = 1-2 puffs more, wait 5-10 minutes
Oral
  • Start with 2.5-10mg, wait up to 2 hours
    • Positive reaction = STOP
    • No reaction = double dose, wait 2 hours more OR double the dose the next day
Sublingual, Rectal/Vaginal, or Transdermal
  • Start with 5-10mg, wait 30-60 minutes
    • Positive reaction = STOP
    • No reaction = double dose, wait 30-60 minutes more OR double the dose the next day

Mixing with Alcohol

It is highly recommended that you avoid using alcohol while you are using cannabis.  I know, I know, people do it all the time. The key word is RECOMMEND.  If you must indulge, it is recommended that you use cannabis, first, then drink.  The other way around is very likely to make you puke – just saying.

What’s been your experience with dosing and methods of administration?

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