Medical Cannabis can do wonders for patients suffering from all sorts of qualifying conditions. However, getting to that place of being comfortable about using your medicine is not so easy. Finding the ‘right formula’ is often a matter of trial and error. Dosing alone can take a while to nail down.
If you are new to Medical Cannabis, there is something you should know about dosing: it is not an exact science. Cannabis dosing is not the same as dosing FDA-approved prescription medications. There are reasons for that, which we’ll get into shortly. The main point we want to emphasize is the need for you to work with your Qualified Medical Provider (QMP) or Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) to figure out the best dosage for you.
We are guessing you have gotten prescriptions from your doctor in the past. Maybe you have received antibiotic prescriptions. Perhaps you have taken prescription medicine for allergies, high blood pressure, or whatever. All those FDA-approved drugs have one thing in common: they have undergone multiple levels of clinical trials prior to approval.
Clinical trials are mainly designed to test safety and efficacy. But they offer an added benefit: they allow manufacturers and the FDA to come up with solid dosing guidelines. Doctors familiarize themselves with those guidelines prior to writing prescriptions. That is what enables them to say you should take so much of a drug, so many times per day.
Medical Cannabis hasn’t undergone such extensive clinical testing. The result is that we just don’t know much about dosing. On top of that, dosage is affected by delivery method. And because there are so many different delivery methods, it can be difficult to say how much of a particular product you should use in order to feel better.
The general rule of thumb for new Medical Cannabis patients is to “start low and go slow.” In fact, this is a common slogan within the Medical Cannabis community. Learn it, love it, and live it.
Starting low means starting with a product with a low dose of THC. Remember that THC is the cannabinoid that makes you feel high. It can also have other side effects, including the sensation of a racing heart. This is enough to scare new users despite it not being dangerous.
Going slow means being careful about how frequently you use. Using too much, too quickly, can result in side effects that you find unpleasant. That’s a good way to turn yourself off from Medical Cannabis before you give it an honest chance to help you.
Since there are so many variations in dosage and delivery method, we always recommend that new Medical Cannabis patients track their results. You can track yours with paper and pen, on your smartphone, or any other means that works for you. The most important thing is that you do it.
To track the results of a particular medicine, you start by writing down a product’s specifics: name, strain, delivery method, and cannabinoid/terpene profile. Every time you use the medicine, record the date and time. Follow that up by recording how the product makes you feel. Be honest and record both the good and bad.
Every bit of information you keep track of can be used to fine-tune dosing and delivery method. Over time, you and your PMP can figure out the most appropriate dosing for your symptoms. If you ever change products, you may have to start over again. Just keep that in mind.