Medical marijuana is different from other medications when it comes to its unusual method of dosing. There are no exact dosing standards for medical marijuana as effective dosing can vary significantly from person to person. Each person may even need a different dose depending on the method of ingestion. For example, 5 mg may be an effective dose for an edible, but that same person may need more or less when using an oil. Generally speaking, a single dose of THC may be between 5-10 mg with the average daily dose ranging between 30-100 mg per day.
The tricky nature of medical marijuana dosing can appear daunting, but we have the tools to help you get started. Keep in mind that it may take time to find your perfect dose. We encourage our patients to try different dosages and product types until they find their ideal match.
Start low and go slow
One of the benefits of medical marijuana is your ability to self-adjust your dose to fit your needs. If you’re new to the world of medical marijuana, the best thing you can do is start with the lowest recommended dose and slowly work your way up. We recommend gradually increasing your dose every week until you find your ideal therapeutic outcome. This will allow you to get the most out of each dose before building your tolerance.
Some studies have shown that a lower dose of THC combined with a higher dose of CBD may be more beneficial for pain relief than higher doses of THC alone. This is partially due to the Entourage Effect (see below), which enhances the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids in the body. Combining CBD with THC in lower doses also helps prevent the unwanted side effects of medical marijuana.
Lower Dose of THC may be more effective and better tolerated by patient: Less is more: Cancer patients who received 21 mg/day of Sativex (a cannabis sublingual spray with roughly equal amounts of CBD and THC) experienced significant reductions in pain, more so than cancer patients who received 52 mg of Sativex, while those who were given 83 mg of Sativex reduced their pain no better than a placebo. Cumulative doses of THC exceeding 20-30 mg per day – or a single dose of 10 mg or more – may cause unwanted side effects.
Understand different product types
Various ways to consume medical marijuana means there are various ways for your body to respond to it. Don’t assume you will require the same dose when switching from product to product. Smoking, edibles, topicals, vapes, and tinctures are all ways to consume medical marijuana. Try starting with a lower dose than you’re used to when you try a new product until you find your perfect product-dose pair(s).
For example, a patient that vapes 50 mg of THC per day is potentially receiving the effective dose of ONE OUNCE of cannabis per month. Of course, this may vary, but since 50 mg of vape x 30 days equals 1500 mg of THC Vaped, it can be surmised that vaping delivers more THC to the patient per mg compared to smokeables.
Experience “The Entourage Effect”
For optimal therapeutic outcomes, we recommend choosing products containing CBD, the non-intoxicating component of marijuana, and THC, the component that provides the “high.” Using CBD and THC in combination can enhance both component’s therapeutic effects, increasing your quality of life.
An average daily dose of active cannabinoids, including both THC and CBD, can range from 30-100 mg a day, varying per the individual and their health condition. However, for new medical marijuana patients, 10-15 mg of THC and CBD combined is a great starting point as you adjust to cannabis.
When you visit MMTCFL, your physician will provide you with a recommended dose of medical marijuana that he or she believes will suit your needs. You should view this dose as a starting point and feel free to raise or lower the dose as you see fit. If you have any questions about dosing, contact your MMTCFL physician, and they will be happy to help guide you.
Looking to get started with Medical Marijuana? At MMTCFL, we can determine if you are eligible for medical marijuana and help you get your medical marijuana registration card. Get started with medical marijuana today by taking our online eligibility survey.