All too often, doctors don’t recommend cannabis to patients because they learned nothing about it or the endocannabinoid system in medical school. They feel they cannot knowledgeably advise patients about dosage, safety, side effects, mechanism of action, etc.
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) share a special interdependent relationship and work together to increase one another’s therapeutic benefits. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. THC is psychoactive and, therefore, may produce euphoric or dysphoric effects. A patient’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor in determining appropriate dosages and ratios for a CBD-rich treatment regimen. CBD can lessen or neutralize the psychoactivity of THC. So an increased ratio of CBD-to-THC means fewer mental effects.
Cannabis therapeutics is personalized medicine. The appropriate dosage depends upon the person and condition being treated.
- Decide how you want to take cannabis. Dosed cannabis medicine infused with CBD-rich oil extracts is available in sublingual sprays, capsules, edibles, topicals, tinctures and other products.
- Find your ratio. Cannabis products have varying amounts of CBD and THC. A high CBD strain or product (with little THC) is not necessarily superior to a strain or product with a more balanced CBD:THC ratio. Find the proper combination for you.
- Begin with a low dose—especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis.
- Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose.
- Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and consider if you need to adjust the ratio or amount.
- Don’t overdo it. Often with cannabinoid therapeutics, “less is more.” Cannabinoid compounds have biphasic properties. This means that higher doses of CBD may not be as effective as low or moderate doses. Also, too much THC—while not lethal—can increase anxiety and mood disorders.
- Consider the condition you’re treating. For anxiety, depression, spasms, and pediatric seizure disorders, you may do better with a moderate dose of a CBD-dominant remedy—look for a CBD:THC ratio of more than 14:1. For cancer or pain, you may need more THC, for instance, a 1:1 ratio.
CBD Dosing Guide (PDF)
Please feel free to print and distribute our Dosing Guide.
NOTE: Most animal studies with cannabidiol utilize synthetic, single-molecule CBD produced by biochemical laboratories for research purposes. In contrast, whole plant extractions typically include THC and more than 400 trace compounds. These other compounds interact synergistically to create an “entourage effect” that can magnify the therapeutic benefits of the individual components. 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.