Microdosing: A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

April 24, 2018

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For years, the cannabis industry has been all about high THC products—packing as many milligrams as possible into edibles and refining extraction techniques to yield the highest THC percentage. If you have a lower tolerance or you just aren’t looking to get “messed up”, this trend may have deterred you from using cannabis regularly. Thankfully, times are changing with more cannabis brands and consumers beginning to understand and see the value of microdosing.




What is “microdosing”?

Like its name implies, microdosing is when you use small amounts of cannabis with the goal of garnering the medical benefits of THC without experiencing the psychoactive effects that accompany higher levels of THC consumption. Most people have heard of microdosing in relation to the use of hallucinogens like LSD and mushrooms, but in recent years this premise has been adopted by the cannabis industry with great success. Whether you eat edibles, vaporize, take tinctures or smoke you can apply the concept of microdosing by simply taking a smaller amount than you typically would. With edibles and tinctures, a microdose of THC is typically considered anywhere from 1mg-10mg depending on the tolerance of the individual. If you’re smoking or vaping, a microdose may be taking as few as one or two hits. Everyone’s body is different, so it can be helpful to try a few different microdoses of a product and journal about how each dose makes you feel. This will enable you to more objectively determine how few milligrams of THC you need to ingest to get relief without feeling impaired. 

What are the benefits of microdosing?

As we mentioned above, one of the greatest benefits of microdosing is the lack of impairment you should (ideally) experience when doing it. Patients that are seeking daytime relief from depression, anxiety, pain or lack of focus can greatly benefit from microdosing as it allows them to still experience the positive effects of THC without falling asleep at work or being unable to function regularly. Many patients get in the habit of avoiding THC during the day, not because it doesn’t have medicinal benefits but purely because of the psychoactivity that accompanies it. In my opinion, this has contributed to the misconception that “CBD is medicinal & THC is recreational”—so many patients find relief from THC, but the psychoactive effects deter them from using THC during times when they need to be functional. With microdosing, THC need no longer be synonymous with nonfunctional. Interestingly enough, a 2012 study conducted on patients with advanced cancer who were not responding to opioid painkillers indicated that low doses of THC and CBD may actually be more effective at relieving pain than high doses. This means that when it comes to using THC for pain relief (day or night), microdosing may actually provide greater relief than those high dose edibles you’ve been using. If you struggle with anxiety or depression, microdosing THC can help you avoid the increased anxiety and lethargy that can occur when you take too much THC. For too long THC has been viewed as a “purely recreational” cannabinoid, but hopefully as more individuals begin to try microdosing & experience the medicinal benefits of THC in smaller amounts this perception will change.

Are there any cannabis products designed with microdosing in mind?

Absolutely! Now that microdosing is becoming more popular, more cannabis brands are creating products with lower milligrams. Kiva Confections Petra Mints are a perfect example—even though Kiva once made chocolate bars packed with 180mg of THC, their Petra Mints contain a mere 2.5mg of THC per mint. Not only is 2.5mg of THC a great place to begin, the fact that all you have to do is take one mint & not break anything apart really makes microdosing accessible & easy for consumers with any level of experience. For those who are looking for even less milligrams, Vive Tabs offer products as low as 1mg of THC per tab! If your tolerance is a little higher, try some Beboe Pastilles which contain 5mg of THC and 3mg of CBD per piece—the added CBD takes some of the edge off the THC as well and contributes to their functional feel. Not really into edibles? No problem! You can microdose with ease with the dosist dose pen! Their dose pen technology delivers a consistent dose every time by incorporating three key features: optimized temperature control, airflow control & time control. You’ll know when you’ve taken “one dose” when the dose pen buzzes in your hand—each formula contains slightly different amounts of THC, CBD and various terpenes, but you can look on the box to see the specific combination. (On average, each dose is around 2.25mg of cannabinoids—perfect for a microdose!) So far, dosist is really the only vaporizer brand that enables you to determine how many milligrams of THC you’re getting with each hit, but hopefully we’ll start seeing more companies keeping this in mind in the future. These are just some of the products currently on the market that cater to low-dose THC users, but your local licensed dispensary is likely to have a great selection for you to choose from!

Interested in giving microdosing a try? Use the Hopegrown Search Bar at the top of the page to find a licensed dispensary near you where you can speak to a cannabis consultant about which products may be right for your needs!

SOURCES

(1) Nabiximols for Opioid-Treated Cancer Patients With Poorly-Controlled Chronic Pain: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Graded-Dose Trial

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