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.

Cannabis 101: States with Legalized Cannabis

Cannabis is legal for medical use in 36 states, of which, 18 of also allow recreational adult-use. As cannabis legalization spreads, more people are interested in learning about the plant and its many potential benefits. This article provides an overview of the states with legalized cannabis and information on how to access it in each state. Whether you are a student researching for a project or just curious about cannabis legalization, this blog post has you covered!

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medicinal or medical marijuana is cannabis recommended by a doctor as therapeutic treatment for a chronic and debilitating condition.

What is Recreational Adult-use Cannabis?

Cannabis used for enjoyment rather than for health benefits.

What is the Difference?

Whether cannabis is used for medical or recreational purposes it all comes from the same plant. To legalize cannabis, states have enacted legislation through their state government. These states have various restrictions on cultivating, selling, and utilizing medical marijuana. Each state has its own marijuana policy. Everything from the forms of cannabis that qualifying patients can use to the number of cannabis plants they may cultivate at home is determined by the state legislature. Furthermore there are programs designed specifically for medical cannabis patients that offer them greater strength products, extra growing allowances, tax breaks, and the ability to buy more cannabis at once.

Common Qualifying Conditions

Each state has its own list of qualifying ailments. Medical Cannabis commonly helps with the following conditions:

Epilepsy and seizure disorders

Cannabis has been widely recognized for its anti-seizure effects. According to a 2018 study, the non-intoxicating cannabis component cannabidiol (CBD) lowers seizure incidence by up to 42%. Many states may also legalize cannabis, especially CBD, to treat pediatric epilepsy.

Cancer

Most states now acknowledge that cannabis may alleviate cancer-related symptoms, such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, due to its ability to counteract these effects. Many patients use cannabis products with a balance of THC or CBD for cancer-related problems because they provide effective relief without the adverse side effects associated with other drugs.

HIV/AIDS

The ability of cannabis to mitigate HIV/AIDS symptoms has long been recognized as one of the country’s earliest medical marijuana triumphs. It makes sense that so many states have approved it for people with HIV/AIDS-related problems such as loss of appetite, nausea, and tiredness.

Neurodegenerative disease

Cannabis is used as an aid for many neurodegenerative diseases, including Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Cannabis has the potential to help individuals with these devastating illnesses live better lives by boosting their memory and movement abilities, reducing spasticity, and more.

Pain

Check to see whether your state has approved the type of pain and discomfort you have; note that cannabis affects each kind of pain differently. However, many doctors and patients believe that cannabis medicines that contain both THC and CBD work best.

Nausea

There are variances in its definition from state to state in terms of nausea. Some states, for example, allow cannabis for nausea on a broad basis, while others demand “severe” or “intractable” symptoms. THC is particularly effective at relieving nausea and vomiting; nevertheless, keep in mind that your dosage

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Cannabis (especially high-CBD strains) has been found in numerous studies to help ease the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also assist with sleeplessness and restlessness associated with PTSD. Using cannabis before bed has helps patients fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and control nightmares.

States with Legalized Cannabis

The following is a list of places where medical marijuana is legal.

How to buy Cannabis in a Legalized State

Although cannabis laws differ from state to state, obtaining permission to use marijuana medicinally is usually a straightforward process.

1.) Check your medical cannabis qualifying conditions

You will need a medical reason for your doctor to prescribe cannabis as with any other prescription medicine. In some states, you must be a resident to obtain a medical cannabis card that is valid within the state. However, some dispensaries will accept out-of-state medical cards depending on their regulations.

2.) Get your medical cannabis card

Ask your physician if they would feel comfortable recommending medical marijuana for your condition and, if not, maybe they could refer you to someone who provides such authorizations. Once you’ve met with a doctor and received your recommendation you will need to save it on your phone and print out a copy to bring to the dispensary along with a valid form of I.D.

3.) Find a cannabis dispensary near you

To discover a local dispensary near you, use Weedmaps, Leafly, or Google. Many dispensaries now offer delivery so that you can order cannabis right from your living room.

To purchase recreational cannabis in a state where adult-use is legal all you need is a valid form of I.D. and to be over the age of 21 years old.

Although many states have shifted towards legal markets it’s important to note that traveling with cannabis is still illegal, even if you are flying from one state with a legal market to another. When it comes to National Parks, air travel, and driving across state lines, federal law still rules.

7 Ways to Use Cannabis Without Smoking

Smoking cannabis is by far the most common consumption method, but it’s not always for everyone. Some people might live a more active lifestyle and want to keep their lungs clear. Some guests might have children or roommates and don’t want their house to smell. Then others might have health issues where smoking should be avoided. Whatever the reason might be, we’re here to let you know there are plenty of different ways to use cannabis without smoking that can still provide similar effects.

For example, there are seltzers and cookies that can be consumed to relax and unwind. Topicals that can be rubbed all over your body for muscle aches. Plus, patches that can help you fall asleep at night! If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to smoking; get ready to learn about 7 other ways to enjoy your favorite plant without the blunt, bong, or pipe.

Edibles

Cannabis-infused edibles are a fun and easy way to enjoy marijuana without the smoke or smell. They’ve become more mainstream in recent years, with gummies, cookies, crackers, and chocolates taking over dispensaries across America! 

However, users should consume with caution as the effects from edibles can come on slower and feel more potent. With edibles, THC is metabolizes in the liver converting THC into a more potent compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This process can take up to 90 minutes for the effects to kick in. It’s best to start slow by eating a small portion of the edible (typically ~2.5mg). Wait about 69-90 minutes then see how your body reacts before consuming more in one sitting.

State law requires all cannabis products sold in a licensed dispensary to be labeled with THC content levels. This helps consumers know the number of cannabinoids in each piece of the edible.

Drinkables 

Like edibles, cannabis-infused beverages or “drinkables” are another fun, easy, and discreet way to consume cannabis. Drinkables have gained popularity over the last few years as the onset time tends to be much quicker than edibles. When you drink cannabis as a water-soluble liquid, THC absorbs into your bloodstream through the tissue of your mouth, esophagus, and stomach. So you can begin to feel the effects shortly after the drink touches your tongue.

Tinctures

Tinctures are a great way to incorporate cannabis into your daily wellness routine for quick and effective relief. Unlike edibles, tinctures enter the bloodstream immediately so you can control the dose more efficiently; they come in a variety of ratios and flavors for all types of preferences! To use a tincture, just drop a few drops under the tongue, hold it for 15-30 seconds and then swallow.

Topicals

Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, salves, oils, and balms that are applied to and absorbed by the skin. They help deliver targeted relief without any psychoactive effects. Topicals are best known for alleviating symptoms like pain, soreness, or inflammation and can be great for athletic recovery.

Capsules

For those that prefer a more traditional route of administration, cannabis capsules might be for you. Capsules are another discreet and effective way to get your daily dose of cannabis. They can easily be incorporated into your morning or nighttime wellness routine.

Bath Bombs

The perfect way to end a stressful day is with an infused soak in a warm bath. Like topicals, bath bombs are absorbed through the skin, so they usually don’t provide any intoxicating effects. Instead, they help provide relief from sore muscles, cramps, and spasms, while also promoting relaxation.

Transdermal Patches

Transdermal patches are applied to the skin then cannabinoids are absorbed through the bloodstream, which can sometimes cause intoxicating effects. Patches are great for those wanting to target specific areas of the body or who need higher doses of cannabinoids. We also recommend patches for those people that are always on the go. They are individually packaged so they are easy to pack in your bag, won’t melt, or spill, and don’t smell.

So there you have it, seven healthier ways to use cannabis without smoking. The versatility of this plant is truly limitless!

Ready to learn more? Check out some of our other articles here.

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 Legal Medical Cannabis Journey

The history of medical cannabis dates back as early as 2737 B.C. when it was cited as medicine in the world’s first book on pharmacopeia. Shen Nung, a mythical emperor and famous Chinese herbalist cited the benefits of cannabis in his book “Pen Ts’ao Ching – The Classic of Herbal Medicine”.

However, as time went on and politics came into play, cannabis became outlawed around the world–despite its medicinal benefits. In the U.S., prohibition lasted over 80 years throughout the 1900’s which led to mass incarcerations targeted towards the Black and Mexican communities. In 1996 California passed Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, a law that allowed patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation or a designated Primary Caregiver to purchase, possess, and grow marijuana for medical use. Once the California state government passed the first medical marijuana legislation with Proposition 215. It started a snowball effect that has led to similar measures being approved in over 36 other states across the nation.

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 will 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 strains 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, indica’s tend to provide “couch lock,” or 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 relax and fall asleep quicker.

Sativa-Dominant Effects

Sativa’s, on the other hand, are popular for producing a “head high.” They are designed to help boost your mood, focus on tasks, and spark creativity. Sativas are most well-known for delivering an overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Hybrid Effects

Hybrids are strains that combine indica and sativa genetics, producing a combination of effects. Consumers generally consider hybrids pleasurable as they 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 THC?

delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the most common therapeutic compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. THC has become the most popular for its intoxicating, psychoactive effects.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating, highly therapeutic compound found in the cannabis Sativa plant.

The key difference between THC and CBD is that CBD will not make you feel high. In fact, some studies have shown CBD can actually help mitigate negative side effects like anxiety, hunger, and sedation if you miscalculate your dose and consume too much THC. Since these two cannabinoids have an almost identical chemical makeup they tend to work together to compound their benefits.

A cannabis sativa plant can be classified according to its CBD and THC production potentials:

  • Type I cannabis sativa contains more than 0.3% THC and less than 0.5% CBD.
  • Type II cannabis sativa contains more than 0.3% THC and 0.5% CBD.
  • Type III cannabis sativa contains less than 0.3% THC and more than 0.5% CBD.

Type I and type II cannabis sativa are considered marijuana while type III is classified as hemp.

CBD can be derived from any type of cannabis sativa plant, but it’s legal throughout the U.S. only when it comes from hemp specifically

The Medical Benefits of Cannabis

It’s important to note that medical research on cannabis is very limited as the plant is still considered a Schedule 1 drug. Therefore, budtenders are not legally allowed to provide you with medical advice, but rather recommendations for products that could potentially help with things like:

  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Pain and inflammation
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Opioid withdrawal
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Minimizing side effects from cancer treatments

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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