Dosing Protocols & the Entourage Effect
Inhalation: smoke via pen, pipe, dab, joint, blunt or bong or vapor via vaporizer
Ingestion: edibles, capsules, drinks
Sublingual: tinctures/droplets, sprays, lozenges
Topical: salves, balms, bath soaks
Transdermal: gels, patches
Onset & Duration
Inhalation: onsets in 1-3 minutes; lasts 1-3 hours
Ingestion: onsets in 30-90 minutes; lasts 6-12 hours
Sublingual: onsets in 15-30 minutes; lasts 2-4 hours
Topical: onsets in 30-60 minutes; lasts 2-4 hours
Transdermal: onsets in 15-30 minutes; lasts 6-12 hours
Inhalation: systemic relief; fast-acting
Ingestion: systematic relief (extended); longer-acting
Sublingual: easily measurable & controllable
Topical: localized pain relief & reduces inflammation
Transdermal: localized pain relief & reduces inflammation
The Entourage Effect
Isolates/Concentrates vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum
“The whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts”
– Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN, FAND
The hemp + cannabis plants contain harmonious cannabinoids, terpenes + flavonoids that work together beautifully as a unit.
With some benefit on their own, like the calming effects of CBD or the appetite-suppressing properties of humulene, combining the other synergistic plant parts of this healing herb can be a useful treatment tool in helping with anxiety, stress management, pain relief, muscle recovery + insomnia due to the activity + sensitivity of the cannabinoid receptors.
Your choice will be based on several factors, such as:
Your wellness goals
Sensitivity to THC
Desired level of impairment/euphoria
Legality in your state
Isolates/Concentrates: Contains no synergistic parts of the hemp or cannabis plant other than one, isolated cannabinoid
- Non-impairing – good choice for daytime use
- Good choice for children, elderly + pets highly sensitive to the effects of THC (even in trace amounts)
- Good for chronic pain
- Least effective of all 3 product types
Broad Spectrum: Contains all synergistic parts of the hemp + cannabis plants without THC
- Non-impairing – great for daytime use
- Good for choice children, elderly, pets + those new to cannabis
- Great for chronic pain
- Common in CBD sublingual tinctures, lotions, roll-ons, bath soaks + salves
Full Spectrum: Contains all synergistic parts of the hemp + cannabis plants with THC (i.e. The Entourage Effect)
- Can be impairing at certain THC levels
- Potential to test (+) on drug tests depending on THC levels
- Good choice for those with severe pain + in need of heightened mental relief
- Best for chronic pain
- Federally legal full-spectrum CBD products will contain no more than 0.3% THC
- Little to no impairment/euphoria
- THC levels will vary depending on manufacturer, product type + state legality
- Common in hemp + cannabis flower, sublingual tinctures, lotions + roll-ons
Dosing Tips & Reminders
- Dosing is highly individualized
- There’s no standard “one size fits all” protocol that exists for cannabis
- “Start low, and go slow”
- Start with a smaller dose than you think you need, then slowly increase until you’ve found your desired therapeutic effect
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
- Be patient, it can take time to find your perfect pairing
- Your doses may be too low in the beginning to feel any effect
- Track your symptoms
- Be sure to account for the type of delivery method, time to onset, duration of effects + how each dose makes you feel
- Adjust your dose if you experience any unwanted side effects, such as paranoia or psychosis
- Pair with nutrient-dense, synergistic foods + beverages
- CBD tends to be more beneficial for daytime use since it’s non-impairing, so choose products with more CBD + less (or no) THC for times when you need to be productive
- At nighttime, choose products with less CBD + more THC to assist with sleep (if 21+ and older AND in a legal state)
- Above all, remain calm + peaceful
- Engage in stress-relieving activities, like meditation or journaling, to enhance the therapeutic + euphoric benefits
- Ask for help when you need it!
Note: Links with a (*) are affiliate links – when you purchase through these links, I receive a small commission.
- Holistic Cannabis Academy*
- Want to teach others about cannabis? Become a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner (HCP) through the Holistic Cannabis Academy*! Follow the link for 50% off the total price of this self-paced training program with over 30 video modules taught by qualified industry leaders on cannabis-related topics from history to legislation to dosing + so much more!
- Jannabis Wellness
- Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN, FAND is an incredible Registered Dietitian Nutritionist + Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, as well as a public speaker, college professor + product developer!
- In fact, Janice is the very reason why I’m now part of this industry. I fell in love with everything that she represents (plus she’s just COOL). We have many similarities in our journeys, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such an amazing mentor, colleague + friend to share this space with – surround yourself with like-minded people!
- Healer with Dr. Sulak
- Become a trusted cannabis + hemp CBD advisor through Dr. Dustin Sulak’s Healer Certified Training Program. Dr. Sulak is a renowned cannabis clinician specializing in cannabis dosing protocols, peer-reviewed education + research, and manages over 10,000 patients! This self-paced training program includes 3 courses designed for industry leaders, healthcare professionals, and cannabis consumers.
- Well-known for its accuracy in potency record-keeping, Leafly.com is a great resource to find specific strain information, such as therapeutic effects, and terpene + cannabinoid profiles, along with a dispensary locator.