With cannabis continuing to gain global recognition for its medicinal value, researchers are now looking at how to best administer the drug to provide optimum benefits.
Throughout the cannabis industry, there are currently several trends that are being widely researched and discussed.
One trend you’ve probably heard of is the use of high-CBD products. Numerous research studies have demonstrated CBD’s effectiveness in treating a wide range of disorders, from seizures to anxiety.
However, another hot topic you may not have heard as much about is microdosing. Microdosing involves taking very small doses of a drug and has previously been associated with psychedelics such as psilocybin (the psychoactive substance found in ‘magic mushrooms’) and LSD.
The microdosing revolution
Over recent years, microdosing psychedelics has gained popularity with high-ranking Silicon Valley employees as an aid for motivation and creativity.
It’s also being studied as an alternative treatment for anxiety and depression.
The growing popularity of microdosing psychedelics has led many to ask the question: if we can successfully microdose psychedelics, why can’t we do the same with cannabis?
Microdosing cannabis basics
The premise of microdosing cannabis is simple. It involves administering very small doses of cannabis, thus allowing you to experience cannabis’ therapeutic benefits whilst avoiding the intense psychoactive effects of THC.
Too much THC can overwhelm and overstimulate cannabinoid receptors in the body. This results in some cannabis users experiencing negative side effects, such as short-term anxiety or paranoia.
Although these side effects are short-lived, they prevent many from experiencing the full benefits of cannabis.
In small doses, THC is not very noticeable. Sub-perceptual they call it. However, it still has a subtle effect which may express itself in calmness, focus and increased creativity.
Small doses of cannabis have also been found effective in treating symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Therefore, microdosing provides the perfect solution for those wanting to experience the health benefits of cannabis without getting high.
It also moves cannabis one step closer to be completely accepted in conventional medicine.
How to microdose cannabis
Achieving the perfect dosage takes a bit of trial and error.
Factors such as tolerance to THC, weight, age, sex and the volume of endocannabinoid receptors all impact your sensitivity to THC.
The best method is to start at a very small dosage and then increase slowly from there. Practically, there are a number of different way to this, which we’ll go through below.
The general consensus amongst medical professionals is that a starting dose should be between 1mg and 3mg of THC. From there, gradually increase the dosage until you achieve the desired effects.
CBD can also be microdosed. However, as it’s only mildly psychoactive, its effects are not as pronounced as THC’s. If you want to try microdosing with CBD, check out our list of the best CBD flower in the UK.
If you can get your hands on them, cannabis concentrates are by far the easiest form of cannabis to microdosing.
Consisting of up to 99% THC (you can also get CBD concentrates), concentrates and extracts can be easily measured out and consumed.
All you need is a dropper or syringe with small enough measurements (here are 10 milligrams in one millilitre). Then, measure out 1mg (this may only be one drop of concentrate) and consume.
If you’re inexperienced with cannabis/THC this may cause a minor head buzz. If this happens you have 2 options: 1) Continue with this dosage for several days until you’ve built up a tolerance or 2) lower the dosage to 0.5mg.
After consuming the concentrate be sure to wait for at least one hour to see if you feel anything. If you don’t, then that’s perfect. This means you’ve probably got the dosage just right.
You can now build up to the optimal therapeutic dosage by increasing your intake every couple of days if needed.
If you start feeling any psychoactive effects, then you’ll know you’ve exceeded your optimum dosage. Lower your dosage until you achieve the desired effect.
Smoking or vaping
For many who don’t have access to legal cannabis, smoking or vaping will be the most convenient method.
In order to microdose using this method, simply take one puff of a joint or one 5-10-second pull of a dry herb vape, hold it in for 3 seconds and exhale.
Now wait for 10-15 minutes to see how that dosage has affected you. If you don’t feel anything, try another puff – but only 10-15 minutes after the initial dosage.
This method of microdosing can be tricky and takes some experimentation to discover your optimum dosage. Try not to puff too often and too much.
And remember – the effects will be very subtle; if you start feel stoned you’ve probably taken too much.
If you’re going to microdose cannabis using edibles, you can either make them yourself or buy them. If you live in the UK, your best bet is online.
Make sure to ask the seller for the THC content, however.
Once you have that information, determine how much should be in each portion and aim to take 1mg.
If you don’t have access to a reliable source, you can always cook your own edibles – check out our guide to making Cannabutter here, which you can then use in your favourite recipes.
Edibles have to pass through the digestion system before you’ll feel any impact. This process may take up to 90 minutes, so make sure you wait at least 90 minutes before taking additional doses.
If you don’t feel any effects, simply take additional doses every 90 minutes until you reach your optimal dosage.
Benefits and Effects
Microdosing cannabis is reported to be beneficial for an array of health disorders.
Countless patients are now microdosing cannabis to treat anxiety, autism, pain, ADHD, inflammation, indigestion and depression.
It is important to note that microdosing cannabis is more suitable for some conditions than others. For example, microdosing is most suitable for conditions that require multiple treatments throughout the day such as stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Microdosing probably isn’t suitable for a one-off treatment (e.g. a migraine).
Many healthy people are using cannabis to microdose as well, with recent studies showing low doses of THC in mice can actually reverse ageing- related memory loss and grow new brain cells!
As cannabis becomes more mainstream, studies like this replicated in humans could potentially uncover countless more benefits of microdosing.
Microdosing is also becoming popular in the workplace, particularly with creatives. There are numerous reports from writers who claim that microdosing cannabis helps them push through writer’s block and aids their creativity and productivity.
Like this fascinating book by UK writer Jack Mcterra, who says, “… I have absolutely no doubt that cannabis, when microdosed, can awaken creativity, helping a person write faster and better, and effectively defeat writer’s block.”
The effects can also be used to enhance well-being practices such as mediation or exercise.
Now you know about microdosing why not give it a go? Just make sure you start small and build up from there.