Probably the most important step in using medicinal cannabis is finding your right dose.  There are many factors that determine your best dose and I strongly recommend that you work with a healthcare provider with enough cannabis knowledge to help guide you to yours.  Remember, it is best to find the underlying cause of what it going on, rather then just to treat symptoms.  Meanwhile, here is some general information that can at least help you get a discussion going.

Cannabis dosing is very individual and depends on the route of administration: usually inhaled, ingested, submucosal, or topical.  Dosing also depends on the type of cannabis used, most commonly the CBD to THC ratio.  And correct dosing depends on the desired effect.  In very general terms, a micro dose may be indicated to help balance the endocannabinoid system, for things such as sleep, headache, fibromyalgia and stress.  A more standard dose may be indicated for pain, inflammation, anxiety and depression, while larger doses may be indicated for seizures and cancers

With cannabis, more is not always better.  Evidence strongly supports a bell-shaped dosing curve meaning; a small dose may have some effect, a greater dose may have a stronger effect and an even greater dose may then have less of an effect.  The goal is to achieve your minimum effective dose (MED).

In general, cannabis is safe to use and while an overdose, especially with a high THC concentration cannabis, may be uncomfortable, it should not be life threatening at least in people.  Please keep your pets away from high concentrations of THC, as this can, in some cases, be dangerous for them.

I will concentrate on using Oral Mucosal Drops, although this information generally applies to all routes of administration.  Also, I am assuming a CBD dominant preparation somewhere between 20:1 and 40:1 CBD:THC, from full, hemp flower so that the other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present.  The number of milligrams is the total amount of CBD present.  As discussed elsewhere, it is important to know what is in your preparation.

Start low and go slow.  This is especially important if you have not used cannabis recently.  When we come into contact with even small amounts of phytocannabinoids, our naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors up regulate so that we become more sensitive to the natural cannabinoids our bodies produce.  This up regulation occurs over about 72 hours and helps explain why so people achieve such significant results with just a milligram or two of cannabis a day.

For a person between 150-200 lbs, consider starting with 2mg twice a day for the first 3-4 days.  Keep track of how you are feeling and discontinue, or decrease the dose if you experience any unwanted effects.  In the beginning, with such low doses, it is fine to consider increasing the dose by 1 milligram twice daily every 3-4 days.  At least in the beginning, it is important to keep a journal of how you are feeling before and after your doses.

Once a dose of 5 mg twice daily has been reached, consider increasing your dose by about 20% every 3-4 days until you have reached a desired effect.  If you’re using more than 25 mg twice daily of a good, full hemp flower product and not achieving any desired results, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable provider.  Higher dose may be indicated and it may also be time to re-evaluate the underlying cause.

Written by Dr. Michael Steward, Chief Medical Officer-