OK, so it’s been 4 months since I’ve had my medical cannabis card. I’m still learning, but have been amazed at the unexpected effects of using CBD and THC. I’m now getting into terpenes, which is a totally different post for the future. Chemistry was never my ‘thing’, but I’m having to adjust a bit with that !!
CBD oils are not all the same. You need one with a good track record. I USED to like Charlotte’s Web. Then I discovered the unclear labeling that looks like the capsules are 15 or 35mg of CBD, when that is the total cannabinoid dose. This matters a LOT when titrating THC doses. I got VERY sick from this unclear labeling and only noticed the change when they added the actual dose of CBD to the info on their website, but NOT on the bottles of their products. I will no longer use Charlotte’s Web, and am moving to Plus CBD, Sunsoil, and ThoughtCloud- they have third party testing of their products, which I now view as mandatory for me. I asked Charlotte’s Web about the lack of clear labelling on the bottles, and got no reply. THC side effects can be muted by CBD – which is a good thing. I thought I was taking 50mg of CBD/day. I was getting half of that, with a THC dose of 30-50 mg/day. The THC built up in my system, and ended up with symptoms (along with a dicey gallstone at the time) that required multiple medical tests, surgery consults, scans, ER visits, and ultimately caused the beginnings of hyperemesis cannabinoid syndrome. I only puked once- and that was the clue that led to figuring out what was going on. (THC has a VERY long half-life, so doesn’t clear for about a month- but if folks keep using it daily, like medicine, it just accumulates; it’s not dangerous per se, but causes a lot of GI distress). I had been scheduled for surgery… what I needed was accurate info on the CBD.
Most of the time, I use the CBD softgels. I do have the oil for edibles, or sublingual use for faster onset of action. CBD is the base of my medical cannabis ‘program’. That might disappoint those who hope for using more mind-bending THC as their primary medication. But THC is more of an enhancer. I don’t like the feeling of having too much THC (and that amount is different for everyone). This is a core difference between medical and recreational cannabis. I don’t find anything “recreational” about it. This is about a better quality of life….not escaping it.
Since starting the CBD and THC, my psoriasis cleared up by about %95; with less THC, it has come back somewhat. The clearing was unexpected, and amazing after years of prescription and over the counter shampoos, creams, solutions, etc. I’ve also been able to completely get off of carbamazepine (Tegretol), cut the gabapentin (Neurontin) by %60, and subsequently stop or reduce the medications and supplements to deal with the side effects of those meds (especially the carbamazepine).
Cannabis is great for chronic conditions, and some acute symptoms (nausea). It’s not optimal for acute pain, as I found out when I broke my ankle a month ago. I’ve needed opiates a few times this month (6 doses) to allow me to sleep with the acute pain. But that’s still very little compared to most opiate consumption after something like a broken weight-bearing bone. I was disappointed about taking the opiates, but I also needed to be practical. Since I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, I have some leeway to use opiates, but the goal is not to use them. It had been quite a while since I’d used the Norco 10/325, and the first dose was a doozy. I could definitely feel it (not good). After that, I split the pill in half.
As I mentioned, my next ‘thing’ to figure out is how to use the terpenes, which are compounds in virtually every plant. They have medicinal benefits, and I want to learn how to use them. I’ll post more as I learn more, and have a chance to use them. I hope to use them in an aromatherapy diffuser.
So, there’s always more to learn, but it’s been an overall VERY good experience. My primary form of cannabis is capsules, but I also use tablets, mints, candy/chocolate, other edibles, concentrates, occasional vaping, and occasional dry herb vaping. I don’t smoke. No combustion = no products of combustion. Vaping creates steam, so MUCH less likely to have toxins. To me, smoked cannabis absolutely reeks, and I don’t want to expose my dog to that (or get her stoned), bug the neighbors, or stink up my house. I also have distillates of CBD to use with cooking, should I ever get some culinary bug after my ankle heals. Watch “Bong Apetit” on Viceland if you want some great ganja cooking tips.
By getting the small dose products, it’s easier to titrate the THC dose. That’s one reason I love the Ascend THC tablets- they’re only 2.5mg each, and can be split if need be (I use a whole one).
SO, if you aren’t getting the benefits from medical cannabis that you hoped for, I’d encourage you to take a look at how much CBD you’re using. An example of the doses I use per day (and it is different for everyone, and you ALWAYS start low and go slow when increasing doses !!). My current dose is 44 mg CBD (take 18 mg in the a.m., and 26mg in the evening) and 2.5-7.5mg of THC in divided doses per day.
CBN and CBG are also available now in ingestible oils. CBN is great for sleep, and CBG has anti-inflammatory properties. I can’t take Aleve/Motrin because of kidney disease, so these have been great. I like the products from ThoughtCloud. Not cheap- but worth the relief.
EDIT: Because of dosing confusion on the Charlotte’s Web capsules, I’ll be changing to Elixinol and/or Plus CBD. I went through a lot of craziness with the THC dose because of the CBD dose not being clear- it was off by half. TOTAL cannabinoids are NOT the same as the CBD dose. Charlotte’s Web wouldn’t accept my product review.