In early 2021, we published a post talking about Medical Cannabis layering. The point of that post was to introduce our readers to the layering concept. Hopefully, you read the post and learned a thing or two. That being the case, let us take layering one step further. In addition to knowing what it is, you should also know that learning to layer your medicine effectively takes time and practice.
Medical Cannabis is somewhat unique in that QMPs and PMPs don't write ironclad prescriptions in the same way a doctor might prescribe an antibiotic or opioid painkiller. Patients are allowed quite a bit of discretion in how they use Medical Cannabis products. Incidentally, this discretion is that which allows layering to begin with.
So what is layering? If you are new to Medical Cannabis, layering is the practice of using several types of medications simultaneously. The goal is to provide maximum relief from your particular condition. Layering is especially useful to patients who are being treated for multiple conditions at the same time.
Take a fictional patient named Joe. He has PTSD. The nightmares associated with his condition routinely interrupt his sleep. With the help of his PMP, he has discovered that certain edibles really help his sleep a lot. But the effects take several hours to kick in. Meanwhile, he starts to get anxious well before bedtime.
His PMP recommends taking edibles two hours before bedtime. If he starts feeling anxious and needs help preparing for sleep, his PMP suggests a little bit of tincture under the tongue. This will help Joe settle down so that he is ready for sleep when bedtime arrives. The tincture prepares him for sleep while the edible guarantees he will sleep through the night.
This brings us to the main issue of why layering takes time and practice. When you first start layering, the chances of you and your PMP knowing exactly what will work best are pretty slim. You just have to try something based on how your body has been reacting to your medicines to date. Your PMP can help you make an educated guess, based on your weight and previous consumption habits, of dosages to use in layering.
You might get lucky and get it right on your first try. But you probably won't. So you go back to your PMP and report your progress. The two of you then work together on adjusting your medications. You can then try out the new strategy and track it for a little while.
Chances are you are going to try several different delivery methods and a variety of doses before you figure out the best layering strategy. And because you do not want to make too many drastic changes too quickly, all your layering changes will occur gradually. Depending on your medical condition and how you respond to Medical Cannabis, it could take anywhere from several weeks to several months to figure out the best way to layer.
With enough time and practice, you will figure it out. But don't assume that will be the end of it. If you are like most people, your health will change over time. There may come a day when something changes. That something might be enough to throw off your entire layering strategy. Then it is back to square one.
It takes time and practice to figure out a Medical Cannabis layering solution. Remember to start “low and slow,” meaning to use low doses of cannabis at first, and to allow plenty of time for those doses to take effect before consuming more cannabis. Use our “Find Your Just Right Dose” guide to learn your minimum effective dose.