What do I do when my cannabis dose isn’t effective?
Cannabis has helped many people find relief in a stressful world, and creating a personal regimen for daily use can be an adventure of self-awareness as you listen for the subtle signals of positive change.
With the explosion of news reporting positive results with cannabis oils, it can feel incredibly frustrating and overwhelming when it doesn’t seem to be working out the way you want it to.
You’ve researched and you believe you’ve chosen the right cannabis products for your needs. You’ve established what you feel is a reasonable goal for your cannabis dose, and found the administration method that works, but for whatever reason, you’re not seeing the results you expected or hoped for.
Instead of becoming frustrated or giving up- you can choose to think outside the box. Cannabis may well be the safest medicine available, so you can leave fear out of the process. Once you’ve assured yourself that you’ve done all you can to fine-tune your regimen you can confidently begin experimenting.
But first, a little perspective may be in order. Ask yourself the simple question:
“Were my expectations reasonable?”
Cannabis therapies work at a cellular level, and can often take days, weeks, even months to demonstrate the dramatic results most hope for. It’s more likely that your relief is coming in subtle ways that you may not realize until you discontinue your cannabis dose regimen and evaluate your notes or review your progress with your medical support team.
It can be tempting to become impatient with the gentle way the body corrects cellular energies. Faith in your body’s ability to work with this new medicine and a bit of a sense of adventure will increase your chances of success.
“But I’m hurting now!”
Certainly, some immediate pain relief can be expected if using a product with adequate cannabinoid levels and ratios. It can also be the case that some modifications need to be made to get even initial relief. A potent cannabis topical can go a long way to filling in the gaps as you work out particulars.
Every human body has its own unique Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and will respond to cannabis doses in a unique way. When it feels like your regimen needs adjusting there are some creative ways to try something new:
Try a system reset
If your challenge is the need for higher and higher cannabis doses to get the same or less effect- you’ve probably developed a tolerance to the medicine you’re using in your regimen. A brief 36-hour period of cannabis abstinence gives the ECS time to get back to normal. Then you can once again begin the process of finding your minimum effective cannabis dose.
Try different strains
Tolerance typically occurs when you’re always using the same strain of cannabis or the same cannabis product with the same administration method. Switching between two or more strains and changing up the product choices and methods of dosing can keep tolerance from ever becoming a concern.
There are unprecedented choices of pot strains today. Allow yourself the pleasure of trying something new. As the field of cannabis medicine expanded and we began to see patterns of effectiveness, cultivators began breeding for particular cannabinoid dominance. As a result, the essential oils produced by today’s cannabis crops are more diversified than ever before. Whoever dreamed we’d see pot like high THCV strains, or CBD varieties with more than 20% CBD volumes? It’s a brand new weed world out there.
Flip the major cannabinoids
Every single person has an individual ECS that will accept and process phytocannabinoids in its own way. If a high-THC mix isn’t doing it for you medicinally, go with a high-CBD formulation instead, or vice-versa. Start low, slowly and thoughtfully increase your cannabis doses and see how the switch works out.
Play with the cannabis dose volumes
Cannabis is biphasic in effect. This means that a low cannabis dose may create one effect when a high dose can create the opposite effect.
For example, a low dose of CBD can sometimes create a slight manic effect in sensitive patients. The logical reaction would be to reduce the dose to the point where you lose that sense of agitation, but that leaves you with too low a dose to be therapeutic. Instead, increasing the CBD volumes may smooth the agitation.
At a low dose, THC can reduce pain to a mild annoyance and relax the stressed mind so you can more easily engage with life. High doses of THC have been known to increase agitation and paranoia in some consumers. Sometimes a high dose can increase your perception of pain, a frustrating result if pain relief was your primary goal.
Getting the right dose for you eliminates undesirable side-effects.
NOTE: You are wonderfully unique. Your ECS is unique to you. A sub-therapeutic dose for me could be a high dose for you, and vice versa. With time and experience, you learn how your body responds to the dose volumes and can confidently make adjustments. Keeping notes will make it easier to evaluate your changes. Small increases and an inner awareness of how your body is responding help you find the proper dose for your unique ECS.
Create a new cannabinoid ratio to control euphoria
Overwhelming euphoria is stressful, but THC’s psychoactive effects can be controlled by increasing CBD volumes. Once you get to a 3:1 or higher ratio of CBD:THC, the euphoric effect of THC is tempered to levels most people will find tolerable.
Split that dose up
Microdosing, the process of breaking the daily dose up into 4-5 cannabis doses spaced across the day can make it easier for the body to absorb and process and keeps a steady supply of fresh medicine coming in.
Microdosing also makes it easier to control euphoria if THC is a major part of your treatment plan by keeping your cannabis doses to 10 mg or less.
Change up your choice of terpenes
Cannabinoids are the power of a cannabis dose, but the terpenes direct that power to the experience you’re going to have. For example, if a strain with sativa-dominant terpenes of Pinene or Limonene makes you feel edgy when you were really hoping to kick back, try one with more indica-dominant terpenes like Linalool or Myrcene to encourage relaxation.
The rule of thumb is “Let your nose guide you.” Your olfactory system is hard-wired to your brain in a unique way, and smelling the pot you’re considering is likely the most effective way to choose your product. Your cells know what they need. Let your nose lead the way, if at all possible.
This rule applies if you’re experienced with cannabis and have multiple selections available too. You’re in a different place physically and emotionally every time you dose. Your needs will change, so if you have access to many choices why not let the cells guide you through your sense of smell?
Today’s cannabis marketplace is making it easier for you by packaging their products with names and labels that reflect the anticipated effect.
Review your schedule
There might be more optimal dosing times. To begin with, scheduling your THC doses two hours from CBD doses allows you to use less THC.
- A high dose of THC isn’t a good choice for many on their way to work, although a low dose at the start of the day can be a boost to motivation and energy levels.
- Scheduling low THC doses about 30 minutes or so before mealtimes can stimulate the appetite.
- Higher THC dosing before bed will do wonders for a night of restorative rest.
- Dosing CBD during the day has helped many feel more alert with a greater sense of well-being.
- Often CBD use during the day will help an anxious brain fall asleep at the end of the day.
NOTE: CBD alone can reduce anxiety enough to help you sleep soundly, a wonderful option if THC is being restricted, but taking CBD within an hour of going to bed may keep you awake. Timing is everything.
As your experience with your cannabis dose regimen increases, you’ll become more familiar with your personal rhythms and can better plan the experience.
Switch up administration methods
Multiple pathways into the system benefit your body in its attempt to keep you in perfect balance, and each administration method brings with it a different effect for the consumer or patient.
With so many pathways for cannabinoids to assist the ECS and the wealth of available dispensary products- why not try something new? There are now countless ways to use cannabis, and new products and advancements appear almost daily.
Finding your best cannabis dose is done by thoughtfully experimenting and keeping notes. When things look like they’re not working- stop and consider what you might do to change things up a bit, maybe get a different, more hopeful response. Taking the time to explore creative tweaks while feeling how your body responds improves your chances of satisfactory cannabis experiences.
The more you understand about how a cannabis dose interacts with your body’s drive to keep you healthy and strong, the greater you’ll benefit from including the plant in your healing regimen and the better high you’ll have as a recreational consumer.
If you’ve any thoughts to share on how you’ve adapted your lifestyle and regimen to get more satisfactory results with your cannabis doses or have any questions we can help you answer, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.