Titration is a dosing method used to limit potential side effects by taking time to see how you will react to a new medicine. To begin medical cannabis titration, the medicine is started at a low dose, slowly increasing until you feel the desired effects, or until you have minimised your symptoms/pain. You slowly increase your dose until you reach your maximum effective dose (target dose), or you encounter side effects. If you suffer side effects, speak with your doctor about how to titrate your medicine back down safely and slowly to the previous level that worked for you.

For eligible patients who have been prescribed medical cannabis, a CDA doctor or nurse will recommend titrating the medical cannabis medicine to help find your minimum effective dose. This is a method used to slowly introduce cannabinoids into the body. Let’s take an in-depth look below at titration.

Why is it important to titrate cannabis medication?

how to titrate medical cannabis

It’s important to titrate your cannabis medication to avoid unwanted side effects. Taking too much cannabinoid medication could potentially cause discomfort. Possible side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Decreased or increased appetite
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Sedation

Medical cannabis is a very personal medication as each individual has their own unique endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a central regulatory system that affects a range of biological processes in the human body. The endocannabinoid system’s main function is to restore homeostasis by promoting appetite, stress reduction, sleep, inflammation and modulation of pain.

As everyone has their own endocannabinoid system, each patient’s medical treatment is unique to them. It is vital to find the right balance between different cannabinoid medicines (Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol) components, your condition and symptoms and your body’s response to the cannabinoid medicine.

How to titrate cannabis medicine

If a patient is deemed eligible for medicinal cannabis treatment, our doctors and nurses will recommend that patients ‘start low and go slow’, slowly titrating your medication to find your minimum effective dose.

So, how do you do this? Micro-dosing.

Micro-dosing is the act of taking only an increment of cannabis medication to test how the body will react to it. Once you have assessed the reaction, you can then increase the dosage slowly to find the desired amount for your symptoms and condition.

Whilst all medical cannabinoid products are derived from the cannabis plant, they vary in their form and method of administration. Let’s take a closer look at the two most common ways to administer medicinal cannabis, inhalation and oral administration.

Inhaled / Vapourising (Rapid Absorption)

When inhaling medicinal cannabis, the active cannabinoid ingredients are absorbed almost immediately into your bloodstream through your lungs. Effects from the medicine are felt within 10 minutes and generally last between two to four hours. As this method of administration is quick onset, this technique is ideal for patients managing acute symptoms.

Oral Ingestion (Slow Absorption)

When administering medicinal cannabis orally, it’s even more important to start low and go slow. This is because the effects can be longer-lasting and stronger when ingested. Once orally ingested, it can take almost 90 minutes to absorb the active cannabinoid ingredients with a longer-lasting effect between four to eight hours. As this method of administration is a long-lasting onset, this technique is ideal for managing chronic symptoms.

This administration technique is ideal for managing chronic (long-lasting) symptoms.

Who do I speak to about medical cannabis titration?

Please discuss your medicines and titration with your GP or your CDA Clinics doctor.

The key points to remember about medical cannabis titration are:

  • Microdosing: Start low and go slow
  • Discuss your cannabis medication dosing with your GP or your CDA Clinics doctor or nurse
  • Different routes of administration require different methods of titration
  • Medical cannabis is not a one size fits all therapy and what works for others may not work for you. Your titration method and administration are unique to you.

Our CDA Clinics doctors and nurses are highly trained in medicinal cannabis therapies. We work together with patients to find the most suitable treatment plan, with the goal to rebalance their endocannabinoid system and managing their symptoms.

To book a medical cannabis consultation please complete our eligibility test and register as a CDA patient here. Not sure if you’re eligible for medical cannabis treatment? Take our eligibility test.