Medical cannabis dosing can be a bit tricky with THC naïve patients or even with the seasoned patient. It is important that your doctor should recommend individualized dosing regimens. like functional dosing of medical cannabis, specific to your needs. This should be tailored specifically to your diagnosis to best suit your route of administration. For example, a patient with COPD may not be able to tolerate inhaled vape solutions and so dosing and therapeutic levels of THC will have to be titrated via oral or transdermal routes. Therefore, formulation, dosing amount, frequency, and length of treatment are all based on individual patient needs. A standard regimen should then be adapted to the patient’s characteristics of weight and age and any comorbidities that can affect the pharmacokinetics of the medication. (i.e liver, disease, lung disease, etc.)
Start Low, Go Slow
Using the old age adage of start low and go slow is incorporated into these regimens, in order to look for the lowest effective dose to bring relief to the patient. In the following illustration, the goal is to strive to achieve a functional dosing regimen with a combination of vape and oral intake to maximize the patient’s control over symptoms. This concept in dosing therapy strives to maintain therapeutic levels of THC in a similar mode as microdosing over a period of time.
Functional Dosing of Medical Cannabis
In this example, functional dosing is achieved by first introducing a rapid therapeutic dose into the body via the most rapid transit which is inhalation. Inhaled dosing provides a rapid onset between 30-90 seconds with peak concentrations lasting one to two hours. This can be followed with an oral dose 30 minutes to one hour after the vape dose. This second and now oral dose will help extend and maintain therapeutic levels of THC in the body.
Oral doses can start to take effect in the body between 30 minutes to two hours after consumption. The goal in functional dosing is to have overlapping doses with the objective of not having THC levels fall below the therapeutic threshold. The purpose of doing this is to keep a baseline for the patient in which there is achievement in symptomatic control so that they may continue their daily life activities. This process can be repeated in a cyclical fashion and can be adjusted according to the patient’s symptoms.
Always remember to consult with your physician before making any changes, and if changes are necessary, it is of utmost importance to discuss a plan that is comfortable with both the patient and physician.