Often, I hear clients tell me they tried marijuana and it did nothing. This can be due to many problems. Some of which are: the strain of marijuana, the concentration, a person’s own genetics, and bioavailability. Cannabis failure is more likely one of the reasons the American Cannabis Nurses Association believes any user of marijuana deserves a nurse. Knowing how to treat symptoms independently can be a hit or miss event.

Since medical cannabis (MC) comes in so many forms (i.e. flower, vape pens, joints, tinctures, concentrates, edibles, and suppositories) and the concentration of CBD:THC has many varitations, (i.e. 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 10:1, 18:1, 20:1, 30:1) no wonder it is a daunting task to accomplish finding the right dosage. That does not negate the overwhelming positive results users accomplish on their own. But we are all different and what works so well for one person can cause another to become foggy, tremorous, restless, or have no effect at all.

On the other hand, a user who is doing great, getting good relief from nausea, insomnia and pain may suddenly find their dose is not effective. They increase the dose to no avail and again continue to increase the dose wondering why the effectiveness has disappeared. This is due to tolerance. Dustin Sulak D.O., from, explains sensitivity issues on his website.


Tolerance occurs with delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as Cannabidiol (CBD). Most of the medical professionals and experts on MC strongly suggest long time users take a break from cannabis for 2 days to 2 weeks depending on how long they have been using. Tolerance occurs when the Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in our body are used up and the body is no longer able to utilize the MC. THC and CBN (cannabinol) fit into the CB1 and CB2 receptors like a lock and key. CBD, (cannabidiol) must be metabolized with enzymes to activate the CB2 receptor.

Another reason for cannabis failure is the product composition. If the user cannot determine the dose i.e. the dropper is not scored, the user may be getting too much or too little. When purchasing tinctures ask the dispensary if the dropper is scored with 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1milligram (ml). Since January 1, 2018, the competition for products has finally pushed manufacturers to package products in medical doses.

If you are suddenly not getting results from your joint or tincture take a 48 hr. fast from MC. Dr. Sulak has an eight-page detailed Cannabis Sensitization Protocol on how to lower your tolerance to cannabis and find your optimal therapeutic dosage. Remember users only need the smallest dose to treat a symptom. It is difficult to adjust doses so as not to go past an effective “sweet spot”. Dr. Sulak’s protocol will save up to 60% on monthly cannabis costs.

A medical term we use for this is biphasic. Meaning cannabis can relieve anxiety or insomnia and it can also cause anxiety or insomnia. Gaining tolerance causes all the receptors to be filled. There are some great natural products that will increase your receptors while you are taking that needed fast from cannabis. Dark chocolate, chia seeds, hemp seeds are some of the ways to increase your CB receptors.

A starting dose for THC is 2.5 to 5 mg. CBD starting dose is 5-10 mg. Again, some naïve users can obtain effective relief with one mg. Often it can take only 1 mg therefore I prefer products that allow 1 mg/drop, or 1 mg/puff on new users. Doses can go up to 50 mg rarely more. For more aggressive measures like seizures or curing cancer can go up to 300mg. For symptom relief it is best to utilize the services of a competent nurse who can help with these adjustments.

The miraculous thing about cannabis is the diversity of the plant. Everyone does not get relief with the first dose. Dedication of time and investment of money can bring lasting results.

May 6 begins National Nurses Week. Get to know a competent cannabis nurse to help you achieve your desired medicinal benefit.

Refer questions to follow Ruth Hill @RuthAHillRN