‘Cannabis’ is only one word, but it represents many medicines. Although some forms can be intoxicating, at Natural Care our goal is to help our patients find a dose that offers maximal benefits with minimal side effects. It usually takes some trial-and-error to find that “sweet spot”, but many patients are surprised to learn that at the right dose, their cannabis can address their symptoms with minimal to no intoxication.
But if even a little bit of euphoria is still more than you’d like to experience, don’t worry! Remember, the legal medical market offers a variety of products and modes of consumption. Here are three ways to consume cannabis and still feel clear-headed.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. In studies, it has been shown to reduce inflammation, pain, nausea and anxiety.
In 2017, the World Health Organization declared that CBD is neither harmful nor habit-forming. As such, the organization recommended that CBD should not be classified as a scheduled or controlled substance.
CBD can be an effective treatment for various forms of epilepsy, and may also provide therapeutic benefits for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS and Crohn’s and anxiety, among others.
Researchers are still studying exactly how CBD and THC-infused topicals work, and why even high-THC topicals don’t typically cause euphoria. But early studies and early adopters alike say the creams, bath salts and balms can reduce pain, inflammation, muscle tension and itchy skin. Unfortunately topicals are not yet legally available in Canada, but you can easily make your own by mixing cannabis oil with a favourite cream or lotion, or by rubbing it directly onto your skin.
It’s worth noting that transdermal patches offer a topical delivery designed to penetrate into the bloodstream, and can be intoxicating. However, these products are not currently available in Canada.
Although CBD can do quite a lot on its own, many cannabis researchers believe it works better in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes than it does in isolation. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.
Microdosing is the practice of consuming the lowest dose necessary for the desired effect. The technique is increasingly popular with patients seeking to harness THC’s proven analgesic effects while minimizing its intoxicating impact.
Whether consuming cannabis for strictly medicinal reasons or for fun, it’s generally accepted wisdom to start low and go slow. Every individual experiences cannabis differently and the best way to avoid negative side effects is to approach it conscientiously. Track doses and effects, and wait for a new session before gradually increasing the dose. And if you have questions, concerns or want to discuss changing your personalized cannabis medication plan, give us a call – we’re here to help.