How to use cannabis oil: How to find your effective dose

By Sweet D | Uncategorized

Feb 10

How to Use Cannabis Oil: How to Find Your Effective Dose

How to use cannabis oil

How Much Oil Do I Take?

One of the most frequent questions we get here at Cannabis Oil for is "How much oil do I take?"

And there is simply no set and easy answer to this question. I always try to convey to folks that using cannabis is a trial and error process, and one that requires getting a bit more in tune with your own body and paying attention to how a substance such as CBD is interacting with it. This can require a bit of patience and experimentation, but can often be worth it in the end on several fronts.

The fact is, you can give the same dose of a given cannabis oil to two different people and get two different experiences so this makes dolling out any type of specific advice next to impossible for even the most informed and one of the prime reasons doctors currently eschew the use of cannabis.

The reasons for this disparity are many, but primarily it boils down to both the vast amount of variation in species of cannabis as well as the underlying condition of any one persons individual Endocannabinoid System. As well, the range of things that people are looking at substances such as CBD and cannabis for is quite vast so this can present a fair few variables when looking at baseline effects across a wide sample of individuals.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

As more and more illness is speculated to possibly be coming from an origin of basic endocannabinoid deficiency, the reason these exogenous phytocannabinoids seem to be able to effectively tackle many conditions that have thus far proven resistant to modern pharmaceuticals begins to make more and more sense. These natural substances are keying into the bodies most basic systems in the most natural way possible.

Retrograde Feedback

What makes cannabinoids so fascinating in terms of their function on neurotransmitter function, is their ability to provided retrograde feedback across various receptor sites to help achieve homeostasis or balance in the body. They are the only substances we know of that provide this two way functionality across receptors. They can tell the body to send more or send less depending upon the bodies need. Pharma can only push the button on or off in respect to receptor activity, and can in fact damage the receptors by applying too much gas or breaking the system too hard for too long.

Practical Cannabis Dosing

So to bring this back to the subject of trying to figure out how much of a given cannabis product to take, you can apply this in the form of a few basic concepts to establish some rough guidelines. Remember, you are the ultimate boss as to how much you take. You can look to things like a Rick Simpson dosing protocol for certain conditions and some rough guidance for particular issues, but for many uses, you will simply be using trail and error and judging efficacy for yourself. This can be a bit of a foreign feeling for those that of us that are used to taking X dose of X pill at X time of day based on Dr. X's recommendation.

We recommend the following basic guidelines when asking how to use cannabis oil of any type, be they CBD rich hemp oils or THC rich medical marijuana oils:

1. Start Slow and Observe Carefully

Anytime you are taking any new substance, pharmaceutical, food, etc, it is fairly prudent to ingest a small amount and wait for any reaction. We can all have unusual allergies or reactions to substances that the vast majority of us can tolerate easily. This is a rule I try to stick to with any new substance I am unsure about in terms of its reaction with my personal chemistry. When I feel I am sure there is not any sort of a unique reaction with my own body chemistry, I am then ready to explore higher doses. With cannabis oils, I typically start with a small drop on my lip or inner lower lip. These areas are typically very sensitive in cases of allergens and can often produce a very fast red flag in the form of swelling or itching and burning showing that something is not jiving with the body and that particular substance or something it may be mixed or diluted with.

Some cannabis oils will burn naturally. This is due to the levels of beneficial terpenes present, and is actually a sign of very good oil. A peppery type burn is normal with terpenes. It is important to distinguish this from an allergy type reaction that is usually accompanied in the mouth by rapid localized swelling and or itching.  Terpene burning is very similar to the sensation you will get from spicy food.

2. Slowly Increase the Dosage

With CBD, I feel like 5mg doses are good increments to move in, with most folks seeming to be able to start to feel good quality CBD at around the 15 to 25mg range. It will be active below these levels, but you may not notice any difference in the way you feel just generally speaking.  That is kind of the rough point many become aware they have taken cannabidiol. If you have access to CBD capsules, which some companies manufacture, this can often be a very easy way to find your personal dosing thresholds. Working with tinctures can be a bit more challenging and there I recommend raising doses in half or full dropper increments as a simple method of measurement. Once you find a good dropper dose, you can reverse the math and figure out how much an individual dropper will roughly hold for a given sized bottle to get your rough mg. dose. This will be a close ballpark, and will change from oil to oil, or strain to strain.

For reference, for myself personally, I slowly increased my dosage in 5mg increments over weeks and months, and have found over time that around 20- 25mg once or twice a day, is a very effective dose for me. A typical oral dose of cannabis oil will last for a good 4 to 6 hours after administration, with about 2 hours or so to peak onset at which point the dose can then be repeated depending on how steady a level you are trying to achieve or maintain. For many uses, prophylactic, etc, a single daily dose can be all that is needed.

How to Use Cannabis Oil - Safe to Experiment

The great thing about cannabis, is that for most of us, you can feel largely safe exploring your personal boundaries with it. Be it medical marijuana with THC in it or CBD rich hemp oils, the concept is the same. There is no danger of overdose, death, dependency or damage from taking too much,... for most, you will simply head off to bed for a good nights sleep if you happen to take a larger dose of marijuana oil, possibly after cleaning the fridge out!  A very high dose of CBD may impart the same desire for sleep.

Respect for Psychoactivity with Marijuana Oils High in THC

Those new to cannabis with THC in it MUST be careful and respectful when taking oral doses as this form of administration can take a couple of hours to take effect and once you have taken too much, you can't untake it, in terms of the psychoactive effect possibly becoming uncomfortable. You will be in for a 4 hour ride or so, so the rule with THC and marijuana oils in general, is to start slow and build tolerance until you understand how they effect you.

What if You Happened to Eat Too Many Brownies?

As a side note, if you are taking full spectrum medical marijuana oils with THC in them, and the dosage ever becomes uncomfortable, you can take a good sized dose of CBD to neutralize many of the uncomfortable effects of the THC. Additionally, one can chew on a few black peppercorns, which will also help to reduce and mitigate the effects of the THC in the body that can produce uncomfortable feelings for novices or those with low tolerance.

CBD Rich Hemp Oils

With CBD oil, since there is no significant psychoactive component to balance, you can go quite liberal on doses— in many cases the cost of the CBD may in fact be the balancing factor. For instance, I take 20 to 25Mg's at a dose, so a typical small sized tincture of 250mg represents 10 doses for me, and that would translate to a basic 5 to 10 day supply to maintain that daily dose.

Study doses of 5mg per pound of body weight in children are quite common, so you can easily consume several hundred mg at once on the high end of dosing. You will have to listen to your body and find your thresholds of desired effect as you determine how to use various cannabis oils for yourself.

Also, some oils may flat out prove ineffective or only moderately so. Do not lose hope. Every cannabis oil is different in their composition of over 130 known cannabinoids, and equal number of terpenes and active flavonoids. You will want to experiment with as many different oils as you can get your hands on if you are trying cannabis oil, depending again on the reason for using it. You will find some are more effective than others for YOU. There is no best cannabis oil, there are only the blends that happen to work better for YOUR particular body and issues.  Cannabis oil is not a one sized fits all solution I am fond of saying in terms of it being that predictable.  We have much to learn yet of these substances and the Endocannabinoid system they interact with.

Examining the Subject of Tolerance as it Pertains to Cannabis Oil

As a final topic, let's examine the issue of tolerance, as it typically pertains to cannabis. With many natural substances, such as caffeine, or man made substances such as prescription opiates, the issue of tolerance can become a significant factor when looking at efficacy over time.

What happens with many of these substances, is that the body will build tolerance to them, and as a result, to achieve the same effect— say pain relief in the case of opiates— higher and higher doses are required over time in direct proportion to the longer the person uses these substances daily. In turn, these higher doses magnify any underlying side effects of that may manifest and frequently, they can reach a point of diminishing returns, where the side effects of such heavy dosing start to outweigh the issues that are requiring the use of the substances to begin with. This is the typical hamster wheel that many folks taking opiates or other Rx drugs for years find themselves on. The only answer to this equation is to continue to up the dosage or find a more powerful substitute and start the tolerance treadmill all over again.

The Plateau Effect with Cannabis Tolerance

With cannabis, tolerance also occurs, but cannabis tolerance will typically plateau, instead of reaching a zenith and then tapering off dramatically on the backside of the curve. Because cannabinoids are able to achieve retrograde feedback in the body, your body will naturally find an equilibrium after several weeks of use. At this point, you can take more, and not really see any significant added effect from taking the additional dosage. You will have plateaued in tolerance to that particular oil or cannabis. At this point, you can simply switch to another strain/brand of oil to largely "reset" your bodies tolerance to that particular strain. This is essentially what most daily cannabis smokers do, and most with the choice, will rotate their strain selection to keep from getting tolerant to any one strain in particular for too long.  Medical users can have different agendas.

Conversely, there are also conditions where the goal of some lines of therapy is to start slow, and increase to essentially mega doses, in an attempt to completely saturate the body with high doses of cannabinoids, such as Simpson oil protocal.  The use will vary upon condition and desired outcome.

No Significant Withdrawal

Additionally, due to the negligible tolerance issues with cannabis, withdrawal is similarly not a problem, where by contrast, it may become a life threatening situation to suddenly withdraw from various pharmaceuticals after long term use. Patients must frequently be "weened" slowly off of these drugs, which is yet further indication of how upsetting these classes of drugs are to our bodies in the first place.

Long Term Use

This makes cannabis an amazing plant for long term use and efficacy. It takes a new user about 3 weeks of daily use to build their baseline tolerance and maximize the amount of receptors the body uses to catch these molecules. At that point, you can continue to take the same dose, every day, provided it is the same product/oil/strain, and expect to see roughly the same return over time from it. If you switch oils or strains, then you will go through a similar 2 to 3 week tolerance building process, as your body gets used to the new blend of cannabis and then plateau again.

You have folks like myself that have used cannabis medicinally for 30 years, and even after that amount of time, I still use the exact same doses I did when I first started smoking herb in my late teens. This is the kind of thing you NEVER see with things like opiates, alcohol, tobacco, and anti psychotics to name but a few that require higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects over time. And this is due to the fact that again, all of these other substances pretty much only slam your receptor activity on or off. They do not serve to balance the system.

Cannabinoids as the Some of the Basic Building Blocks of Our Bodies

Besides things like plant based cannabinoids found abundantly in cannabis and to a lesser extent in other prized and healing plants such as echinacea and black truffles, the main source of external cannabinoids that we all receive in our life comes in the form of our mothers invaluable breast milk, which many of us were not even lucky enough to receive being raised in the bottled formula generation.

And that speaks volumes as to why some of us may be in fact be endocannabinoid deficient our entire lives and prone to illness at very early ages. I was not breastfed. When I first began to use cannabis it felt like coming home. Is this a coincidence? If we simply listen to what our body is telling us, often in the form of what seem like really odd cravings, it can in fact tell us what we need.

We have gotten in the habit of tuning this wisdom out and handing it off to a person in a white coat and an RX pad. Cannabis offers a person an alternative to this and puts the power back in your hands, to work and listen to your body, where you will be the ultimate judge of how much to take and how often.  Depending upon the condition, you can use this tool in conjunction with modern diagnostics and modern therapies to affect change under your terms on your body, in profound ways.

We hope that this article proves useful to those seeking basic information and guidance on the subject of dosing with CBD oil and the basic topic of how to use cannabis oil in this regard!

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