As the name implies, microdosing weed is the practice of taking small doses of marijuana to enjoy all of its benefits but without its psychedelic side effects. While this concept has just recently gained traction among medical marijuana patients, microdosing is not a new thing.
What is microdosing?
During new techniques and treatments focusing on higher THC or CBD concentrations, more is not necessarily better. The gist of microdosing weed is to find your body’s sweet spot and to achieve this, patients are given as little THC or CBD compounds as possible to barely feel the benefits on their minds and bodies without the usual side effects, like paranoia, laughing fits, the munchies, and a few more others. One particular study published in the Journal of Pain found that cancer patients benefited more when taking low doses of cannabinoids as compared to those taking higher doses. Several other pieces of research followed suit and observed the same results.
What is the optimal dosage for microdosing?
The amount of marijuana dosage to effectively microdose will vary from person to person. Depending on several factors and considerations, including the person’s tolerance levels, individual biology, and health conditions, there is tremendous variance in the optimal dosage for every individual. What may work for one person may be ineffective for another. Microdosing relies heavily on trial and error but a good starting point for medical cannabis patients and first-time microdoses is, to begin with, a dosage of between 1 to 2.5 milligrams. Tinctures are great products for microdosing as they start very low in their dosage and they provide you with the ability to measure out exactly how much milligrams you are about to take.
Always start your microdosing journey with two-day abstinence, which gives your endocannabinoid system enough time to reset. This timeframe was proven effective and enough to allow our receptors to bounce back to baseline levels by research published in 2016. After the initial abstinence period, you can then start with your first microdose of anywhere between 1 to 2.5 milligrams and wait for at least two to three hours. Once the timeframe has passed, take another dose. Continue this process until you begin to feel the drug’s effects. Next, add up the totals as this will be your sweet spot or your minimum effective dose. Stay at the same microdose level for at least four days. If at this point, you continue to feel the benefits, there is no need to increase your dosage levels. If, however, you feel that adding at least 1 milligram of THC every hour is no longer effective, start over again with the 48-hour abstinence. It is important that during this time, you fuel your body with proper nutrition and exercise.
To further take note of your optimal microdose level and identify the therapeutic range that best fits you, try to answer the following questions at least 45 minutes after each microdose:
- How comfortable and calm am I feeling?
- How happy and satisfied am I feeling?
- Can I have a meaningful conversation with someone else?
- Can I do basic tasks?
- What is my current pain level?
What is the best method for microdosing?
With a plethora of cannabis-based products out there, you would think that you have a wide availability of options for microdosing. Unfortunately, not all methods are well suited for microdosing as it is difficult to control dosage on some.
Aside from tinctures, as explained above, cannabis edibles are another arguably easy way to microdose. The cannabis edibles market has long moved on from cookies and brownies infused with random marijuana potency levels. Nowadays, several other edibles make controlling dosage levels easier. These include mints, gummies, jerky, and chewing gums. Typically, these edibles are low-dosed, which means that they usually contain a THC concentration of below 10 milligrams, and they can easily be broken down into smaller pieces making it simpler to experiment and titrate them to the proper microdose. THC-infused teas with the amount of cannabinoids present published in their packaging are great alternatives for novice microdoses. They not only give you the exact amount of THC you are about to consume but they also provide immediate relief.
On the other hand, while smoking continues to be the most preferred way of ingesting cannabis, they present the most difficult and challenging method of controlling dosage at a consistent level. A single hit can contain an upward of 10 milligrams of THC, which, by microdosing limits, is too high and extreme as a starting point. For those who want to stick to smoking, the best option is to take one puff and wait for at least five to ten minutes before taking the next one, if necessary. While you can wait to see when you would start to feel the desired effects, it will be close to impossible to know exactly how much cannabinoids you have taken in.
What conditions can be treated with microdosing?
Microdosing is not only a great way for new cannabis users to understand the effects of the drug on their bodies but it is also a catch-all technique, which means that it can provide relief to several ailments and challenges. Some medical cannabis patients use microdose to alleviate their symptoms of insomnia and depression. Others use it to find relief from chronic conditions like pain and stress. And still, others use it for recreational purposes, like boosting their mood, work focus, and performance. Here are some of the reported conditions that qualify for medical microdosing:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Motor Neuron Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Tourette Syndrome
Microdosing has typically been associated with hallucinogenic drugs, like magic mushrooms and LSD, but nowadays, this practice has crossed over to the world of cannabis. Advocates and practitioners of microdosing weed swear on the efficacy of the process to reap the medical benefits of the cannabinoids while avoiding the unnecessary psychoactive effects that can interfere with day-to-day activities and obligations. Many cannabis medical patients have turned to microdosing to treat conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, as well as to improve their quality of life.