Perhaps no topic related cannabis is as misunderstood as dosage. How much THC is enough? How much is too much? If one suffers from XYZ, what’s the proper dose of CBD? The following is a modest attempt to offer constructive, reasonable, and fact based guidelines. It is an individual’s right & responsibility to determine how much they need. In some cases a healthcare provider or cannabis practicioner’s guideance is helpful.
The proper dose of THC or CBD is all but impossible to define given that different users have different reasons for ingesting different strains of cannabis. Recreational users want to get high. The amount of THC they smoke or eat is what matters to them. When shopping for weed they’re interested in how much THC it has. The more, the better. On the other hand patients using cannabis-based medicines should focus on the best match to their symptoms. The amount of CBD or THC is only one factor to be considered.
People who want to get stoned usually smoke marijuana. When they’re high enough, they stop smoking. That’s their dose.
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Pam and I had a chance to ask a follow-up question of Dr. Ethan Russo at the 3rd annual Terpestival recently. He once stated that children don’t react the same way to a given dose of cannabis. Listen to his answer.
More sophisticated and nuanced consumers select specific strains that are sativas vs. indicas (or hybrids) or strains with terpenes that give it a certain taste and/or effect, or even based on the CBD:THC ratio (or in their case the THC:CBD ratio).
MMJ patients are looking for medicine that gives them relief from what ails them. Getting stoned isn’t their goal. Many patients seek strains of cannabis high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC and want a dose in that sweet spot of promoting healing without being more than they need. While stoners often enjoy too much, patients want just enough.
THC Better to start with less and work your way up than to risk an unpleasant experience because you smoked or ate way too much. When eating a medible like candy, baked goods, or a tincture 5-10 mgs of THC is a starting point. After eating marijuana you may not experience anything for an hour or more. This is normal.
CBD Medical marijuana patients are more likely to eat medibles or take tinctures. Many have never smoked pot or have health issues that prevent them from smoking. It is very difficult to establish an accurate dose when smoking. The amount of smoke you inhale and how long you hold it are hard to measure, let alone repeat time after time. The process of setting your own dose is called self-titration. Start with 5-10 mg of CBD and adjust the dose or frequency up or down based on your own feedback and experience.
Read what Project CBD has to say about cannabis doses.