Thursday, September 22, 2011

Medical Marijuana (7): Dosage

As I explained last week, I have as yet been unable to balance the palliative benefits of pain reduction with the side effects of being high, baked, wasted, buzzed, ripped, faded and/or stoned. You see, as with most prescription drugs, "effects may vary." The problem is dosage. We humans are not the same, we react differently based on age, weight, metabolism, contents of stomach, amount of sleep you got last night, stress, the phase of the moon.

You get the idea, we do not react the same to any stimuli, we are unique creatures. So with Medical Marijuana the prescribed "dosage" is a bit of a guessing game. Let me give you a most recent example:

I bought a six ounce Chocolate Peanut Butter Hash Bar (product review below). Yesterday I split the bar with a friend, he has less acute pain than I and he is a long time recreational pot user. So we had two levels of discomfort and two very different histories of functioning while under the influence. Adding these additional variables would provide more data for my experiment.

But with Medical Marijuana there is a second issue regarding dosage - there is no standard for what constitutes a "dose". I can report without fear of contradiction that one patient's 1/2 dose is another person's full dose or quarter dose or double dose. Here is yesterday's dual test subject report.

The effects began fairly quickly (30 minutes) for both participants. Pain was effectively reduced for both in the one hour to perhaps mid third hour after consumption. However, the bar was labeled as being 1/4 to 1/2 dose and we split the bar equally. So according to the manufacturer we each had 1/8 to 1/4 of a full dose.

By late in the fourth hour I was supine in a cool, dark room contemplating the nuances of string theory as it applies to snack cheese. Somewhere in the fifth hour my friend found me and suggested that the dosage disclosure on the packing had clearly been set for elephants or small cetaceans.

So as for dosage - you will have to learn to titrate any Medical Marijuana products to your unique physiology and to the wildly inconsistent labeling of the various products. Also recommended in the early testing stages - stay home but pre-stock the kitchen with chocolate.

PRODUCT REPORT: Chocolate Peanut Butter Hash Bar

Ingredients: Sugar, Peanut Oil, Flour, Milk, Salt, Hash.

Notice the absolute absence of chocolate in the product. Clearly bad labeling, however, it was wonderfully peanutty; in fact, this is the best tasting product so far in the experiment. As noted above the package dosage disclosure is obscenely low and should be adjusted in line with other competitive products. On a cost per dose basis, this is an exceptional value. My next test of this item will involved dividing the bar into eight doses.

Previous posts in this series:
Medical Marijuana (5): The Patients
Medical Marijuana (4): Botanical Chemistry
Medical Marijuana (3): Human Experimentation
Medical Marijuana (2): The Dispensary

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