How Much Do I Need? Benefits to Managing Your Cannabis Dose

Managing your cannabis dose can be difficult, especially for new patients that might not know what to expect when it comes to the effects of THC. The story may sound familiar: Went to the dispensary today and bought a new edible cookie. Tasted great and I accidentally ate the whole thing! It’s been an hour and I feel weird. Now what?! 


What To Do When You’ve Had Too Much

Too much THC can amplify your anxiety and induce paranoia. The good news: it’s pretty much all in your head. The science is fairly certain that a cannabis overdose is unlikely tot be toxic. The National Cancer Institute suggests that, because cannabinoid receptors aren’t located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur. 

Still, taking too much THC can give you an experience that might be uncomfortable. The high that accompanies THC-laden cannabis can be overwhelming or unpleasant for some patients, and might discourage some from going back and trying it again. This is problematic for patients who could benefit from cannabis but don’t want that same “bad high” experience to repeat itself. Fortunately, the following are ways to help prevent the “too high” feeling:

  • Switching to CBD-heavier strains
  • Eating food before administering your medication
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Sleep! 


Can You Take Too Little Cannabis to Be Effective? 

On the other hand, taking too little THC may not be effective. Microdosing has become a trendy term in the field of medicine, and for some patients, microdosing cannabis may have a dramatic effect and be enough for that individual. 

The smallest dosage of cannabis that produces a specified effect is known as the minimum effective dosage. Any smaller dose than the minimum isn’t likely to have a genuine therapeutic effect. Therefore, microdosing isn’t right for every patient, depending on their condition.

Patients who experience chronic pain, cancer, or other debilitating conditions might find the best benefits from higher doses of THC, especially if they are using cannabis in place of pain medicines or treating bouts of acute pain. 


Hobby Behavior & Addiction

Patients who find success using cannabis as a way to control their condition may find they want to shout it from the rooftops. It can be fun to explore the thousands of available dispensary cannabis products and judge their various effects. While doctors typically encourage patients to sample dispensary items to find the right strain and method of consumption for appropriate treatment, it’s important to be aware of “hobby behavior” and how that can sometimes be a slippery slope into addiction. Cannabis is not typically viewed as addictive, but it may be for some people. 

Some characteristics to look out for that may indicate addictive behavior:

  • An obsession with using a substance
  • An insistence on continuing to use the substance even though it is causing poor performance at work or school, social or family conflict, or health problems
  • An inability to stop using the substance after promising to quit
  • Signs of irritability, craving, restlessness or depression when not able to use the substance
  • Denial of problems resulting from the the use of the substance

Treatment for cannabis addiction may involve one-on-one counseling, medication for depression or anxiety, participation in a substance abuse treatment program—or a combination of all of the above.


Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, this very rare condition often gets misdiagnosed. Chronic cannabis smokers appear to be at greatest risk of developing CHS. In nearly all cases, a delay of several years in the onset of symptoms typically occurs preceded by chronic overuse of cannabis. Experts don’t know exactly what causes cannabis hyperemesis syndrome. Some researchers suspect genetics may play a role. One study points to CHS occuring due to overstimulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Much more research is needed to know exactly what CHS is and why it happens in these rare cases. 

The primary symptoms of CHS are intense and persistent nausea and vomiting. People with this condition vomit extensively, often without warning, and can vomit up to five times per hour. They may also experience abdominal pain, report weight loss, or appear dehydrated.

Another notable symptom of CHS is the urge to take hot showers, which sufferers say helps reduce or curb some of the symptoms they experience. For additional resources on managing and treating CHS, go to the Cleveland Clinic’s CHS resource page


Benefits of Getting the Right Dose

Research indicates that cannabis can be an effective treatment aid in hundreds of conditions. One benefit to cannabis that patients often note as an advantage over pharmaceutical medicines is their ability to adjust their dose as needed. By utilizing the right type and effective dose of cannabis, patients can better predict how they may be affected by it. 


If you have questions about cannabis dosing and/or obtaining your medical marijuana card recommendation in your state, make an online appointment with Duber Medical today



Author: Gabrielle Dion Visca

Gabrielle has been writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries for more than 20 years. She’s held positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop. She currently writes articles about medical marijuana for Duber Medical, and is the founder of the Ohio cannabis journalism non-profit, MedicateOH.

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