New medical cannabis patients and veteran users may be surprised to learn that THC is biphasic in nature.
Biphasic simply means one effect at a low dose and a different effect at a higher dose. Use too little and relief may be elusive. Use too much and unwanted symptoms may intensify. In other words, more THC is not necessarily better. So what is the correct dose?
For beginners, a 2.5 mg dose of THC is the right place to start.
If you prefer dried cannabis flower, this is a pinch of bud about the size of a match head. Using a live resin oil vaporized in a SPA (safe pulmonary administration) device, one quick, shallow draw should deliver this dose.
You can expect the effects of inhaled cannabis flower or extract to be felt within 90 seconds. Check-in with your body to evaluate physical and mental effects. Pay special attention to the symptom you are trying to manage. Has pain diminished? Did nausea subside? Does your anxiety wane? Many first-time cannabis users are pleasantly surprised by THC’s subtle effects at low doses.
Ask a dispensary team member to help calculate your starting dose for ingestible products like tinctures, lozenges, capsules, etc.
Effects of ingested THC are usually felt within two hours, but some individuals require three or more hours. Everyone is different, so keep notes about your own experience in the Releaf app or in a notebook.
THC content in lozenges and capsules can be adjusted by cutting the product.
For an initial 2.5 mg. dose of THC, take half of a regular strength capsule or a quarter of a soft lozenge. Your first dose of FECO should be no more than the size of a grain of rice. If you don’t feel any effects after 3 hours, DO NOT take a second dose. Wait until the next day and increase your dose by another 2.5 mg. and closely monitor effects at different time intervals.
Ingested THC is processed by the liver and produces effects that are stronger and last longer.
A common novice mistake is to take a second dose of THC before the first dose has been felt. This can result in anxiety, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, or other unwanted side effects. If this happens to you, the best remedy is take an oral dose of 10 mg. of CBD, drink lots of water and distract yourself by going for a walk, watching TV, or napping until the THC has been fully metabolized. An accidental THC overdose can be unpleasant, but it is not dangerous.
Tinctures are slightly different because some of the THC will be absorbed by the mucus membranes in your mouth some will feel effects within 15-20 minutes. The remaining tincture is swallowed to be processed in the liver like an ingested product. A beginning 2.5 mg dose of tincture is simple to calculate with the provided measured dropper. For example, a 2:1 CBD:THC tincture will contain 5 mg. of THC per ml, so your starting dose for this tincture will be .5 ml.
The optimal benefits of cannabis therapy will be unlocked at your “minimum effective dose.” When it comes to THC, remember the sensible advice of experts: “start low and go slow.”