Start Low, Go Slow |
When it comes to medical marijuana, it is best to start taking a low dose and slow down in taking more until the effect of the initial dose is felt in its entirety since the effects of cannabis are not often realized right away. Starting with a low dose and going slow lets patients take in the different experiences they may go through.
Cannabis is a medication with a wide margin of safety and limited overdose risk. However, a patient should fully recognize the effects of cannabis. Otherwise, he/she should be more cautious in taking it. Patients, even with the same condition, can be given different dosages.
The factors that influence the effect of cannabis are:
- Amount or dosage used
- Environment or setting
- Experience and history of using cannabis
- Mindset or mood
- Nutrition or diet
- Strain used and method of using cannabis
Inhalation lets a patient have the primary advantage of easily adjusting the dosage to maximize the benefits since the initial action is almost instantly felt. Medical marijuana is breathed into the lungs then absorbed fast as it passes through the capillaries into the bloodstream.
Most patients are more at ease with taking medical marijuana orally. However, patients should be aware that absorption through oral administration is slower since this has lower, delayed peak THC levels as well as decreased bioavailability of CBD and THC caused by widespread metabolism in the digestive tract. A number of studies imply that a patient needs to take 3 to 5 times the amount of medical marijuana orally to get the same effects of smoking. So, patients should start low and go slow.
Medical Marijuana Effects
Temporary Cognitive Effects
Patients need to know that using cannabis can bring about short-term impairments in the brain functions such as:
- Attention span
- Problem solving
- Psychomotor control
- Reaction time
- Sense of time
- Sensory perception
- Verbal fluency
Those who use cannabis may gather their thoughts so they can focus on easy tasks for a short period of time. Having said that, performance impairments may last for 1 to 2 hours after using cannabis while the remaining effects could last up to a day, depending on the cannabis’ potency, the way it was administered and the user’s tolerance.
Long-Term Cognitive Effects
If you have been using medical cannabis for a long time and want to stop using it or if you are worried about being dependent or addicted to it, seek your doctor’s advice. Your physician can help in managing withdrawal effects you may experience. Make sure to consult your physician or other certified healthcare providers whether it is about discontinuing use of medical cannabis or starting a new treatment.
Whatever questions you may have with regard to cannabis use, always talk to your healthcare provider about them.
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