The successful use of CBD-related products depends much on managing psychoactivity or its intoxicating properties.
Many people enjoy the cannabis high and benefit from its medicinal as well as recreational uses. But for others, it’s unpleasant, and they prefer to avoid feeling high.
Some people are more sensitive to THC, the main intoxicating component of cannabis, and must consider dosing of the compound properly. According to recent studies, females are more susceptible to THC1.
Since the difference between CBD and THC is well-known, the practice of micro-dosing is gaining popularity among users who want to obtain the medical benefits of cannabis without its intoxicating effect.
Nowadays, there is a number of products with different amounts of THC and CBD. Many, if not most of them, are CBD-dominant and do not possesses intoxicating effects.
Here are some tips to reduce the psychoactivity of cannabinoids and to allow the product to exert its beneficial action:
Start with low doses. Patients who are sensitive and ultra-sensitive to THC should start with small doses and gradually increase it. Eventually, when tolerance is formed, the user can come to the relatively high dose if prescribed. According to the findings demonstrated in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, one should start with a dose of the equivalent of 2.5 mg THC. If well-tolerated, increase the dose to a total of 15 mg THC. Doses exceeding 20-30 mg per day may increase the risk of adverse effects or induce tolerance without improving effectiveness7.
Do not overconsume as it may increase intoxicating effects and lead to other negative symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, spasms, tremors, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, discoordination, acute impacts on cognition, impulsivity, and disturbed sleep. Extreme overdoses can lead to hallucinations and even acute psychosis8.
Take product/supplement before bedtime. If the user is prescribed a relatively high dose and he/she is THC sensitive, it is recommended to take it before bedtime to avoid adverse effects.
Exercise. THC is stored in the fat cells of the body. Activities, such as cardio and weight training will help burn fat and increase metabolism resulting in neutralizing intoxicating effects of THC. Also, this method increases the production of anandamide, which is useful during the THC detox process.
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water when on CBD supplements will help the body to expel toxins of all kinds.
Do not drink alcohol as alcohol will increase the intoxicating effect.
Think of other drugs you are taking. THC may increase the effects of other medications including antidepressants, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain killers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants.
Do not drive, operate machinery, perform other hazardous activities while using CBD-related products. It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired judgment.
For those who absolutely can not tolerate THC products, one can find CBD products on the market with little to no THC content.
- Phillips B. Females more sensitive to cannabis; males get munchies | WSU Insider | Washington State University. WSU Insid. September 2014. https://news.wsu.edu/2014/09/03/females-more-sensitive-to-cannabis-males-get-munchies/. Accessed October 20, 2019.
- Guzmán M, Duarte MJ, Blázquez C, et al. A pilot clinical study of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. Br J Cancer. 2006;95(2):197-203. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603236
- Kozela E, Juknat A, Kaushansky N, Rimmerman N, Ben-Nun A, Vogel Z. Cannabinoids Decrease the Th17 Inflammatory Autoimmune Phenotype. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013;8(5):1265-1276. doi:10.1007/s11481-013-9493-1
- SIFFERLIN A. Marijuana Appears to Benefit Mental Health: Study. Time. https://time.com/4573129/marijuana-cannabis-mental-health/. Accessed October 21, 2019.
- Kumar KV. Cannabis and Creativity. Psychology Today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psychology-masala/201204/cannabis-and-creativity. Accessed October 21, 2019.
- Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Axelrod J, Wink D. Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(14):8268-8273.
- MacCallum CA, Russo EB. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing. Eur J Intern Med. 2018;49:12-19. doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.004
- Sachs J, McGlade E, Yurgelun-Todd D. Safety and Toxicology of Cannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):735-746. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0380-8