Cannabis therapeutics is personalized medicine. The right treatment regimen depends on the person and condition being treated. For maximum therapeutic benefit, choose cannabis products that include both cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis. CBD and THC interact to enhance each other’s therapeutic effects. They work best together. A patient’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor to determining the ratio and dosage of CBD-rich medicine. Many people enjoy the cannabis high and can consume reasonable doses of any cannabis product without feeling too high or dysphoric. Others find THC unpleasant. CBD can lessen or neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC. So a greater ratio of CBD-to-THC means less of a “high.”
Finding your ratio is the first step to effective treatment.
Although banned by federal law, dosed cannabis medicine is currently available in the form of concentrated oil extracts, infused sublingual sprays, capsules, edibles, and other products. Potent cannabis oil extractshave varying ratios of CBD and THC that are calibrated to suit the needs and sensitivities of each patient.
For anxiety, depression, spasms, and pediatric seizure disorders, many patients initially find they do best with a moderate dose of a CBD-dominant remedy (a CBD:THC ratio of more than 10:1). But a low THCremedy, while not intoxicating, is not necessarily the best therapeutic option. A combination of CBD and THC will likely have a greater therapeutic effect for a wider range of conditions than CBD or THC alone. For cancer, neurological disease, and many other ailments, patients may benefit from a balanced ratio of CBDand THC. Extensive clinical research has shown that a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio is effective for neuropathic pain. Optimizing one’s therapeutic use of cannabis may entail a careful, step-by-step process, whereby a patient starts with small doses of a non-intoxicating CBD-rich remedy, observes the results, and gradually increases the amount of THC.
In essence, the goal is to self-administer consistent, measurable doses of a CBD-rich remedy that includes as much THC as a person is comfortable with.
Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects. Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects at any dose, but drug interactions can be problematic. An excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.
“Dosage is everything”—Paracelsus
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