Health: Getting dosage right for hemp or marijuana it can be tricky

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones

What’s the worst kind of pain? At the top of the list is debilitating chronic pain that, despite painkillers and other treatments, is unrelenting day after day. Chronic pain gradually destroys the soul. A study of suicide cases between 2003 and 2014 found evidence that as many as 10 per cent of cases involved chronic pain. Now, with the availability of marijuana for medical treatment in Canada and most U.S. states, is new hope being corrupted by false advertising?

No one should suffer pain that can be safely managed. The addition of medical marijuana as a treatment option has helped many. But despite heavy regulation, there are unscrupulous entrepreneurs ready to make a quick buck, and they are banking on your trust. What hurts, is that they are taking your money while also betraying your hope for pain relief.

People enduring chronic pain have probably heard their doctor say, “You have intractable pain and there is no cure.” Given new availability of medical marijuana, it should not be surprising that many have wanted to try it.

Chewable gummies are particularly attractive because they are so easy to take. You can find dozens of products online marketed as “300mg CBD Gummies.” CBD is short for cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant. Hemp contains less THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana plants. While research continues, there is substantial evidence that CBD can help with both musculoskeletal and nerve pain.

But the marketing and labeling of these gummies is a despicable mess.

Let’s focus on the dosage. Getting the dosage right for any medication is important, and for hemp or marijuana it can be tricky. So, it’s good advice to consult your doctor. Don’t rely on the misleading information found on websites promoting these products. Typical dosages for CBD can range from less than 10 to more 300 milligrams daily. That’s a big range. Finding the dosage that meets the needs of different people usually means starting with a low dose and gradually increasing by about five milligrams daily until the desired effect is achieved. Most research to date suggests it’s safe to take up to 1,500 mg daily.

So back to those CBD gummies. It is very important to know what dose is in a single gummy. We shopped around to find out.

Dozens of products mislead consumers into thinking there are 300 mg of CBD per gummy. Not true. This is the total CBD in each bottle of 30 gummies. Other products falsely state on the label “300 mg per gummy” when in fact there are only 10 mg in each gummy. Indeed, a single gummy at 300 mg of CBD is an extremely high starting dose. Just two gummies would be 600 mg of CBD. It’s absurd. A phone call to these producers confirmed the outright error, and yet, these products remain on the market. Some companies have received warnings, but seemingly with no consequence.

For unsuspecting consumers seeking pain relief, this amounts to gross negligence by producers and regulators alike. Product websites show people cured of pain. But there’s scant information to clarify dosages and guide consumers on how to use this kind of medication in the treatment of pain. How can this be allowed by health authorities?

P.T. Barnum, the circus promoter, said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Entrepreneurs make a lot of money with such deceptive slick promotion. How many people in chronic pain with limited funds are fooled by ads about quick relief of pain and are still suffering. It’s shameful, and people in pain deserve better.

If readers have experience in easing chronic pain with CBD gummies, contact us.

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones can be reached at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial, and Mark Jones, CEO of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, in the CACAC's new temporary home. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s One Day Challenge returns

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has announced its One Day Challenge is… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read