Caregiving 101: Cannabis consumption and tips

Cannabis is consumed in one of three ways

Inhalation

Smoking is traditionally the most common way of inhaling cannabis. The smoke carries the cannabinoids, but it also can be harmful to one’s respiratory system.

Vaporizing flower has been the medically recommended method for a decade, but it requires specialized equipment.

Tips for administration

  • Using a water pipe will reduce respiratory irritation
  • Vaping at lower temperatures can minimize psychoactive effects for some patients

Review our Gear Overview for fast facts about vaporizers.

Oral Consumption

Oral consumption can take on many forms. When consumed through the GI tract, cannabis “edibles” can have long-lasting effects. For faster onset, sublingual consumption (i.e., under the tongue) will speed up the onset of effects.

Tips for administration

  • Take on an empty stomach
  • Consume some healthy fat to improve absorbtion

Review our Cannabis Products Overview for more details about the oral consumption of cannabis.

Topicals

Topical administration is a great option for people seeking pain management for aching joints, sore muscles, or pain that’s close to the surface of the skin.

Tips for administration

  • Take a hot shower to open the pores
  • Apply to spots close to major veins or arteries

Review our Cannabis Products Overview for more details about the topical administration of cannabis.

What to do about overconsumption

There is no such thing as a lethal dose of cannabis. Therefore, the term “overdose” does not apply to cannabis. However, just because it’s impossible to overdose on cannabis, doesn’t mean that overconsumption is not without its downsides. Paranoia, depersonalization, and extreme anxiety are all possible outcomes from overconsumption.

Start Low, Go Slow

The best way to deal with overconsumption is to avoid over-consuming in the first place. This can be easily accomplished via micro-dosing as a strategy for titrating up on cannabis. Micro-dosing looks different for each product type, but the idea is to minimize the amount of cannabis you consume at the first dose. Each successive does is taken only after the patient decides that the initial dose is not delivering the therapeutic benefits they need. Remember, “start low, go slow,” when using a new cannabis product and you can avoid overconsumption.

The following tips will aid you in dealing with overconsumption.

Consume CBD

Counteract THC with high levels of CBD. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC and so can be used to counteract the effects of overconsumption.

Vaping a high-CBD/low-THC cartridge will provide the most immediate relief.

Stay Hydrated

Cannabis doesn’t just give people dry mouth, it’s a diuretic. This means the body uses and needs more water while consuming cannabis. In the case of overconsumption, dehydration can make things worse. 

Sleep It Off

The effects of THC overconsumption are temporary, even if you’re afraid they will never wear off. The best thing you can do is sleep it off. 

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