Now that the world is beginning to treat cannabis as a medicine, it’s necessary to think about dosage. Despite the fact that cannabis has been legalized for therapeutic use in Canada, the USA, Australia, and many other parts of the world, there is still no international standard for cannabis dosage.
This could be the case for a number of reasons. Firstly, science has yet to identify a fatally toxic dose of cannabis. With that in mind, there’s no single dose a person could take that would dramatically affect their health or wellbeing. This could be one reason.
Another plausible explanation for the lack of a standard dose guide is that at the time cannabis was legalized, there were still a lot of gaps in the understanding of optimal dosing. In a professional sense, those gaps still exist, with many cannabis patients finding the right dose through trial and error.
With all of that in mind, remember that this is a guide for cannabis dosing. Many factors will contribute to what you finally choose as your optimum dose, and as your condition progresses or improves, your optimal dose might change.
This is a comprehensive guide on dosing for edibles, tinctures, oils, and topical treatments. We’ll briefly cover smoking and vaporizing, as these are still legitimate forms of medicinal cannabis consumption. However, dosage is less of an issue with these forms of cannabis consumption.
Factors that affect how much you need to take.
There are a few different factors that will affect how large of a cannabis dose you need to take. Remember, these are factors to consider, rather than hard and fast rules.
As you might imagine is the case with a lot of medications, body weight plays an important factor. Typically, for smaller people, smaller doses are required, and the opposite applies to bigger people.
Metabolism is another factor that contributes to how strong a drug affects a person. Naturally, the longer a drug takes to pass through metabolic processes, the longer it takes to have an effect. It might also have a less pronounced effect as the “therapeutic dose” never quite arrives in a single moment. Therefore, those with slower metabolisms should consider this when starting their dosing regimen.
Smoking and vaporizing.
A strict dosing regimen is nearly impossible to achieve with smoking or vaporizing. There’s no real way of knowing the exact cannabinoid concentration in any given herbal sample. Then, there’s no real knowing how much of those cannabinoids were lost during combustion.
Vape juices typically advertise the cannabinoid concentration on the bottle. But again, the amount of cannabinoids that actually arrive in your body is purely an estimation.
That doesn’t mean that smoking and vaporizing can’t be used therapeutically. However, they shouldn’t be used in circumstances where the individual requires a strict dosing regimen. It can be used, however, in acute situations (such as anxiety attacks) where immediate relief is required.
Dose can simply be controlled by abstaining from further use once the effects are where you want them to be. In short — stop smoking when you’ve had enough.
Dosage guide for THC edibles.
Edibles are the least bioavailable way to consume cannabinoids. Bioavailability refers to the amount of cannabinoids that actually arrive at target tissues. Because edible cannabis must pass through digestive processes such as stomach acid and liver digestion, some of it is simply lost.
At the same time, edibles produce effects much more long-lasting than other forms of cannabis consumption. It’s also very easy to accidentally take too much.
When you are using this guide, remember factors such as weight and metabolism. This dosage guide for edibles is for the average person. If you consider yourself heavier or having a slower metabolism than the average person, you may need a higher dose than what’s outlined here.
If you believe you should be using more than 50mg THC per dose, we highly recommend that you do so under the guidance of a cannabis doctor. This isn’t because cannabis is unsafe at higher doses. However, if your medical condition necessitates higher doses, it is best done so under the guidance of a medical professional.
Dosage guide for THC tinctures.
Tinctures are received by the body faster and easier than edibles. The effects don’t last as long as edibles, but are specifically useful when faster therapeutic action is required. For maximum bioavailability, tinctures should be dropped under the tongue and left to dissolve through the mucous membranes. If swallowed, the tincture will take longer to take effect.
Depending on the reason you’re using THC, you may wish to spread your dose out over the entire day. This ensures lasting effects. If you’re using it for insomnia, for example, it would be best to take the entire dose before bed.
Tinctures offer a very flexible dosing regimen. For this reason, we recommend starting at a low dose and increasing your dose each day until you find the perfect one. Here are some starting points, depending on the severity of the problem.
We recommend the following regimen to find your perfect dose within this framework:
- Take 5mg in the morning and 5mg at night for the first three days.
- Increase by 2.5 mg in the evenings for days 4-7.
- Take 10mg in the morning and 10mg in the evening for 7 days.
- Increase each dose by 2.5 mg every three days until the perfect dose is found.
Topicals dosage guide.
When it comes to topical treatment with cannabis (THC or CBD), cannabinoid concentration matters a lot. Lower cannabinoid levels can typically improve skin health and address minor skin irritations, but for the treatment of muscular pain or inflammation, higher concentrations are required. Most commercially available cannabis topicals do not contain cannabinoid concentrations high enough to be considered suitable for muscle pain or inflammation. We’ve put together this guide so you know which topical is appropriate for which reasons.
CBD dosage guide.
We know that when it comes to CBD, things are a little different than THC. That’s why we’ve included this guide specifically for dosing CBD. To start with, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so there’s some more leniency when it comes to dosing. It’s still appropriate for most people to use higher doses of CBD while maintaining the ability to work and drive, for example.
We also recommend low doses of CBD if it’s being used for everyday health and wellbeing, but recommend higher doses for symptomatic relief. We’ve also included weight ranges for our dosage suggestions to make it easier to factor in weight.
Understanding how to calculate a dose from your bottle of CBD oil
For some people, it’s all a little too complicated to figure out how to get 10mg of CBD out of their 30 mL, 1000mg bottle of CBD oil. We’ve included this visual breakdown so that you don’t have to get all mathematical on your own. It shows you the mg of CBD in each drop, so that you know exactly how many drops to take to make up your dose.
How to use this reference chart
To use this reference chart you should:
- Check how many milligrams are in your bottle of CBD
- Check the volume of your CBD tincture bottle
- Refer to the reference guide on how many mg of CBD is in each drop, and take as many drops as required to achieve your dose
You want to take 10mg of CBD. You have a 350 mg CBD tincture in a 15 mL bottle. According to the chart, each drop will contain 1.17 mg. To achieve a 10 mg dose, you should take 9 drops.
You want to take 25 mg of CBD. You have a 750 mg CBD tincture in a 30 mL bottle. According to the chart, each drop contains 1.25 mg. To achieve a 25 mg dose, you need to take 20 drops.
Pay attention to your body’s response
Let all of this serve as a useful guide on doses for different cannabis forms. At the same time, watch your body and how it responds. It may take some time to find your perfect dose or the perfect combination of doses. You might also find that over time, your needs change, and so does your dose of cannabis. Let your body guide the way, and don’t forget to enjoy your journey with cannabis.