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A common source of confusion for patients who participate in the many available medicinal cannabis programs in Canada is the conversion of medicinal cannabis dosage when transitioning from dried cannabis to cannabis oils. Dried cannabis is often measured in grams, and so physicians will also prescribe dried medicinal cannabis in grams. The prescribed number of grams refers to the weighed amount of dried cannabis that it allotted to the patient for any duration of time.

Licensed producers will also distribute dried cannabis using grams as a measurement. This simplifies the ordering process for the patient by coordinating the orders with the physician’s prescribing unit of measurement, as well as giving the patient a clear guideline as to what they can order for each period.

The dosage for medicinal cannabis oil is done in milliliters (ml) unlike dried cannabis.

The confusion comes into play when a patient who has been prescribed dried medicinal cannabis transitions to medicinal cannabis oil. The conversion rate is complicated at best. Many licensed producers  who do offer a conversion rate are simply stating the amount of dried cannabis that it requires to produce a specific amount of cannabis oil. This is not to be taken as the therapeutic conversion rate.

The fact of the matter is, medicinal cannabis oils are highly concentrated and the dosage is not a one-size-fit-all concept.

Many licensed producers will have a small dropper that comes with their medicinal cannabis oils. These droppers are usually 1 milliliter and have small measurement marking along the side of the dropper that go up in increments of 0.1 milliliters. Use this dropper as your guide to help you understand your therapeutic dose.

Patients are often advised to start at a very low dose of medicinal cannabis oil. 0.1 ml – 0.2 ml is a great place to start. Some patients get significant relief of their symptoms at this low dose. Some do not. After using this low dosage for approximately 2 days, patients who are not having relief in their symptoms can increase their dose by 0.1 ml every 2 days until they either find their therapeutic dosage, or they have reached 0.8 ml with no relief, at which point they should contact their physician to discuss the problem. It may be as simple as a change in the strain of the cannabis oil. You should always stay in close communication with your prescribing physician while finding your therapeutic dosage.

It is important to note that the effects of medicinal cannabis oil will remain in your system for up to 8 hours. You should wait the recommended 8 hours before administering another dose of medicinal cannabis oil. You should never operate a vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence of medicinal cannabis in any form.

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Written by, 

Dr. Kevin Rod

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