You’ve likely heard the saying less is more, but today we want to put it in the context of microdosing cannabis. While many cannabis patients seek out high THC strains, studies and anecdotal tales are showing that microdosing cannabis can have profound benefits for certain symptoms.
While high THC indicas are great for those suffering from insomnia, often times a patient may suffer from pain, anxiety, and other ailments throughout the day. In this case, cannabis microdosing can be very powerful.
What is microdosing cannabis?
Microdosing cannabis is the act of using as little as possible to benefit from the medicinal aspect of the plant. Traditionally, the mainstream use of microdosing been for other illicit substances – such as acid and mushrooms. The thought is that with a tiny amount of a substance, you can achieve the positive results without any of the intoxication.
When applied to cannabis, the theory is sound. You can use small amounts of cannabis throughout the day to provide healing and relief without becoming “stoned” or unproductive. This is huge for those who medicate with cannabis, but work throughout the day.
Microdosing cannabis is great for beginners, as it mitigates the possibility of an unpleasant first experience. We all know someone who has been turned off by cannabis due to a poor first time, and microsoding encourages titration. This is where you start with the smallest feasible dose and slowly raise it to find the minimal amount needed for healing – the threshold.
What are the benefits of microdosing cannabis?
The main benefit of microdosing is that you can feel good throughout the day without being held back by the sedative nature of excess THC. When you think about it from an economic standpoint, microdosing is a godsend. Many seasoned users will blow through a few grams a day, sometimes more. This can add up to a pretty heavy expense, but with microdosing, you can cut this number dramatically.
Microdosing keeps your tolerance low, which saves you money at the dispensary as well. On top of that, keeping a low tolerance is a huge medicinal benefit on its own. According to Dr. Sulak, “A highly sensitive endocannabinoid system is extremely valuable for responding to illness, injury, and stress, and people can achieve that with low doses of cannabis.”
What conditions can microdosing cannabis help with?
There are many conditions that lead to patients trying microdosing. Generally, the same problems you begin using cannabis for can all be alleviated with microdosing. These include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Lack of focus
Studies on microdosing cannabis
According to a study in the Journal of Pain, patients suffering from extreme cancer pain were given Nabiximols, which are THC/CBD compounds. Different patients were given low, medium, and high doses to find the minimum effective dose (MED). Overwhelmingly, those given the lowest dose experienced the most effective pain relief. Strangely, those with the high dose noted an increase in pain.
Another study by the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology investigated the relationship between microdosing cannabis and PTSD. Using lab-made cannabinoids, the research showed a dramatic decrease in stress, insomnia, nightmares, and other PTSD related symptoms by those who microdosed.
It is also possible that microdosing cannabis can have anti-aging effects. A study involving the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry found that microdosing cannabis for old mice made them act younger, and seemed to reverse the effects of old age – a promising result. While there’s no saying exactly how these results translate over to humans, it is likely that microdosing cannabis can delay the effects of memory loss and age.
On top of these, you fill find high praise for microdosing cannabis anywhere you look – the anecdotal tales are countless.
How to microdose cannabis
Microdosing can be somewhat subjective. Since everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and tolerances vary, there is not a one size fits all dose. As far as consumption methods go, you can technically smoke or vaporize just a few puffs, but this is not ideal. It is tough to accurately dose such a small amount with combustion or vaporization.
Instead, try low dose edibles or tinctures. Edibles are many people’s favorites, but can take longer to kick in then some desire. In this case, stick with tinctures, or cannabis oil. These products can be found in serving sizes as low as 1mg THC, which is a perfect starting point for novice microdosers. It is important to use edibles or tinctures that have a 1:1 ratio of THC/CBD.
Start by giving your endocannabinoid system a few days to reset. This means abstaining from cannabis use and doing a short “detox”, giving your body a new baseline tolerance. From here, you can start taking between 1-2.5mg every few hours. If this is not enough, try raising the dose to 5mg. Continue titrating until you find the minimal effective dose (MED).
If you are considering if microdosing can be effective for you, first consult your doctor. They can give you advice on how to go about it. You can also talk to your budtender for recommendations on products that work well for those microdosing.
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