Safely Dosing your Medicine
Cannabis, as medicine, as evolved considerably over the last decades. The genetics of the plants have been bred to improve specific traits, such as improved THC, CBD, CBN potency levels, higher yields, shorter flowering times and much more. Improved growing techniques also contribute to potency levels and overall quality of medicine.
These ‘improvements’ across the board result in differing effects, particularily for the user. Regardless of any cannabis usage in the past, HDR insists that our patients be aware of the potential effects of medical use cannabis. If you are new to cannabis or want to understand potential side effects, please visit here.
Dosing medical cannabis unfortunately in not an exact science. Regardless of the consistency of medicine, you are the “X-Factor.” Know that your body mass, age, metabolism, gender and body chemistry at the point of dosing will vary the effectiveness of the medicine. Thus, when consuming cannabis, please start slow.
Many users prefer to inhale or smoke cannabis because of its almost immediate effects and relief provided. Many times, one dose or ‘hit’ should be sufficient for the effect to take place. To not overly consume or be wasteful, start with one dose. Wait a few minutes to experience effects or lack thereof. If necessary, repeat as needed until desired effects are achieved.
Please note: We also recommend keeping a journal to record results for future use. Take note of strain name, potency, type (Indica, Sativa, Hybrid), as well as effect experiences, duration and any other pertinent information of note.
Do not take edibles on an empty stomach.
Many edibles are made with concentrated THC and or CBD oils, then dosed accordingly into cannabis-derived products. Most often, edibles are ‘stronger’ than smoked flower with longer lasting effects. Also, edibles take longer for your body to process than the almost immediate effects of smoking. Thus, the dosage should be small when trying a product that you are not familiar with. Please allow up to 90 minutes for the medicine to take maximum effect.
When dosing, please note the time of initial dose:
If using Serenity Chocolate (180mg THC), do not take more than one square for the initial dose. If desired effect is not achieved after 90 minutes, take another square.
If using Karma Cookies (100mg), do not take more than 1/4 piece of cookie for the initial dose. If desired effect is not achieved after 90 minutes, take another quarter.
If using Karma Candies (250mg THC), do not take more than one piece for the initial dose. If desired effect is not achieved after 60* minutes, take another piece.
*please note* Karma Candies have a different delivery method than other ‘edibles.’ The medicine in the candy is absorbed into your blood stream through your mouth, not digested as in other edibles. Thus, the effect onsets sooner than traditional eaten medicine.
A drug interaction should always be considered when taking more than one medication.
Cannabis and THC have been shown to alter the absorption and elimination of other drugs. Because of the possible additive or synergistic action, cannabis should not be used in combination with alcohol, sedatives, or sleeping pills as increased sedation one potential outcome.
Please make sure to inform your medical provider of your cannabis usage so they are aware of the potential conflict with other mediciations.
Cannabis Usage Options
Safely Eating Cannabis Products
It is a myth that dried marijuana is completely inactive and must be heated before being consumed to activate the cannabanoids. Raw, dried cannabis taken orally can be quite strong and effective. The edibles provided by HDR are actually extracts of plant material that concentrates the THC and/or CBD cannabinoids, resulting in an oil that is used to dose our “edibles.”
Many cannabis patients wishing to avoid any irritation on the lungs or choose not to inhale it, can very easily and effectively eat their dosages of medical cannabis. Also, ingestion of cannabis continues to be a preference for patients wishing to alleviate physical pains and experience what is commonly referred to as a ‘body stone.’ Edibles are more often a stronger dose of cannabis that traditional ‘smoking.’ Eating cannabis also provides a longer effect as the delivery method is actually digested, with cannabinoids being introduced to the blood stream through the liver as opposed to the lungs. For those suffering from differing body ailments that are not finding sufficient relief through smoking, should consider edibles.
Fortunately, it is literally impossible to overdose on marijuana. It is estimated that an adult would have to consume over 65 pounds of marijuana in less than an hour to take in a lethal dose. However, many of these THC concentrated edibles have a very powerful effect. HDR recommends that if you are not familiar with this delivery method, to “crawl before you walk”, meaning take a very small dose to gauge its effects. Our Serenity Chocolate bars are prescored into 8 pieces. Thus, for your initial dose, we recommend not ingesting more than one “square.” These chocolate pieces can also very easily be cut into smaller halfs or quarters if this is your first time or if you have a low tolerance to THC.
Another critical factor in ‘edibles,’ is that the effects take a longer period to take place. The time frame is dependant on your weight, size and metabolism. Edibles will take maximum effect within 30 to 90 minutes of initial dosage. Please be patient when first experimenting with edibles. If additional doses are required, please wait at least one and a half hours prior to taking more medicine.
If the effect is too strong, please relax. The feeling is only temporary and will subside. If able, please lay down or get off of your feet. Please remember, it is illegal to drive while medicating so always consume cannabis at home.
Two important facts about medical cannabis that must be kept in mind if you plan to eat it.
- Some cannabinoids must be activated by heat. Eating it raw will not deliver the full therapeutic benefits. Many people however do eat raw marijuana and
report they receive benefit from doing so.
- Cannabinoids are soluble (dissolve) in fats and alcohol, but not water. The cannabinoids, or the therapeutically active components in medical cannabis,
cannot be extracted by brewing a tea or soaking in water. They must be either suspended in a fat such as vegetable oil or butter, or
steeped in alcohol (not recommended).
Medical cannabis can be prepared for cooking in two ways.
- Pulverized or grounded into a powder, or “Canna-Flour.”
- Extracted into a fat or oil, most commonly butter, called “Canna-Butter.”
Marijuana can be cooked into any of your favorite recipes. However, most people do not care for the taste. That is why it is so important to chose recipes that will help mask the flavor and consistency. Chocolate and tomato sauce are often used just for this reason.
To prepare medical marijuana for cooking, the stems and seeds should be removed with a sift or kitchen strainer and the resulting powder grounded to a flour-like consistency. Only grind as much as you will use at any one time as the cannabinoids will quickly degrade and be lost once the medical marijuana has been finely ground up. Grinding does not make medical marijuana any more effective but it does make it more palatable. Hint- Save the stems to makecannabutter.
Remember that it can take anywhere from one to three hours for eaten medical marijuana to deliver it’s active ingredients to the bloodstream. Give the first portion ample time before consuming additional helpings.
An excellent option for the novice medical marijuana cook is to use a pre-packaged brownie mix. Simply follow the directions on the box and add your medical marijuana to the batter. You may also wish to add an extra table spoon of margarine or oil and an additional 1/8 cup of water.
“Cannabutter” is the common name for a butter that has been infused with the beneficial cannabinoids contained in medical marijuana. Cannabutter is not hard to make and for those who ingest their medicine by eating it, Cannabutter is much more palatable than is the plant material. A typical ratio for making the marijuana butter is one stick of butter to one eight of an ounce of marijuana.
For a great Cannabutter receipe:
To test the strength of your cannabutter, spread a half teaspoon of butter on a cracker. It takes about an hour to reach its full effect. Be careful, because it can sneak up on you. Do not attempt any complex, challenging or potentially dangerous tasks until you know how this batch will effect you.
Cannabutter can be substituted for regular butter in any recipe. It is especially tasty in making candy, cookies and brownies. The amount to use in any particular recipe comes down to a matter of ‘trial and error.’ The best approach is to start small and then use an increasing amount (if necessary) in each following recipe until you find the dosage that is most beneficial for assisting with your symptoms and needs.
The same techniques, same principals, may be used to infuse any vegetable oil with cannabinoids. However, many people find butter the most convenient and versatile.
A great reference with plenty of recipes and options is:
Although this process may be more labor-intensive, if you would prefer to try completely effective and superior version of the ‘original’ THC pill… make them yourself. Grind your medicine down to a powder and fill empty medicine capsules. These empty capsules can be purchased in some health food vitamin stores. However, if you are unable to find them, simply purchase some inexpensive herbal capsules and empty out and replace the contents.
As we know, THC is the most powerful medicinal compound in cannabis. Yet, THC is only one of a handful of cannabis compounds that work together harmoniously. For example, Cannabidiol (CBD) has sedative effects that offset teh stimulative effects of pure THC. In order to get the optimum medicinal benefits without the unwanted side effects, all of the natural cannabis compounds should be taken together, as nature intended.
For this reason, the synthesized THC pharmaceutical ‘replica’ named Marinol or Dronabinol is said to be too psychoactive and commonly referred to as ineffective when compared with the original. The isolated pure “THC” pills are known to overpower the senses.
P.S…. At a cost of up to $12 per tablet, Marinol is much more expensive than your pills made from the natural plant. That would be a $2,400 gram!