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  • Post Time Posted March 25, 2019
Given most plant-derived cannabinoids are highly fat-soluble - meaning that they bind to fatty tissues throughout the body and remain stored for a longer time - it may take cannabinoids more time to leave a person. This process depends on a number of factors, including the administration route, body composition, and the state of the organs that are involved in the absorption, storage, metabolism, and excretion of the cannabinoids (i.e. the gut, body fat, liver, and kidneys).

The way that determines how fast you will know if the medical cannabis is working depends on how you use it, either by inhalation, oral ingestion, skin patch, suppository or under the tongue, by sublingual administration.

The two most common routes are inhaled with a vaporizer or orally ingested as an edible product. The effects of inhaled medical cannabis can be felt almost immediately within one-to-20 minutes, at which point a slight sense of calmness will take place if you are someone who is sensitive to the medication. When using an edible or pill/capsule form of medical cannabis, it is important to know that it will take at the minimum one-to-two hours before your body can process any amount of the product and allow for the effects to be sensed. In this case, do not take any more of the product as a precaution as it may take up to four-to-eight hours reach a level in your body to have an effect of the prescribed dose.

Alternatively, a small amount more may be required until a feeling of relief is achieved. Starting with the lowest recommended dose and very gradually increasing intake is the safest way to use medical cannabis. 

As cannabinoids are excreted from your body through the gut and urine, any present issues with absorption and excretion may significantly change the levels of THC and CBD in the bloodstream and thus the subsequent changes in the effects of THC and CBD. These issues could be any known conditions that affect your gut, liver and kidneys, i.e. autoimmune diseases, previous or current gastrointestinal diseases and/or surgeries, liver cirrhosis and diabetes.

To really know if and when your treatment is working is to keep track of the symptoms of your condition over the course of a typical day, beginning in the morning through to the next day upon waking. This would be your baseline of symptoms. Correlate your symptoms with the timing of your existing medications and medical therapies.

Once you have begun your adjuvant and supplementary treatment with medical cannabis to address your medical symptoms, you should keep track of any changes in your ability to move, think, feel and act according to your baseline as previously determined. Note that depending on the type of medical cannabis it may take more than two-to-three days before any changes are noticed. It is best to have a loved one, caretaker or healthcare professional work with you to provide you feedback on noticing any changes during the first couple of weeks.

If you experience any negative sensations or worsening of current symptoms or discovery of new symptoms, you must stop using medical cannabis immediately and seek help from a medical professional to prevent further potential harm.

Note: People with any history of cardiovascular psychiatric conditions or women who are pregnant (or breastfeeding) must take precautions when considering using medical cannabis, as it can adversely affect their physical, mental state, and cause potentially serious harm to the fetus, respectively.

Before You Go Checklist

Know before you go! Here is a checklist that you can print off and check off before you see your physician.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT CHECKLIST

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