Medical Marijuana Dosing Guidelines |
As with all medications, it is important that patients receive proper medical marijuana dosing regimens that best fit their medical condition, unique physiological requirements, and anticipated effect of the treatment. Because of this, there are several important aspects of the drug that should be considered when determining if a treatment is right for you or your patient.
Is medical marijuana a safe treatment for people with chronic pain?
The simple answer to this question is yes, marijuana is a relatively safe drug when compared to other standard drug treatments for chronic pain, such as opioids. Unlike opioids, medical marijuana has minimal to no side effects in most people and it is usually safe to use as a complementary method to manage other drug side-effects. In addition, unlike opioids, it is impossible to lethally overdose from medical marijuana. According to the National Cancer Institute this is due to the fact that cannabinoid receptors are not located in the area of the brainstem that control respiration, hence there is no lethal dose of cannabinoids.[JJ1]
Is marijuana processed by the body differently when inhaled or administered orally?
Yes. Depending on the route of administration, medical marijuana can have a tremendously different effect, time to onset of effect, and overall duration of effect. For example, when orally consumed, the onset of effect is usually delayed, can produce inadvertent psychoactive effects, and can last a long time (approximately 8hrs or longer). When orally ingested, marijuana is subject to variable bioavailability and metabolization by the liver. Depending on the persons genetic predisposition, the amount of THC and other cannabinoids that make it to the blood stream after metabolization can vary widely.
In comparison, when marijuana is inhaled the onset of effect occurs rapidly; in some cases, within minutes. The THC and other cannabinoids that inhaled are not subject to first-pass bioavailability and are not processed by the liver. This translates normally to a fast acting, shorter lasting effect for acute treatments.
What method is best for me?
As noted above, medical marijuana is really dependent upon the condition and the individual patient. Due to this inherent variability, we at www.MedMarijuanaEdu.comrecommend a “Start Slow, Go Low” approach to avoid any unintended adverse effects of medical marijuana treatment. The old adage that “more is better” is not the case in marijuana treatment regimens. While the research is yet to be conclusive, anecdotal evidence has shown that starting at a low dose of medical marijuana and titrating dosing up yields better outcomes for patient’s management of symptoms and conditions, such as those associated with chronic pain.
Want to Learn More About Medical Marijuana Dosing Guidelines?
Please visit our Dosing Guidelines sectionfor our MedMarijuanaEdu.com guidelines and MÜV product guidelines.
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