Microdosing THC sounds like something a mad scientist would do for a new insane project, right? It does, and that could be a cool movie, but in reality, this practice can help every stoner take advantage of the magic cannabis chemical.
The idea of maintaining low levels of a certain mind-altering substance in your system isn’t new. It’s only recently gotten more mainstream attention.
Ever since it did, tokers fell in love with the idea of using their favorite green plant to not only have fun but be productive, creative, happy, and pain-free in their daily lives. It’s time for you to jump on the bandwagon, too.
Join us as we explore the ins and outs of microdosing marijuana. We’ll discuss what it is, why and how to do it, and suggest some of our favorite weed strains for low-dose THC usage.
Microdosing THC: what is it & how does it work?
Microdosing weed is a more scientific way of saying that you’re using low doses of cannabis to achieve a desired set of effects. Let’s explore the science behind it on a very basic level.
A cannabis plant consists of over 100 active substances called cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most researched, popular, and accessible, making them the easiest to get in concentrated form.
These compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. The ECS is a regulatory system responsible for pain, mood, and digestion, among other things.
When cannabis enters your bloodstream, cannabinoids affect the ECS. For us, it means pain reduction, happiness, hunger, and either sleepiness or energy, depending on the strain.
Note: THC also has psychoactive properties, but that’s a whole other topic. You can check our ‘what does THC do to the brain’ report for a run-down of what happens after pot smoking.
Microdosing cannabis triggers pretty much the same processes, only on a smaller scale. You’re taking exactly as much THC as you need to feel a shift in mood and sensation but not enough to consider yourself high.
People who engage in microdosing THC report an overall increase in well-being. They benefit from a higher level of focus and productivity, better physical health, and symptom reduction.
Most often, this practice is used as a form of medical marijuana treatment. Recreational users can also consume low doses of THC several times a day and get a plant-based push in the direction of a good life.
These points sound very logical and straightforward, don’t they? Why aren’t physicians left and right prescribing it to patients? The body of research on marijuana microdosing is still limited in scope. Here’s what we know so far.
Current research on microdosing marijuana
Early reports in the field of weed microdosing showed promising results in the pain-relief department.
A 2012 study found that minimal doses of a THC/CBD blend reduce pain in cancer patients. A growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence is coming out to support broader claims regarding pain relief, too.
Notably, conclusions of a 2020 study by Syqe Medical suggest that low doses of cannabis mitigate chronic pain-inducing conditions. They contribute to life quality, daily functioning, and patient safety, causing no cognitive debilitation or other delicate side effects.
More studies are taking place to show how cannabis microdosing can help patients manage headaches, migraines, and arthritis.
The situation is a bit trickier with mental health. More broad-scope research found evidence that cannabinoids assist multiple mood disorders, but there’s little data about microdosing in particular.
What we do know is that research from 2014 offers limited proof that microdosing marijuana helps PTSD patients.
Let’s simplify the conclusion a bit. The studies on microdosing cannabis so far are minimal, but what we do know points to exceptionally helpful conclusions. Plus, there’s very little risk in giving it a shot, especially if you already consume cannabis in your daily life.
Always consult with your physician before starting this treatment program, especially if you’re using other medication. Recreational micro-dosers should start low and slow until they discover their ideal dose.
With the precautions out of the way, let’s discuss the potential health benefits of microdosing THC.
What medical conditions can microdosing weed help with?
Between scientific and anecdotal evidence, there are many medical applications to low-dose THC products. Below are the most frequent, best-corroborated uses.
Cannabinoids reduce the pain signals your body sends to your brain. They also diminish how much you perceive muscle tension and various aches.
As a result, low doses of THC throughout the day (especially from indica cannabis strains) help people lead lives free of discomfort.
Apart from its analgesic function, marijuana boasts anti-inflammatory properties. As such, microdosing THC helps you manage symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as allergies, asthma, and bowel issues.
THC microdosing reduces the frequency and intensity of muscular tics in Tourette patients. Plus, anxiety is among the main tic triggers. Patients also report lower stress and tension levels upon cannabis consumption.
Indica-dominant weed strains do wonders for insomnia, while those that lean on the sativa side banish fatigue and energize.
Microdosing marijuana in the evening helps you go to bed without sleeping pills. Low-dose THC products in the AM replace a cup of joe and get you moving and grooving.
Cannabinoids relieve anxious and depressive symptoms of PTSD, as well as insomnia and nightmares. For that reason, cannabis microdosing is valuable to patients, not compromising their abilities to function and remain lucid while supporting symptom management.
Think about how weed makes you feel. Even if it’s the sleepiest, most sedating strain, you’re smiling after a puff. Euphoria and motivation fill your mind space.
That’s when you smoke enough to get high. Microdosing THC also brings about that mood shift that helps patients go on with their daily lives with higher baseline happiness levels.
Smoking pot makes stress, tension, and worry melt off your neck and shoulders. When taken in small doses, these anxiolytic properties appear without the euphoric high, helping you manage your daily tasks, lucid and 100% clear-headed but not overwhelmed.
Note: There’s a well-researched, beneficial relationship between weed and meditation, which is also a fantastic anxiety treatment.
Opioids are addictive, from heavy drugs to synthetic painkillers you can get with a prescription. Withdrawal symptoms include pain, insomnia, and vomiting.
By influencing your pain receptors, microdosing weed helps your body feel a little better without the drugs, supporting you as you clear your system.
What about recreational cannabis microdosing?
These therapeutic applications are wonderful for medical marijuana users looking for ways to medicate without getting too trippy or sedated to function. The advantages don’t stop with medical THC microdosing, either.
Remember, the cannabis community includes many recreational users who smoke pot for fun and pleasure. The wellness gains are fantastic, but they’re not the main focus of their love for ganja.
Still, even the most avid pothead isn’t always in the mood to get stoned. They sometimes want to experience that deep indica relaxation or sativa burst of energy, minus the intoxication.
Also, some people LOVE cannabis but find high doses anxiety-inducing. A microdose of weed is the perfect solution for them.
Benefits of microdosing THC recreationally include:
- More energy and no fatigue (without the jitteriness that comes with too much coffee)
- Less pain and discomfort (such as from working out or sleeping in an uncomfortable position)
- Fewer worries and decreased anxiety (if you’re prone to stress or have challenging times ahead)
- Increased chattiness and sociability (farewell, social anxiety, hello, engaging conversations)
- Boosted creativity (say bye-bye to that writer’s block or general boredom)
All these perks come to you without making you too high to focus on your work, studies, hot date, or whatever else you have planned. Why not give yourself a nudge in the right direction while maintaining your sober day-to-day life?
Do you feel like giving this consumption technique a shot? Let’s discuss the particulars of microdosing THC.
How micro is a microdose of cannabis?
Before learning how to microdose weed, you have to know what you’re working with. This technique isn’t always as simple as taking a puff every few hours. Let’s discuss where to start and where to go from there.
As a rule of thumb, 10 mg of THC is the standard dose per cannabis product serving. A microdose of THC would be anything below that, sometimes as low as 1 mg.
These dosing guidelines are a good general principle, but tolerance differs from person to person, from one ingestion method to the next. You’ll have to experiment a bit to determine your microdose of cannabis. Here’s how:
- Start sober. Ask yourself how easily you’re breathing, how comfortable you’re feeling, and how easy it is to smile. Rate the answers on a scale from 1 to 10.
- Consume 1 mg of THC (try to keep your doses precise).
- Give it up to an hour before asking yourself the same questions as earlier. If the scores are changed to a comfortable level, you’ve found your microdose. If not, increase by one milligram.
- Continue until you’ve found your ideal dose.
Once you’ve identified your microdose of THC, it’s time to start using it in your daily life. How do you go about that? We’ve got your back.
How to microdose weed: a step-by-step guide
Finding your microdose of weed is the first step towards successful micro-usage. Once you have that down, here’s what follows.
Step 1: Pick your method
This step comes with determining your ideal dose for THC microdosing. It depends on two factors:
- Your consumption preferences—are you a smoker, a fan of edibles, or something else?
- The precision you’re going for—this aspect relates to your THC tolerance and intended usage. In general, medical and low-tolerance stoners should be more careful.
Tip: If you’re already a cannabis user, start with your favorite method, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Once you pick one technique, stick to it for a while and keep track of the changes.
These three consumption methods are the most popular for microdosing marijuana.
Smoking pot in blunts, pipes, bongs, and joints is the most accessible and widely used technique. Dosing is a bit trickier, but absolute precision isn’t that much of a necessity if you’re an experienced, high-tolerance toker.
You can calculate the amount of THC of your bud by dividing the THC percentage per gram by 1000. That gives you a rough estimate, but given the differences that occur in any cured bud and the inaccuracy of ‘an inhale’ as a measurement, you’ll be somewhat winging it.
Tip: A THC test kit can be pretty useful for determining the dosage.
Vaping devices offer more THC microdosing precision than smoking, especially if you use an oil concentrate instead of flowers.
The only lack of accuracy comes from the size of your inhales. That’s not enough variance to be a problem unless you’re super low-tolerance.
Pre-packed edibles come with well-defined measurements, making the task of microdosing weed much more straightforward. All you need to do is cut the edible into equal pieces to be sure you’re getting regular doses.
It’s even easier with oils and tinctures, which come in super-precise shots.
Note: Remember that cannabis effects are stronger when it first goes through your gut. They take a while longer to kick in, too. Be patient, and your microdose of THC will likely be lower with edibles.
Step 2: Cleanse your system
If you’re a regular stoner, it’s a good idea to keep yourself free of weed for a day or two before you start microdosing cannabis. That way, you’ll be much more THC-sensitive and aware of the small changes that take place upon consumption.
Step 3: Start with your minimal dose
Consume the minimal dose you’ve determined and wait for relief to kick in. Feel free to ingest more if pain, tension, or anything else returns after several hours.
Step 4: Use the minimal dose for three days
Your tolerance to the initial microdose of cannabis will grow with time, but don’t start amping it up right away. You’d be defeating the point of microdosing. Stick with the smaller amount but ingest more often. Let your body feel the effects.
Step 5: Start increasing your dose
If you’re no longer feeling any effects after several days, increase your dose by one to two milligrams. Repeat the steps you followed for the original amount until there’s noticeable relief again.
Step 6: Use the new dose for four days
Once you find your new dose, keep using it for at least four days.
Repeat step five if you plateau again. Otherwise, continue using cannabis this way and living life as normal.
Can you also try microdosing cannabis with CBD-rich strains?
THC microdosing is excellent because it lets you reap the benefits and avoid the high. Its non-psychoactive counterpart, CBD, also works in microdoses. Fewer people go for it since there’s less to gain from reducing your dosage.
The question wasn’t about CBD-only products, though. Don’t forget, many CBD-rich weed strains contain a considerable amount of THC. The two compounds combine to induce relief, enjoyment, and overall wellness.
Research so far has shown that some amounts of THC help unlock the benefits of CBD and boost its efficacy. Microdosing THC and CBD together could be the key to a healthier, happier clear-headed life.
Best strains for cannabis microdosing
If you decide to microdose THC with homegrown buds, there’s a world of options at your disposal. You can pick the highest THC percentage flowerfor cost-efficiency or go for a CBD-rich strain to boost the healing properties.
Choosing different strains helps you tailor your experience to your intended usage. Here are some of our favorites that cover most stoner preferences.
Bruce Banner is the Incredible Hulk of cannabis strains. This sativa-dominant giant boasts impressive THC levels that could bring down a veteran. When taken in small doses, it’s gentle and effective against numerous conditions in the body and mind.
The sativa side of things ushers in a euphoric buzz followed by a burst of creative energy to turn the bleakest day on its head. There’s some indica in the mix for an anxiety-free state of mind and broad-scope pain relief.
Microdosing marijuana with Bruce Banner leaves you featherweight, carefree, and energized.
Badazz Cheese is a marvel of genetics and flavors, enjoyed for its calming, sleepy effects and unique aromatic bouquet. This indica-dominant marijuana strain is also pretty potent, making it possible to microdose weed from a single stash throughout the winter.
This cultivar carries all trademark qualities of traditional indica cannabis, alleviating pain and tension and making troubles disappear. It also induces a severe case of the munchies, helping you nurture your body with hearty, wholesome meals.
Microdosed Badazz Cheese is an efficient fighter against stressful times, pain, and nausea.
|CBD||Up to 2%|
|Flowering time||8–10 weeks|
|Yield||17 oz./m² indoors / 28 oz./plant outdoors|
|Aroma||Earthy, spicy, cheesy|
|Effects||Relaxed, uplifted, hungry|
Lemon Diesel is yet another THC powerhouse hybrid that delights as well as heals. It’s sativa-dominant, but with enough indica contents to complement the energetic effects for a well-balanced experience.
The effects creep up on you, making you more comfortable with each passing minute. You soon find yourself grinning, full of energy, and motivated to enjoy the best things in life. The body is animated, but this vigor isn’t shaky. You’re calm and focused on the task ahead.
When microdosing cannabis with Lemon Diesel, you find the heaps of paper on your desk a breeze and activities more than welcome.
|CBD||Up to 2%|
|Flowering time||7–10 weeks|
|Yield||14 oz./m² indoor / 17 oz./plant outdoor|
|Aroma||Citrus, pepper, diesel|
|Effects||Euphoric, creative, energized|
Northern Skunk is the offspring of two legendary parents and a VIP in its own right. There’s no end to the beneficial head and body effects with this indica-dominant cannabis cultivar.
Microdosing weed with Northern Skunk lets you bypass the more psychedelic side of the high while enjoying the profound mood boost it brings. Plus, you get pain relief without the couch-locking sedation that happens after a puff too many.
A microdose leaves you tranquil, peaceful, and able to get on with your day with zero pain and tension.
|CBD||Up to 2%|
|Flowering time||8–9 weeks|
|Yield||19 oz./m² indoor / 21 oz./plant outdoor|
|Aroma||Earthy, sweet, spicy|
|Effects||Relaxed, euphoric, sedated|
CBD Super Silver Haze
CBD Super Silver Haze is the CBD-enriched version of an epic, award-winning cultivar. The sativa dominance is obvious, but with a milder psychoactive punch despite the moderately high THC levels.
Microdosing weed with this strain is a good idea because of its THC and CBD potency. You get to unlock the combined benefits of these two compounds without any intoxication.
CBD Super Silver Haze is gentle and euphoric, clearing the mind of negative emotions and getting your body to hum with pleasure. You’re lucid and clear-headed but with an extra pep to your step.
|Flowering time||10–12 weeks|
|Yield||17 oz./m² indoors / 38 oz./plant outdoors|
|Aroma||Citrus, spice, wood|
|Effects||Euphoric, relaxed, carefree|
Microdosing THC in a nutshell
Microdosing THC is a budding field full of potential. We couldn’t be happier that it’s gaining recognition and becoming normalized.
It can change the lives of medical marijuana users, boost the happiness levels of everyday stoners, and change the way society perceives cannabis. Still, it requires some mindfulness on your end.
If you give microdosing marijuana a shot, try keeping a journal and tracking the effects of each puff, bite, or drop. Give yourself some time before deciding whether this approach to cannabis consumption is for you.
If not, you’ll learn something new about yourself and develop a greater appreciation for a full, fat blunt. If yes, you’ve found yourself a natural way to boost wellness and a new way to enjoy those frosty buds.Stay tuned to our blog for more useful guides on all things cannabis.
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About the author: Derek LaRose
Also known as Kronic from The Cannabis Kronicles, Derek LaRose is a young ambitious cultivator and a staple educator for indoor cultivation.