How to Choose Medical Marijuana Dosage Correctly

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Written by Sindy Brent on 02/23/2022.
Data Last Updated: 05/31/2024.

Chromometer 9 min

Are you wondering how to choose the right dosage of medical marijuana? This is a question that many patients and caregivers ask, particularly when they are new to using cannabis. After all, cannabis is a potent medicine, and it’s important to get the dose right in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. In this article, you will learn about the steps involved in selecting the right medical marijuana dosage for your individual needs. We’ll discuss different factors to consider, different types of cannabis products available, and how to dose correctly to ensure the best possible outcome.

Why is Taking the Right Dose Important?

Why is Taking the Right Dose Important?

In pharmacology, there is a saying that every drug is a potential poison. The difference between a remedy and a poison is the dose. As a matter of fact, in 2007 a woman died of water intoxication. Even recently, it happened again in Indiana

Taking the right dose of medical marijuana is vital to getting the most out of its pharmacological capabilities. Medical cannabis is often used to alleviate different medical conditions, such as chronic pain, seizures, and anxiety. Its effectiveness is primarily attributed to the actions of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

While it may be tempting to adopt the same dosage metrics as a friend or relative, it is not ideal because certain determining factors must first be considered.

What Are the Factors to Consider When Determining Medical Cannabis Dosage?

What Are the Factors to Consider When Determining Medical Cannabis Dosage?

The right dosage of medical cannabis can vary greatly from one individual to another. Here are the influencing factors:

1. Method of Consumption

The way that medical marijuana is ingested can affect its absorption and metabolism. Common delivery methods are inhalation, ingestion, and topical application and of these, inhalation is the quickest to reach the bloodstream. However, it can also be the most irritating to the lungs.

Ingestion is the most convenient way to take medical marijuana, but it takes longer as the medication has to be first digested before absorption.

2. Your Health Condition

Your health condition is the primary factor influencing the appropriate medical cannabis dosage. Different ailments require different dosages, so it is important to consult a healthcare professional experienced in medical cannabis for personalized advice.

3. Cannabinoid Profile

The cannabinoid profile of a medical marijuana product refers to the type and amount of cannabinoids that it contains. This can vary according to the strain of cannabis used and the extraction method. Some strains are high in THC, while others are high in CBD. Some extraction methods produce products that are high in both THC and CBD, while others produce products that are high in just one cannabinoid.

4. Your Tolerance Level

If you are a first-timer, you may get overwhelmed by the effects of a high dosage. As you continue using medical cannabis for an extended period you will develop a higher tolerance level and might need higher doses to achieve the same therapeutic effect. 

5. Individual Factors

We are all unique in our ways. Certain factors such as age, weight, sex, metabolism, and medical history can all affect how a person responds to medical marijuana. Eg. People with liver disease may need to adjust their dosage of medical marijuana for better health.

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

The simple answer is YES! You can overdose on marijuana. However, cannabis overdose does not happen like opioids and other CNS-acting drugs. At the moment, no fatal THC overdose case has been reported. Nevertheless, excessive THC consumption might induce the following:

  • Anxiety and Paranoia
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Impaired Coordination
  • Memory and Cognitive Impairment

How to Choose Your Medical Marijuana Dose

How to Choose Your Medical Marijuana Dose

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for the perfect medical cannabis dosage, here are some general guidelines to help you get started:

  • Consult with an experienced physician: It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have a specific medical condition. They can provide personalized recommendations in terms of strains and doses, based on your needs. 
  • Start low: If you’re new to medical cannabis, begin with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the right balance of comfort and effectiveness. This minimizes the risk of side effects. As time goes by, you can increase your daily or monthly dosage according to your health needs. 
  • Keep a Journal: Document your experiences with different dosages and strains to find what works best for you. This way, you will help easily find the best dosage for your needs over time. But while you are at it, you have to exercise some patience with the experimentation. 

What Is the Right Dose for Smoking Medical Marijuana?

For a safe and controlled experience, it is recommended to consume a dosage of 250 to 500 mg of marijuana per joint. While using it, it is advised to take only a few inhalations and repeat it up to four times a day. This approach helps you to enjoy a better experience and avoid any unwanted side effects.

In a report by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, one inhalation of cannabis four times per day (approximately 400 mg per day), is recommended for the management of chronic non-cancer pain. Although more studies are still needed on the subject, smoking marijuana is believed to expose one to similar toxins and carcinogens present in tobacco. Therefore, caution must be applied while consuming it.

How Much Marijuana Edibles Can I Eat?

How Much Marijuana Edibles Can I Eat?

Edibles are food products that have been infused with tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. They come in various forms, such as brownies, gummies, chocolates, and even beverages, offering a discrete and appealing option for those who prefer not to smoke or vaporize marijuana.

If you want to experience a mild effect of marijuana without any significant impact on your physical and mental abilities, you can start with a microdose of 1-2.5 mg THC. For those who are new to cannabis and want to experience psychoactive effects, a low dose of 3-5 mg THC is ideal. It offers the traditional THC effects without being too overwhelming.

For regular cannabis consumers, it is recommended to take a moderate dose of around 15 to 30 mg THC. However, it is not a safe option for novices as it has an intoxicating effect. Over time, users develop a tolerance, which enables them to take up to 60-100 mg and higher doses.

How to Dose Topical Cannabis

Topical marijuana products are balms, creams, lotions, and salves infused with cannabis, designed to be used externally. Unlike other forms of cannabis consumption, topicals do not cause a psychoactive high. They are specially created to provide targeted relief without affecting your mental state. There is no particular dosage recommendation for using marijuana topicals, therefore, it is best to apply small amounts to the affected areas. You can also follow the instructions written on the product(if any).

How to Dose CBD Oil and Other Marijuana Products

How to Dose CBD Oil and Other Marijuana Products

  • CBD Oil: When using CBD oil, it’s recommended to start with a low dose. A good starting point is 2.5 mg of cannabidiol, taken orally, up to four times daily. This allows your body to adjust gradually to the compound. 
  • CBD Patches: These offer a unique and convenient way to experience the benefits of cannabis. The average dose provided by these patches ranges from 10 to 20 mg.
  • Pills and related products: When using pills and related products, it is recommended to begin your journey with a low dosage of 5 mg of THC. However, it is best to follow the instructions on the pack or seek a doctor’s advice.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re using cannabis to treat chronic pain, nausea, anxiety, or any other medical condition, selecting the correct dosage is essential. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can find the best dose to help you feel your best. However, if you require more detailed information, you should consult with your doctor for professional guidance. Don’t hesitate to leave your comments and questions. Stay well!

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