The Dose Makes the Poison

Updated: Oct 19

The first lesson learned in toxicology is that the “the dose makes the poison.”  The longer version to whom we must accredit Paracelsus reads, “All things are poison and nothing [is] without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison.”  This is a translation from German, it is a little rough, but the principal still holds true.  Example: the healthiest thing in world is probably water, right?  Are you saying that according to Paracelsus water could be poison in the right dose? Yup!  It is called hyponatremia.  ​

Consuming too much water in short amount of time can be potentially life threating. One situation where you might expect find water consumption becoming lethal is drug use.   A teen in Boulder, CO ate some ecstasy and drank a lethal amount of water.  Tragic, but understandable under the influence of a mind-altering drug.  The sneakier place to find hyponatremia is endurance sports.  Loss of electrolytes coupled with the release of an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin causes water retention.   This retention is then exacerbated by a large amount of post activity water consumption and bam! Hyponatremia.  The poison is in the dose.    Cannabinoids should not be used in mega doses, unless working with a doctor!  We keep hearing people tout mega doses.  One popular podcast host even suggested a 1000 mg of CBD serving size per night to “knock you out.”  If you inundate your body with cannabinoids your body must clean them out of your system.  This makes you tired.  Drinking 6 protein shakes in a row will also make you tired.  However, we wouldn’t consider using 6 protein shakes as a pre-bed sleep aid, would we (I feel sorry for your partner or pet if you do!). 

Arcanum’s Quill or the C3 are great examples of highly effetely micro-doses.  A quarter dropper (.25mL) of the C3 contains 7mgs CBD, 3.5 mgs CBN, 1.75mgs CBG (BTW, a lot of people like 1/8 of a dropper of C3 better than a ¼). The Quill contains 2mgs CBD per dose.  Because the Quill is transdermal, we can sample it at tradeshows.  It is amazing how many people claim that it is the first time they really “noticed” a difference (or anything) from taking a CBD product.   


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Your body needs and can utilize a micro-dose while a mega-dose shuts down a lot of the EcS (Endocannabinoid System.)  If you inundate the body with cannabinoids, the receptors are not as active and the enzymes that metabolize cannabinoids become overactive.  In most cases your body doesn’t need and cannot use an excess amount of cannabinoids.   Please Notice – In the afore written sentence, I used the words, “in most cases.”  For some specific issues, larger doses may be required.  Again, consult your Doc.   Moreover, different cannabinoids are better for specific issues (cannabinoid products range from cannabinoid isolates to products containing a broad range of cannabinoids). This is where we rely on medical professionals.  The exception—TOPICALS.  If the cannabinoids have not been altered to become water soluble, and they are not transdermal, the user is an incredibly negligible, if any, systemic interaction.  Therefore, the serving size of ingestible cannabinoids will not be altered by using a topical.  The one exception is a transdermal product (Arcanum’s Quill has an excipient, or carrier, to take the cannabinoids effectively into the bloodstream).  Until next time,  Stay healthy, my friends! 

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