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MED (Minimum Effective Dose)

Once one determines the minimum effective dose for alleviating symptoms or getting a comfortable #lift from Cannabis consumption, tolerance and functionality become much easier to manage.

Traditional Pharmacological studies of drugs rely on statistical data to better interpret effects. Measures like LD50 (lethal dose for 50% subjects) MD50 (50% of subjects show effects) have no meaning when dealing with individual users. Similarly, dose response curves are based on statistical data.  In general, as in the graph on the left, larder doses increase effect to maximum efficacy point and then stay the same or decrease. DoseResponse1

Individual differences in the way that our systems process substances make is necessary for each user to find their on lower and upper limits for MMJ or recreational Cannabis use. Herbal medicines do not act in the same way as most pharmaceuticals. As research demonstrates, maximum therapeutic efficacy depends on the entourage effect which is found when full plant extracts or flowers are consumed. Drug companies seek the opposite, the refinement of a substance extracting the single active ingredient which they hope to patent for financial gain. As Cannabis research proceeds, our understanding of how to best select and dose herb for various medical conditions will surely improve.

In the meantime, this article describes a simple method for titrating MMJ/Cannabis doses to meet individual requirements.

  1. To Start please go to Google docs and DL the MMJ Pre-Post Symptoms Questionnaire to get started. MMJPPQ
  2. Rate your symptoms for today before any Cannabis use
  3. Take a small dose
    1. Smokers: 1 hit from joint, pipe, 1 hitter (preferred)
    2. Vapers: 1 hit from Vape pen
    3. Tincture users 1/4 dropper  8 drops (dropper estimated @ 32 drops)
  4. Wait 10-15 min
  5. Re rate your symptoms again
  6. Repeat until you get feel relief or desired state of consciousness


More Questionnaire Instructions

In addition to using the MMJ Pre-Post questionnaire to help determine your MED, you can use it on an ongoing basis as you test different strains or delivery mechanisms in order to better tune your MMJ protocol to meet individual needs.

 Maximum Efficacy  (ME)

When researchers plot dose (X-axis) against effects (Y-Axis) in their animal experiments, the result is often a normal or bell curve. At first the effect increases with higher doses, but at some point the effects begin to diminish with increasing doses. With many Pharma drugs, higher doses quickly become toxic. With Cannabis, higher doses may reverse some positive effects or simply result in an impromptu nap. A recent study with full plant CBD extracts found that the entourage effect seemed to extend efficacy to higher doses thereby reducing the back side of the bell curve (check reference)

MED & Tolerance

By consuming Cannabis to your MED and then pausing before taking the next dose results in a slower build up of Tolerance i.e. the need to take larger doses over time in order to experience the same level of effect(s). There are other matters for discussion regarding tolerance, but for now note that for Cannabis users in either MMJ or recreational spaces “less is more”. In fact MMJ users needing pain relief in particular should pay close attention to their MED levels since daily usage will result in more tolerance over time.

THC and CBD interactions

Current research suggests that CBD has a moderating effect on some of THC’s side effects, notably anxiety and paranoid feelings. Selecting strains with a higher CBD content or adding CBD supplements to your MMJ treatment protocol will likely change dose requirements since CBD tends to aid relaxation.