CANNABIS OIL: CONSUMPTION TIPSJanuary 25, 2019
Once you understand the basics, let’s explore the safest, most effective way to consume.
In our last blog we discussed the basics of cannabis oils; what they are made from and what differences to look for. Once you understand the basics, let’s explore the safest, most effective way to consume.
HOW MUCH CANNABIS OIL SHOULD I CONSUME?
The production of cannabis oil is still relatively new, and as a result it can be more confusing to determine the appropriate dosage than it is with dried flower. As always, start low and go slow.
To help customers understand the difference between oils, Health Canada created the Equivalency Factor. It states that: “A licensed producer who sells or provides fresh marijuana or cannabis oil under subsection 22(4) must determine the quantity of the marijuana or oil that is equivalent to one gram of dried marijuana.”
Here’s an example: If a doctor prescribed (or you determined on your own) an optimal dosage of three grams of dried cannabis per day and the equivalency factor displayed by the LP on the bottle was 1:5 (as listed above), you would take the amount of grams you were prescribed and multiply it by five. But it isn’t as straightforward as simple math, as dosages should be customized per individual, understanding that oils/edibles hit each person differently.
It’s important to note that just like the three grams of dry flower, which you would likely consume over the course of the entire day, you do not want to take all of your daily oil at once! As well, those who consume multiple grams of cannabis dry flower per day for their needs, may find the equivalent cannabis oil to be excessive.
Disclaimer: This method of calculation is not an exact science. Remember that every person experiences cannabis differently and that there are different percentages and strengths of THC and CBD to consider. Remember, there is no substitute for taking it slow and determining what works best for you. Our in-store cannabis advisors are able to provide specific recommendations based on the products you wish to purchase.
START LOW, GO SLOW.
Cannabis oils, when compared to smoked dry cannabis, are slower acting and longer lasting. As such, it is recommended that you start with a low dose and take your time to ensure you feel its full effects before taking any more. Where you may be used to inhaling cannabis until you feel the desired effects, it can take between 30 mins to an hour (or longer) for oils to kick in, and they are more concentrated. Taking too much too quickly can lead to unpleasant side effects like nausea, dizziness and a drop in blood sugar levels.
It takes longer to feel cannabis oil’s effect because unlike inhalation, oils are absorbed through our digestive system and bloodstream. This is also why it’s recommended to take cannabis oils with food and not on an empty stomach.
Taking a second dose is not recommended until four full hours have passed, understanding that the effects from cannabis oils can last as long as 6-10 hours, depending on your dose and how your body reacts.
Even with the best intentions and expert guidance, the fact that everybody’s biochemistry and endocannabinoid systems are different means there’s no substitute for responsible, personalized experimentation to find the best-fit dosage and product for your needs.
Cannabis oils sold in Canada have the ratio of THC/CBD per mg/mL listed directly on the packaging. Below, we’ve identified, generally speaking, the varying effects of different ratios of CBD:THC.
0:1 Strong psychotropic effect
1:2 Relatively strong psychotropic effect
1:1 Relaxing, light psychotropic effect
2:1 Relaxing, few or no psychotropic effects
1:0 No psychotropic effects at all, common for therapeutic use
Remember: Cannabis oil should never be smoked, vaped or heated above 350 degrees. Doing so will change the compounds and potency of the cannabinoids.
TIPS FOR CONSUMING CANNABIS OILS
Find a comfortable, safe environment for your first-time trying cannabis oils. If possible, consume with someone you trust; preferably someone who has done it before and knows what to expect.
Take Your Time
Cannabis oils are slow-acting and long-lasting. Wait at least four hours before taking another dose and plan ahead for an experience that will last between 4-8 hours on average.
When’s It Happening?
Sublingual, or oral consumption that places drops under the tongue, is quicker than eating, but still slower than smoking or vaping. Plan accordingly.
What’s the Difference?
Oils eliminate the need to expose your lungs to heat and combusted material associated with smoking bongs, joints or pipes. Side effects such as strong odour and dry mouth is avoided when using oils as an alternative consumption method.
Know Your Limit
Cannabis oils are the most precise dosage of cannabis you can find, knowing how much your body needs to achieve the effect you seek is crucial to achieving an optimized experience.
Know Your Label
All producers of oils in Canada must display their Equivalency Factor; an accurate measurement of how many grams of each cannabinoid (THC and CBD) are in every millilitre of oil.
Don’t Take Too Much
You cannot overdose in the typical sense of the term, but you can have negative side effects from taking too much at once. Always consume responsibly and remember, you can always take more but you cannot go back and take less.
Concentration is Key
All cannabis oils have different concentrations of THC and CBD, just like dried flowers and buds: you should experiment slowly and see what’s right for your body.
Start with as close to a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD as possible – they are synergistic and CBD counters some of THC’s potentially psychoactive effects.