All too often, physicians refrain from recommending cannabis use by patients because they learned nothing about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system in medical school and cannot knowledgeably advise patients about dosage, safety, side effects, mechanism of action, etc.
A patient’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor in determining appropriate dosages and ratios for a CBD-rich treatment regimen.
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) share a special interdependent relationship and work together to increase the power of their respective therapeutic attributes.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. THC is psychoactive — and therefore may produce euphoric (or dysphoric) effects.
CBD can lessen or neutralize the psychoactivity of THC. So an increased ratio of CBD-to-THC means less emphasis on euphoric effects and more on treatment. Again, this is largely determined by ratios.
FIND YOUR RATIO!
Different ratios of CBD and THC are more suitable for different conditions and different individuals.
A high CBD cannabis strain or product (with little THC) is not necessarily a superior treatment option compared to a strain or product with a more balanced CBD-THC ratio. For each person, finding the proper combination of both is key.
A patient with little or no cannabis experience might start by using a high CBD remedy with little THC. Depending on the results, he or she might gradually increase the amount of THC until a ratio suitable for their condition and temperament is achieved.
A balanced CBD-THC ratio might be more appropriate for experienced cannabis users who are comfortable with the high generated by THC.
Finding your ratio is the first step to proper treatment!
It is important to ascertain the optimal CBD:THC ratio and dosage regimen to fully benefit from the therapeutic properties of cannabis.
“Dosage is everything” — Paracelsus
SOME SIMPLE DOSAGE GUIDELINES:
Begin with a low dose and a consistent CBD:THC ratio — better to take a few small doses in a day than one big dose.
To assess how cannabis impacts your medical condition, it’s best to use the same dose for several days, and observe any effects that may occur. Depending on the results, it may be advantageous to adjust the ratio and increase the dosage.
Cannabis therapeutics is personalized medicine.
Determining an appropriate dosage greatly depends upon the person and the condition being treated.
Our sources among cannabis clinicians indicate that for anxiety, depression, spasms, and pediatric seizure disorders, it may be efficacious to use moderate doses of a CBD-dominant remedy with little THC (look for a CBD:THC ratio greater than 14:1).
With pain issues, many patients report that they need more THC, and therefore a remedy with a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio may work best.
It is important to keep in mind that cannabinoid compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects.
Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; higher doses can have a sedative effect.
Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects at any dose. But an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose.
“Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabinoid therapeutics.
Although banned by federal law, dosed cannabis medicine is currently available in the form of concentrated oil extracts. Infused in sublingual sprays, capsules, edibles, and other products, these potent oil extracts have varying ratios of CBD and THC that are calibrated to suit the needs and sensitivities of a wide range of patients.
NOTE: Most animal studies with cannabidiol utilize synthetic, single-molecule CBD produced by biochemical laboratories for research purposes – whereas whole plant CBD-rich extractions typically include THC and more than 400 trace compounds, which interact synergistically to confer a holistic “entourage effect” so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. It is important to consider the entourage effect (or lack thereof) when extrapolating data based on animal studies: 100 milligrams of synthetic CBD is not equivalent to 100 milligrams of a CBD-rich whole plant cannabis extract. One should not assume that data from animal studies is necessarily applicable for cannabis patients.