Healthcare

Cannabis Dosing Guide

There are various ways to consume cannabis, each with its own benefits. This article will discuss the most common methods of consuming cannabis along with a dosing guide for each one. Gaining the mental and physical benefits of cannabis depends mainly on how it is consumed. Each method provides a unique experience and set of effects. Who knows — you could find a new favorite. Whether you are a first-time user or an experienced consumer, this cannabis dosing guide will help you choose the best route of administration for you. So, let’s get started!

Cannabis Dosing Guide

First and foremost, before deciding the best method of consumption, you must consider dosing. Because different methods of ingestion impact the body in various ways and at varying speeds, the suggested dosages vary with each method. Keep in mind that while it is difficult to give precise strain and dose recommendations simultaneously, each person’s Endocannabinoid system responds to cannabis differently.

Finding the proper dose will get easier as you become more familiar with each product. We typically recommend starting with a low dose and gradually increasing from there. Remember, you can always add more later, but you might get a different result than you were expecting if you try too much at once.

Method: Inhale 

Description: Inhalants are processed instantly through the lungs before entering the bloodstream.  

Routes of Administration:  

  • Bong 
  • Pipe  
  • Joints + Blunts 
  • Vapes  
  • Inhalers  

Pros: Rapid and instant onset, more potent and consistent effects  

Cons: Leaves behind a strong odor, making this one of the least private methods. It can also be difficult on the respiratory system. 

Onset Time | Lasting Effects: Instant | Can last around 45min to 1 hour 

Dosing Guidelines:  

Because the effects of inhaling cannabis may be felt almost immediately, controlling the dosage is much easier than with other consumption methods. One or two inhalations from a joint, pipe, blunt, bong, or vape are all it takes for an inexperienced user to experience THC’s euphoric effects. On the other hand, those with greater tolerances may need a few more “hits.”

Method: Sublingual 

Description: Sublingual products enter the bloodstream when processed through glands under the tongue.  

Routes of Administration:  

  • Tinctures 
  • Oral Tablets 
  • Sprays
  • Strips 
  • Pouches 

Pros: One of the most discreet methods of consumption, quick onset, consistent, reliable dosing 

Cons: Effects can diminish quicker than ingestible edibles and, when taken alone, can sometimes have a more natural, unpleasant taste.

Onset Time | Lasting Effects: 10-30 min. | Effects can last 2-4 hours 

Dosing Guidelines: 

A few (2-4) drops under the tongue are usually sufficient for tinctures. Tablets, Strips, and Pouches will all be individually dosed with a set amount of MG. Before you decide if you want to take another dose, wait 30 minutes.

Method: Ingestible 

Description: Ingestible products are metabolized through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. 

Routes of Administration: 

  • Edibles 
  • Beverages  
  • Capsules 
  • Powders 
  • Ingestible Oils 

Pros: Delicious and discreet, longer-lasting effects, more potent, more consistent high  

Cons: Onset is much slower and can sometimes mislead consumers to eat more than the recommended dose.  

Onset Time | Lasting Effects: 45min to 1 hour | Effects usually last 4-6 hours. 

Dosing Guidelines:

Because the cannabinoids in ingestible products are absorbed through the gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract and processed through the liver, the onset time will vary depending on your metabolism. Several other factors play into the onset time, like how much food is already in the stomach or how hydrated the body is. The delayed onset time makes controlling the dose of an ingestible slightly more difficult. The general rule of thumb is to START SLOW! 

  • For novice consumers, a 2.5mg THC dose is usually sufficient. Before eating another 2.5mg dose, wait around an hour to see if you feel anything. 
  • For the occasional consumer, to find your desired effects, start with a 5-10mg THC dose and work your way up if necessary. 
  • Lastly, you might need 10mg+ THC to feel your desired effects for those with higher tolerances or specific medical needs. 

Method: Topical/Transdermal 

Description: Topical products are applied to and absorbed by the skin. Topicals are generally non-intoxicating because they do not enter the bloodstream. Transdermal products are applied to the skin then cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream. Since transdermals do absorb into the bloodstream, this can sometimes cause intoxicating effects.  

Routes of Administration: 

  • Lotions  
  • Balms + salves 
  • Oils  
  • Patches 
  • Bath Bombs 

Pros: Provides local relief that does not require inhaling smoke or eating any calories, usually non-intoxicating, unless it is a transdermal product.  

Cons: Usually a topical needs to be applied multiple times throughout the day for longer-lasting effects 

Onset Time | Lasting Effects: 5-10 min | 45min – 1 hour 

Dosing Guidelines: 

You can apply topical products liberally for localized for relief. Since topicals are non-intoxicating, you run minimal risk of going overboard on dosing. For first-timers using transdermal patches, start with a smaller dose or cut the patch in half, wait 15-30 minutes, and gradually increase if needed. For those who have a higher tolerance, the entire patch or a greater dose may work for you. There are also cannabinoid-specific patches that can help aid with pain, inflammation, and sleep so that you can target your desired effect with these.  

With so many ways to consume cannabis, knowing which one is best for you can be challenging. The most important thing about choosing a consumption method is that it should fit your lifestyle and needs. We hope we have helped guide you in the right direction by providing an overview of each route of administration and what they offer. Have fun experimenting with different methods until you find the perfect fit! If you cannot find an answer in this article, we have many other articles about marijuana use as well! Whether it be a physical or mental high, there is no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to consuming this popular plant. 

To learn more about cannabis, click here for our free online course on Effectively Communicating as a Dispensary Tech.

Using Cannabis as Medicine

For centuries people have been using cannabis as medicine. Recent studies have shown that it has an even greater potential in treating more medical conditions than we initially thought possible. So whether you are a student looking for information on cannabis research or someone curious about how cannabis can be used to treat their condition, read on–this guide is for you. We will cover everything you need to know about using cannabis as medicine, including the legality of cannabis, how to purchase cannabis for medicinal purposes, and the benefits and differences in each strain.

The Beginning of the Medical Cannabis Journey

Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law that permits individuals to use medical marijuana. It was created through the initiative process and passed with 55.6% favorably and 44.4% against. The California voters passed the initiative and presented a statewide referendum. It allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation or a designated Primary Caregiver to purchase, possess, and grow marijuana for personal medical use. The state government passed the first medical marijuana ballot with Proposition 215. It started a snowball effect that has led to similar measures being approved in over 36 other states.

How to Purchase Medical Marijuana

Once you have established that your condition or illness qualifies you to join your state’s medical marijuana program, the next step is to locate a doctor or clinic that can give you a recommendation. Each state has its own unique medical marijuana card or certification, so be sure to research your state’s requirements. Many states, including California, require that you have your medical marijuana recommendation renewed on a yearly or bi-annual basis. Additionally, most dispensaries need you to bring in your valid recommendation every time you visit.

What is the Difference Between Cannabis Strains?

While some claim that indica-dominant strains offer a more body-weighted effect and Sativa-dominant strains provide more of an invigorating cerebral experience, this is not always the case. It’s actually the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes that are responsible for how a strain makes you feel.

How did indica-dominant strains acquire the stigma of causing users to feel “couch-locked”? The most probable reason is that, in general, indica-dominant types have greater amounts of terpenes like myrcene or linalool. Whereas Sativa-dominant strains get the reputation for being invigorating thanks to high amounts of terpenes like alpha-pinene, limonene, and beta-caryophyllene.

Indica-Dominant Effects

The strong body high we all know and love is produced by the indica strain. For some, indicas tend to provide “couch lock,” a degree of drowsiness. Indicas are also well-known for causing hunger and reducing bodily discomfort and pains. Many people like to smoke indica-dominant strains before going to sleep to help them fall asleep quicker.

Sativa-Dominant Effects

Sativas, on the other hand, are popular for producing a “head high.” They are designed to assist people in getting rid of sadness, boosting focus and creativity while relieving anxiety. Sativas are most well-known for delivering an overall sense of well-being and happiness.

What is a hybrid strain of cannabis?

Hybrids are marijuana strains that combine indica and sativa genetics, producing a combination of effects. Consumers generally consider hybrids pleasurable and may either energize or calm you down, depending on the strain’s family history. Connoisseurs choose hybrids for their various therapeutic effects, ranging from lowering anxiety and stress to treating chemotherapy or radiation-induced problems.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-intoxicating, highly therapeutic component found in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been instrumental in the medical marijuana industry’s growth.

By now, you’ve probably heard of the two most popular cannabinoids: THC and CBD. The key difference is that, unlike THC, CBD will not make you feel high. In fact, CBD can minimize the psychoactive impact of THC due to its binding to cannabinoid receptors. As a consequence, CBD lessens the effect. This does not imply that CBD is useless by itself; it may be used on its own to produce benefits. Many individuals experience a deep sense of relaxation after taking high doses of CBD. For example, after leaving a hot CBD bath, your body may feel tingly and relaxed, while your mind will feel clear.

The Medical Benefits of CBD

Every day the number of diseases found that CBD can treat increases. Here are a few illnesses CBD commonly treats already:

  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Pain and inflammation
  • PTSD and anxiety
  • Opioid withdrawal

The name “CBD” became well-known for treating a rare and severe form of juvenile epilepsy. Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggested that it would help manage various epilepsy ailments. CBD has no lethal dose or known severe negative effects, making it safe for children. Although the usage of cannabis-derived chemicals to treat diseases is still a touchy issue in a society where cannabis has been vilified, science has shown it to be incredibly helpful!

With so much to learn about cannabis, it can be hard to know where to start. We hope this guide helped give some insight into using cannabis as medicine. Be sure to check out our other articles to learn more or click here to enroll in our free demo: Effectively Communicating as a Dispensary Tech

Understanding the Laws Regulating Medical Marijuana

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana refers to any part of the cannabis plant that can be used to alleviate a variety of health conditions. When people use medical marijuana, they are seeking relief from pain and medical symptoms, not to get high.

The cannabis that is legally sold in dispensaries for medicinal purposes is typically the same as the kind used for pleasure. However, as research continues to identify how the chemicals in the cannabis plant react in the human body, new strains of medical marijuana are being developed with a focus on health benefits and fewer chemicals that cause mind altering effects.

CBD vs. THC

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most commonly used cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. After CBD is removed from the plant, it is mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil. It is known to have therapeutic effects to alleviate conditions such as nerve issues, PTSD, physical pain, epilepsy, and autism.

THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the psychological effects of cannabis. THC causes cells in the brain to release dopamine, which is what creates its feelings of euphoria.

CBD affects the body very differently than THC. Compared to THC, it would take almost 100 times more CBD to have any impact on the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause any feelings of euphoria or intoxication, which makes it an acceptable medical treatment that is safer than the addiction and overdose issues associated with opioids that are traditionally prescribed to manage pain.

Federal vs. State Marijuana Laws

Cannabis is a prohibited substance according to the Controlled Substances Act that was passed in 1970.  Under this act, the Drug Enforcement Administration considers marijuana  a Schedule I drug.  This means that it is prohibited because of its potential for abuse, and there are not believed to be any medically acceptable uses.

Many more laws regarding the use of cannabis have been added, amended, repealed, and reinstated since the 70s.  Today, there are over 30 states that have legalized the possession of medical marijuana.  One of the main concerns with legalizing marijuana in individual states is that it is still considered illegal by the federal government. Federal laws take precedence over state laws, which means that you can be arrested and prosecuted for having and using medical marijuana, even if it is legal in your state.

Most of the state medical marijuana laws protect not only the users of medical marijuana, but they also protect their caregivers who may supply their medical marijuana. Many of the state laws include lists of specific conditions that qualify for the use of medical marijuana.

FDA Approval

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis for the treatment of any specific diseases or conditions. However, the FDA has approved some drugs that do contain cannabis.  These include Epidiolex, Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet. These cannabis-derived drugs can only be purchased with a prescription from a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Learn More About Medical Marijuana

The legalization of medical cannabis is advancing worldwide, and there is much more that you can learn about medical marijuana and its use in the healthcare industry.  cannabiscareer.com, a leader in education with nationally accredited colleges, offers courses to help educate the growing global community of healthcare professionals, caregivers, and patients who want to learn about the science and clinical data behind medical cannabis.

How Cannabis Is Changing the Healthcare Industry

Legality of Marijuana

In the United States, marijuana has been legalized in over 30 states.  However, it still has not been legalized by the federal government. With at least several million Americans using medical marijuana, a majority of the country is in favor of complete legalization.

Uses of Medical Marijuana

One of the most popular uses of medical marijuana is to help control pain. While marijuana may not be strong enough to reduce severe pain, it has proven to minimize many types of chronic pain effectively. Part of the appeal in using marijuana to alleviate pain is a reduced risk of overdoses and addiction which are associated with opiates. It is also a safe alternative for people who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve and Advil.

Marijuana is frequently used to lessen nerve pain, especially that associated with multiple sclerosis.  Currently, there are few other options that have proven as effective. Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis report that medical marijuana has helped them to resume their normal activities without feeling the side effects associated with more traditional medical treatments.

Other uses for medical marijuana include the management of nausea, weight loss, and glaucoma. Marijuana is said to work well as a muscle relaxant and can help to reduce the severity of tremors experienced by those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, it has been successfully used to treat wasting syndrome associated with HIV, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and a variety of other conditions involving chronic pain.

Marijuana Is Changing Healthcare

As medical marijuana continues to replace other drug alternatives, states where marijuana has been legalized are reporting fewer deaths from opioid overdoses. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that states with legalized medical marijuana have seen a 25 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths compared to states that do not permit the medical use of marijuana. Supporting marijuana as a replacement for opioids could also help to reduce America’s addiction epidemic which claims an average of 115 lives every day.

Increased Jobs in Healthcare

Medical marijuana is being used across the globe and continues to explode in the United States.  This dynamic growth is leading to new employment opportunities in the healthcare industry.  According to Marijuana Business Daily, approximately 215,000 new jobs have been created, with that number potentially growing to 475,000 by the year 2023.

Since education on the science of medical cannabis is generally not included in most medical training programs, there is a demand for healthcare professionals with this specific training.  To meet growing demand for sound, fair, balanced, and relevant medical cannabis education, cannabiscareer.com offers online courses to help educate healthcare professionals, caregivers, and patients who want to learn more about medical cannabis.

Throughout our course, you will learn everything from the history of cannabis to how cannabis products affect the human body, as well as how to effectively communicate as a Cannabis Dispensary Technician.  Earning your Dispensary Tech Certificate from cannabiscareer.com will give you a deep understanding of what a Dispensary Tech does and the underlying chemistry of how cannabis works on the body.

At cannabiscareer.com, our staff is highly educated and experienced, offering a winning approach to providing career training to prepare you for your new cannabis career path.

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