A little goes a very long way when it comes to cannabis. Microdosing, if you have not yet heard of it, is hotter than just any ordinary trend: Science proves THC and CBD safe, with very real benefits associated with consuming very low doses regularly, as opposed to massive doses all at once.
This is true of more than just cannabis. People are microdosing psychedelics, vitamins, near everything for health purposes.
What is a Microdose?
Microdosing is exactly how it sounds. It means consuming tiny doses of almost any particular substance, but with cannabis, doses are so low that that any potential psychoactive or psychotropic effects are impossible. You will not feel “high” or suffer any cognitive impairment when microdosing cannabis, regardless of the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, levels in the product you are using.
When one talks of a microdose, THC content is no more than a measly 2.5 milligrams, sometimes as little as just one milligram. If comparing this to smoking a joint or vaporizing, it equates to a miniscule puff, perhaps two. However, when it comes to microdosing, precision, which is imperative, is impossible when inhaling cannabis.
Purpose of Microdosing
Most weed lovers will wonder what the purpose is of microdosing without the “high.” As it turns out, the health benefits of shortening your dose are abundant and far too numerous to discuss in one article. Microdosing can acclimatize you to THC, especially when starting out, which can help to prevent some of the negative effects of consuming too much. It will ready you for higher doses.
Additionally, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis can have biphasic effects on human health. This means, when simply put, that the many therapeutic properties of cannabis increase to a certain point before gradually falling away, much like developing a tolerance to its medicinal benefits. While microdosing can be incrementally beneficial, higher doses have the opposite effect.
Recent research into the effects of cannabis on stress provides us with the best example. Scientists tested the effects of different doses of THC on stress created by a fake job interview. Participants receiving high 12.5-milligram doses of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plants, were more nervous and agitated both before the interview and during it.
However, those participants consuming the lower 7.5-milligram dose of THC reported feeling calm and at ease throughout the interview, notably more relaxed than those consuming the higher dose did. Unfortunately, the optimal dose differs between people. Microdosing provides an ideal way to ease into marijuana use and benefit from the many health benefits of THC over time.
You will need to do some experimenting to identify the best dose for you. Experts recommend beginning with as little as one milligram, but no more than 2.5 milligrams, of THC at the start. Measure the effects it has on you and, if necessary, increase the dose slowly and gradually until you find the perfect balance. Science proves both THC and CBD safe, so there is no risk of getting the dose wrong.
Expectations for Microdosing
Consuming low doses of cannabis can prevent the unwanted side effects of too much THC. However, does it really work? How effective is it? Are the benefits of microdosing real? Scientists have been answering these questions in several clinical trials already, particularly on the effects of microdosing at treating some common medical issues, such as pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and others.
In a study published in the Journal of Pain, patients in the advanced stages of cancer received differing doses of medical marijuana. Those that consumed the lower doses of CBD and THC had the best results in pain alleviation. Consuming high doses made participants feel potent pain relief for a short time, but the effects wore off and pain returned vigorously. You will not feel immediate relief with microdosing.
Rather, patients felt the beneficial effects of consuming low doses over several weeks, while their high-dose counterparts will still suffering immensely between “highs.” Microdosing is in many ways much like supplementing. Fat cells store THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, so if you consume it gradually over time, these compounds become highly concentrated in fat cells, making smaller doses more effective.
As the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, THC releases into the bloodstream whenever fat burns. However, this release of THC will not have any psychoactive effect, but it will improve your physical and mental health one tiny dose at a time. At least, that is the theory, but existing evidence seems to corroborate it very well. More research is underway to learn these mechanisms of action.
Microdosing Cannabis Correctly
You can consume cannabis in a variety of ways, but not all of them make dosing easy. In fact, some methods of consumption make accurate dosing impossible. However, you can adapt most methods for lower dosages, but cannabis soft gels and some edibles remain the easiest and most convenient, since they come pre-packaged according to dose, such as gummies and candies.
Some other ideas:
Mini pipes, otherwise called one hitters, allow only one hit of cannabis at a time, making dose control manageable. Most are glass, but they are portable, discreet, versatile, and cleaning is easy. Because they are small already, they are ideal for measuring and controlling cannabis dosages. You simply load them with a sprinkle of weed and put the lighter to them.
More and more people are vaping cannabis than smoking it in joints these days. Vaporizing is extremely popular, in part because it makes dosing easy and they are safer than smoking, discrete, and highly portable too. A single hit is one microdose, and with the rise of vaping cartridges, you know exactly how much cannabis concentrate you get in them, allowing you to measure the puffs you inhale with ease.
Some manufacturers are selling pre-rolled joints now, even mini ones specifically for microdosing. Mini pre-rolls contain around 0.5 milligrams of cannabis, making them ideal for joint lovers who desire more control over their dosages. If you are smoking joints, then one puff is a sufficient dose for a microdose. You can puff one joint gradually over several days.
With THC and CBD safe and effective to consume, with a myriad of proven health benefits, it makes more sense to microdose than ever before. However, if you enjoy the “high” and want to feel it, then by all means, go ahead. Just remember that tolerance builds up and the health benefits become less effective over time, so try to do so in moderation and microdose in between.