Cannabis is a diverse plant that comes in various cultivars and strains with unique combinations of cannabinoid concentrations and other compounds such as terpenes and phytonutrients. These strains and cultivars are available across multiple product types, including but not limited to inhalation products, extractions, infused edibles, sublingual, topical, capsules and transdermal products.
With this diversity comes a wide range of differences in effects experienced by patients and consumers. This leaves many people asking themselves, how much should I take, and how can I legally consume? Let’s dig into these questions in more detail, starting with legal delivery and consumption methods.
Legal Delivery / Consumption Methods
Cannabis can be consumed and utilised in many different ways. However, in places such as Australia, where cannabis has been legalized for medicinal purposes, not all consumption methods are always legal. In Australia, qualifying patients are legally allowed to medicate with cannabinoids utilizing any of the following delivery methods.
- Inhalation (Smoking/Vaping Dry Flower)
- Sublingual (Troches, Tinctures)
- Ingestion (Capsules or Wafers)
- Topical / Transdermal (Creams / Patches)
- Intranasal (Nasal Spray)
- Rectal / Vaginal Insertion (Suppositories / Pessaries)
The Biphasic Effect
The Biphasic Effect suggests that consuming the same substance at high vs. low dosages can produce opposite effects. In reference to medical cannabis, consuming high THC levels may have adverse effects, whereas consuming low THC concentrations may offer substantial relief without any degree of side effects.
With the primary consumption methods being inhalation and ingestion, it is essential for patients to understand how best to consume medical cannabis products to achieve their individual desired goals without overmedicating. There are two ways to accomplish this. One is through microdosing with cannabinoids, and the other is through titration to find your minimum effective dose. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Microdosing is the process of consuming low doses of a compound in more frequent occurrences. For example, some may find that 50mg of THC is enough to keep their pain minimized throughout the day. However, if they take 50mg of THC at one time, it may cause them to go to sleep. Alternatively, though, they may be able to take 5mg of THC 10 times throughout the day while maintaining the ability to accomplish the tasks at hand while also finding relief from their ailment. Microdosing also allows patients to determine and reach their optimal minimum effective dosage (M.E.D) without fear of overconsumption. Microdosing can be performed utilizing inhalation, sublingual, and ingestion methods of delivery.
Titration, while similar to microdosing, is quite different. Titration is the act of gradually increasing the dosage of a compound over time to find the optimal dosage for a specific individual. While one person’s minimum effective dose may be 15mg of THC, another’s may be much lower or higher.
To best determine this, it is suggested that you start with the minimum possible dose and maintain that dosage for a short period before slightly increasing until you find the exact dosage that provides the relief you desire, following your doctor’s instructions.
An example of titration would be taking one drop of CBD oil one time a day for one week, then increasing to 2 drops twice a day for a week, followed by three drops three times a day, and so on until your M.E.D. is determined.
Low and Slow
When medicating with cannabis, less is often better, it is always smart to start low and go slow until you find what works best for you! It is also highly suggested to keep a detailed journal of your consumption and the results to determine better what works best for you and your specific ailments.
To learn more, book in a consultation with one of our friendly nurses to discuss your medical condition and cannabis products available for Australians.