If you’re looking for the Goldilocks Zone of cannabis consumption—not too high and not too low—then microdosing THC or CBD could just be right up your comfort zone. In microdosing cannabis, less could mean more.
Microdosing could be the benefits of marijuana without going overboard. People who microdose take tiny, or rather, micro amounts of cannabis throughout the day that the effects are subtle, non-aggressive, and potentially beneficial. Some even consider it as one of the best ways to medicate safely with cannabis.
Microdosing cannabis has been reported to help people be more focused, more productive, and just feel better all around. Generally speaking, microdosing THC or CBD is a manageable way to indulge in cannabis several times a day—like tiny marijuana treats you allow yourself to consume on the daily. But CBD for anxiety or other general maladies, does it really help?
While early reports are showing the promising potential of THC microdosing for pain-relief, the jury is still out for more scientific and clinical research on microdosing. Nevertheless, there is a growing number of people who attribute microdosing cannabis to improvements in daily well-being.
An Introduction to Microdosing
Before knowing more about microdosing THC or microdosing CBD, this primer aims to answer three basic questions anyone may have about microdosing, and it is thus structured to answer the following questions:
- Who benefits from microdosing?
- What is microdosing?
- How to microdose?
- Plus, a quick summary on microdosing to close.
Ahead, more information on the factors that affect microdosing. But first, it’s time to look at how microdosing evolved from being associated with hallucinogens like LSD and psilocybin to now being enjoyed by many different folks to help stay focused, stay relaxed, and stay just a tiny bit high.
Current Research on Microdosing
The European Journal of Pain recently published the results of clinical trials from Syqe Medical to find evidence that cannabis at microdosing levels can work to relieve pain.
“We can conclude from the study results that low doses of cannabis may provide desirable effects while avoiding cognitive debilitations, significantly contributing to daily functioning, quality of life, and safety of the patient. The doses given in this study, being so low, mandate very high precision in the treatment modality,” said Prof. Elon Eisenberg, lead researcher and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The research found that “human sensitivity to THC is significantly greater than previously assumed, indicating that if we can treat patients with much higher precision, lower quantities of drug will be needed, resulting in fewer side effects and an overall more effective treatment.”
Additionally, this 2020 study reports cannabis can be effective to manage chronic pain among trials. Specifically, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinoids reduced neuropathic pain intensity in various conditions.
As more evidence arises showing the benefits of taking low doses of cannabis to manage aches and pains, as well as the growing marijuana legalization and social acceptance, always remember to keep updating your knowledge of the changing state of medical cannabis and its applications.
Who Benefits from Microdosing?
While marijuana microdose is gaining relevance in the fields of medical research and the recreational industry, how can microdosing cannabis affect you or the medical conditions you may already be suffering from?
Microdosing has been shown to have a positive effect on people with inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, stress, and, overall mood and emotional enhancements. And it’s not just your stereotypical stoner type who’s microdosing. Some workplaces are updating their policies on marijuana because professionals are finding themselves less anxious, more focused, and more productive due to daily microdosing.
Medically, many known conditions get relief from microdosing medical marijuana (varying among state regulations), which are used among patients with, but not limited to, the following:
- Chronic Pain (or back pain, cramps, etc.)
- Sleep Disorders
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Tourette Syndrome
- Anxiety Disorders
Recreationally, microdosing is becoming one of the most convenient ways to consume cannabis. In 2017, the Rolling Stones Magazine dubbed microdosing as “Marijuana 2.0,” marking a wider positive shift in social attitudes towards pot in popular culture.
Microdosing THC or CBD can have various beneficial effects but one of the most reported is in general, people feel better in health or wellness. There has been an overall response to what microdosing can do to improve a vast range of conditions like anxiety, learning and performance enhancement, social anxiety, pain relief including period pains for women, and general mood enhancer. There are many types of people who microdose weed and benefit most from taking in cannabis a little at a time.
What is Microdosing?
The idea of microdosing, or taking small doses at a time, was borrowed from those who take psychedelic substances like mushrooms. With cannabis microdosing, there are several factors to consider to acquire your desired effect with several small but potent cannabis consumption spread throughout the day.
But exactly how little is “micro” in microdosing? Let’s take a more measured approach to cannabis microdosage.
Ways to Microdose THC
Microdosing THC or CBD
There are many known beneficial active compounds in cannabis, and plenty more are being analyzed since cannabinol (CBN) was discovered towards the end of the 19th century. CBN is the first type of cannabinoid to be isolated by modern scientists, marking a steady stream of consistent findings on the cannabis plant. In the 1940s, cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were analyzed closely, with more and more cannabinoids being discovered from decades of research into compounds, strains, and the effects of cannabis upon consumption.
For people who consume cannabis, one of the most important things to consider when microdosing is the THC concentration. THC is the compound in pot that gets people high, and the other compound, CBD is non-psychoactive, both THC and CBD are regarded by many for their broad healing properties and for naturally providing support to the endocannabinoid systems in humans.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, 10 mg of THC is the standard dose per serving; anything below 10 mg can be considered “low dose” (ranges between 1mg to 5mg of THC for products to be low dose, with an average of 3mg of THC a day).
However, each individual person’s marijuana tolerance is totally different from someone else because of varying factors. According to the same Rolling Stone Magazine article, here’s a quick guide to knowing the optimum minimum dosage of cannabis, with effects that work as preferred.
Cannabis Microdosing Threshold: Starter guide
To get started into microdosing, it is advised to know the minimum effective dose, which you can have a better estimation of, upon completing an easy step-by-step guide, below:
- Abstain from cannabis for two days.
- On day three:
- Before consuming, ask yourself three questions: on a scale of one to 10; (1) How easy is it to breathe, (2) how comfortable and calm does your body feel; and (3), how easy is it for you to smile authentically, to feel content and grateful?
- Write down your answer then take the cannabis. Consume one milligram of THC and one milligram of CBD (knowing precise measurements are encouraged).
- Wait 45 minutes and ask the questions again. If there’s been no change in your scores and you’ve felt no effect, increase the dose by one milligram.
- Repeat the same process over the next few days. But take note to:
- Increase the dose only by small increments
- Upon reaching a point where you feel a difference after consuming, then you’ve found your minimal effective dose for microdosing cannabis.
How to Microdose
There are, in general, three ways to microdose cannabis, through combustion (smoking), vaporization, or ingestion. With the choices growing each day, with enough research, you’ll find what you’re looking for exactly.
- Smoking: cannabis through pipes or joints is easy to get started too, however, less precise. Plus, there’s also the hassle of not knowing how to roll properly (although this beginner’s guide to rolling a joint should help). You can estimate the THC strength of plant material based on 1 gram, divide the THC percentage into 1000 to obtain the per-milligram amount (1g = 1000mg), where THC levels fall somewhere between 3% to 30%, but the average is around 10%. The next two methods can offer more precision, comparatively.
- Vaping: cannabis in dry flower or oil concentrates can offer a more precise solution to getting consistent microdoses each time. Typically, the chosen cannabis product is vaporized with vape pens and other handheld vaporizers such as desktop vaporizers. Vaping oil concentrates in particular usually come in pre-measured doses THC indicated in percentage or milligrams.
- Ingesting: cannabis with snacks, meals, or drinks could be the most convenient way to consume cannabis in microdosages. Pre-packed edibles come in flavorful assortments that are prepared with measured ingredients like THC. While most edible cannabis can be enjoyed at your convenience, the effect typically kicks in around an hour or two after ingesting marijuana.
Some people would swear by one method over another but microdosing preferences vary from person to person. But across the board, the best results may come from consistency. Stay consistent with keeping track of any subtle effects upon microdosing, as well as consistently adjusting the subsequent doses to settle into an optimal microdose.
Forms of Cannabis
When it comes to the actual cannabis product you will consume in some form that was mentioned previously, below are some of the most popular forms of cannabis to microdose. And remember to always be aware of the THC concentration when microdosing cannabis.
- Edibles: food products that contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD from marijuana. Marijuana edibles are versatile as you can choose to purchase them in pre-packed snacks like gummy candies and baked goods. Or you can choose to whip up some cannabis-infused oils and butter, and use it to prepare the edible of your choice (even as a cup of weed tea!). Follow this ultimate guide to dosing and consuming marijuana edibles to know more about how cannabis edibles work.
- Homegrown: cannabis that you cultivate yourself. For example, when looking specifically for high THC seeds for microdosing, growing your weed has the added natural therapeutic benefits of tending to a plant while also getting better control on how you like your weed is grown. From choosing the seeds (Kyle Kushman’s beginner’s guide to choosing weed seeds is highly recommended) to finding the optimum grow room setup, it’s easier than ever before to grow your favorite THC cannabis strains. Plus, there is a growing community of growers who would be happy answer questions about growing your own weed.
Is Microdosing for you?
If you’re interested in microdosing cannabis, always do as much research as you can which include scientific and legislative updates to keep you in the loop on everything cannabis. Briefly, it’s important to understand who can benefit from microdosing, and to know how and what exactly is microdosing cannabis.
While an amount of 10 mg of THC or below is considered a low dose, the exact amount is dependent on each person’s tolerance and physical conditions. Apart from knowing the cannabis you are consuming, it’s also important to keep track of how your body (and mind) is reacting to the THC or CBD when microdosing.
Enthusiasts say to note any interesting findings on a weed journal to keep track of your microdoses and how your body reacts to it. Also take notes on how cannabis was able to help with pain relief, anxiety, and just overall mood enhancement.
But whether you are new to cannabis completely or trying to find a more manageable way to include weed in your dynamic life, with cannabis microdosing, the secret is to keep a steady pace. The best way to microdose is to simply keep it low and slow.