The many forms in which medical cannabis is available, along with the various ways to consume it, can make dosing a challenge, especially for newbie users or those with very little experience with consuming marijuana. There are several factors that need to be considered with each form of intake, including bioavailability, accuracy of dose and time of onset. Read on to help you find the right starting dose.
Smoking is the most familiar for of intake and is one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of cannabis. Dried cannabis flowers or leaves are usually smoked, but concentrated oil, kief and hash are also widely used. Inhaled cannabis is generally absorbed very quickly, acting both systemically and locally in just a few minutes. Dose range is 2 to 100 milligrams per day, time of onset is mere seconds, and the duration of effect can go for up to five hours.
Vaporizing is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of medical cannabis. It is also one of the most common form of intake today. In this method, dried cannabis flower, concentrate or extract is slowly subjected to heat, allowing for its therapeutic ingredients to phase-change to vapor or gas without burning the plant. It is safer than inhaling smoke and gives the patient better control of the dose. Dose range is 2 to 100 milligrams per day, time of onset is mere seconds, and the duration of effect can go for up to five hours.
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)
MDI are popular for their rapid therapeutic drug delivery. Just like smoking or vaping, this is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of cannabis with added benefits. It gives non-combusted cannabinoids and are therefore non-psychoactive. It also allows for highly accurate dosing, and is safer than smoke and vaping. Dose range is 0.5 to 200 milligrams per day, time of onset is mere seconds, and the duration of effect can go for up to five hours.
Infusing cannabis into cooking oil or butter, or any other edible sugar alcohol or fat produces edible cannabis in the form of candy, capsule, food or beverage. One these are blended into a carrier, the resulting mixture can be used to dose the final dosage form of cannabis. Dose range is 0.5 to over 1000 milligrams per day, time of onset is from 20 minutes to hours, and the duration of effect can go for up to 12 hours.
Topical cannabis medicines are directly applied on the skin, usually at the site of injury over a certain muscle group. These mostly come in the form of lotions, balms, salves, oils, creams and sprays. By delivering the medication directly on the site of action, the risk of systemic side effects is greatly minimized. Dose range is 0.5 to 1000 milligrams per day, time of onset can be as fast as one hour, and the duration of effect can go for up to eight hours.
A transdermal patch is a discrete, self-contained dosage form that are applied to the skin and deliver the medication through the skin at a controlled rate directly into systemic circulation. Transdermal patches are fast becoming popular because of their cleanliness and controlled dosing. Dose range is 0.5 to 1000 milligrams per day, time of onset can be as fast as half an hour, and the duration of effect can go for up to eight hours.
Cannabis can be prepared as a therapeutic agent for delivery via various useful dosage forms. Whatever your preferred method of consuming medical marijuana, it is recommended that you always start with a low dose. Listen to your body and observe the effects so you can find the dosage for you.