So you tried a cannabis product and it didn’t work for you. Is that it then? Does that mean that all cannabis products won’t work for you? No, it doesn’t mean this.
As you’ll see in this article, saying you tried cannabis and it didn’t work provides us with no details.
Cannabis is not “one thing”.
I often think of cannabis as an umbrella term.
Yes they may all be the same scientific name, but each chemical variety, or strain, of cannabis has different properties and effects on us.
One cannabis product is not like every other cannabis product –> they may have very different effects.
Huge variety of Cannabis strains and products
Each strain of Cannabis (or chemical variety) produces a different amount of the phytocannabinoids and terpenes.
Here is a simplistic example.
- “Strain A” produces high THC and low CBD amounts
- “Strain B” produces equal amounts of THC and CBD
- “Strain C” produces low THC and high CBD amounts
So “Strain A” will produce, crop after crop, flowers that have a high THC level and a low CBD level.
As you can imagine, a product derived from “Strain A” will have a very different effect on you than a product derived from “Strain C”.
If you are looking for the effects of a high CBD product, yet you’re taking an oil made from “Strain A” then you’re not going to get the relief of effects that you want.
Keep in mind that THC and CBD are just two of over 100 phytocannabinoids. So when you realize that an individual strain could produce a different amount of each of these 100+ phytocannabinoids, you see that there is a large array of strain possibilities.
And there are also terpenes that cannabis strains produce in different amounts.
This emphasizes that Cannabis in not “one thing.”
Getting more specific when we talk about Cannabis as medicine
Saying you tried cannabis and it didn’t work would be like someone coming into the pharmacy and telling me they took a pain pill and it didn’t work, or they didn’t like it.
That gives me no details. Was it an opioid? A muscle relaxant? An anti-inflammatory?
If it was an anti-inflammatory was it a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac?
If it was diclofenac, was it 50 mg per day 150 mg per day, did you take one dose or several doses?
You can quickly see how these details are extremely important when you are looking at this for medical purposes.
That is why if you were taking cannabis as medicine you need to start getting more specific.
You should know:
- what phytocannabinoids were in the product
- how much of them were in the product
- you need to know what dose you took
- you need to keep track of how long you took it for.
Know the concentration of your Cannabis oils
People often do not understand concentrations of oils.
If you are using a liquid product such as a cannabis oil it will state, or should state on the label how much THC is in it and how much CBD is in it.
And it should list this as the number of milligrams (mg) of these phytocannabinoids per milliliter (mL) of the liquid.
For instance, if it is 1 mg/mL of THC and 30 mg of CBD per 1 mL, you know that if you take 1 mL of the oil as a dose you will get 1 mg THC and 30 mg CBD.
If you take only 0.5mL (so a half-milliliter) of this oil, you’d get 0.5mg THC and 15mg CBD.
What phytocannabinoids are in my Cannabis product?
I’ve been mentioning THC and CBD a lot, but not the other phytocannabinoids. And I realize that THC and CBD are only a small piece of the puzzle.
There are lots more phytocannabinoids in the cannabis products.
But at this point in time most of the information we have pertains to THC and CBD.
That is why – at the bare minimum – you should know how much of these phytocannabinoids you are taking.
Picking the wrong dog for the job
I often compare Cannabis sativa to Canis lupis familiaris (the dog).
If you go into a pet store, and you’re looking for a lap dog, but you walk out with a Great Dane, well you picked a dog that doesn’t suit YOUR NEEDS.
Does this mean that all dogs won’t fit your needs?
No, it just means that you picked the wrong breed.
This is analogous to Cannabis because if you have certain medical needs, but you pick a Cannabis product that isn’t suited to your needs, then you won’t get relief. And you may experience negative effects you weren’t looking for.
It doesn’t mean that all Cannabis products won’t work for you, it means you picked the wrong strain and product.
You need to examine your needs, do some research to see what phytocannabinoids and terpenes are best suited for your needs, and then find a strain of cannabis that has these attributes you’re looking for.
This would be like going back into the pet store and buying a little Yorkshire Terrier instead of a Great Dane. Then you’ll get the little lap dog that suits your needs.
Because there are so many strains of cannabis, and so many different cannabis products on the market it means that if one particular cannabis product did not work for you, it does not mean that they all won’t work for you.
Even when it comes to pharmaceuticals it sometimes takes people a few tries to find one that works for them.
This is something that most patients and doctors inherently understand.
But when it comes to cannabis people are not making this connection. They aren’t connecting the dots.
Cannabis is a natural medicine with a staggering variety of strain and products.
It may take you a few attempts to find a product that suits your needs.
A good medical cannabis consultant will be able to help narrow down your choices. And at least point you in the right direction.
Written by: Tim Dyer
Tim is a Registered Pharmacist in British Columbia, Canada. His goal is to provide simple, easy to understand information about medical cannabis for beginners and seniors.