Many NM cannabis patients have hear us talk about "layering" cannabis medicines to help with chronic pain or to keep medicated throughout the day. Layering is a concept that uses the different properties of bud, edibles and even topical applications to deliver medication in their unique way, to help you stay medicated or to increase levels of medication.
Each of us have different needs when using medicinal cannabis but one need remains the same: the delivery of enough cannabis in a way that meets your needs. The trick as an individual is to find the right strains, delivery methods, and amounts that will be effective for your particular health needs. For most of us, the goal is to take enough medicine to help our condition while having energy during the day, and being able to sleep at night.
Because smoking cannabis is different than eating it or using a topical, it can often be helpful to combine two or three different cannabis "layers" to find the right mix for you.
Below are three common ways to layer your cannabis to meet your needs:
Layer your cannabis strains. As you know, every strain is different and will affect you differently. The old rule of sativas for day and indicas for night is based on their characteristics and is a good rule to follow. Different strains can compliment each other and may be used together to tune in a specific desired effect. One example is combining a high THC sativa strain with a high CBD indica strain to create an uplifting, energetic, functioning daytime medicine that doesn't keep you yawning all day. However, this would not be a good idea at night because it would keep you awake, so you can substitute the sativa strain with an indica strain for a more relaxing, pain fighting experience.
Layer your delivery method. Each delivery method (inhaled, ingested, or applied topically) provides different benefits. Topicals give you a boost of CBDs, edibles give you long lasting body effects, and you can experience immediate effects from inhaling. It is not uncommon for patients to start their daily pain management with a layer of topical cannabis on their skin, eat an edible, and then vaporize, if needed, while the edible kicks in. Or, many patients will take a small puff of cannabis for the immediate effect, then follow it with an edible that will stay in their system longer and "top up" throughout the day with a puff as needed.
Layer your dosage times. If you know that your edible will provide you benefits for about 4 hours, you might consider taking another edible about 3 hours after the first. That will give the second edible time to digest before you feel its effect. Or, if it is going to take an hour for your edible to take effect and you need relief before then, you can layer by inhaling your cannabis or using a topical for more immediate effects.
A good way to start layering is to pay close attention to how each ingestion method affects you based on how much you ingest. If you know how a puff of 15%THC feels by itself, and how 15 milligrams of THC in a brownie feels by itself, and how a topical feels by itself, you can start experimenting to know how they feel when taken together and in various combinations.
The important thing to keep in mind that each ingestion method has its own pros and cons but by layering them, you might find the best solution for you.