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What is Microdosing and Why is it so Popular?

March 06, 2020 5 min read

What is Microdosing and Why is it so Popular?

Cannabis use is slowly becoming less stigmatized with the majority of Americans in favor of legalization. More and more people are interested in the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and are not necessarily smoking to get high with their friends. This new wave of conscious cannabis consumerism has sparked a new trend–microdosing. This popular way to use cannabis is particularly helpful for those looking to reduce chronic pain, relax, stay focused, and much more.

However, microdosing marijuana is not just for those facing health issues. Some regular smokers are switching over to this method in order to avoid common negative effects related to high doses of marijuana like paranoia, increased anxiety, short term memory loss, and the inability to function normally throughout the day. Women, specifically mothers, are taking up microdosing more than men are. Yes, you heard that right. Some women swear that the effects of microdosing have made them better moms. The ability to reduce anxiety and stress while remaining completely present seems to be what attracts mothers the most. Think of it like those stay at home moms who just need a glass of wine to tackle the stresses of child rearing.

What is microdosing

Microdosing is simply taking small quantities of a medicine or drug throughout the day rather than consuming a high dose all at once. Sometimes this is as low as one twentieth of a typical recreational dose. It may not sound like much, but consuming a microdose vs a full dose makes a big difference on the user’s experience since they have control over the effects. This method can be done with CBD only for no accidental psychoactive effects, which is best for working professionals who don’t benefit medicinally from THC. However certain conditions respond better to a mix of CBD and THC.

mother watching child at the beach

Does microdosing get you high?

The goal of microdosing is not to get high or escape reality, but rather to simply live life as the best version of yourself both physically and mentally. Those who regularly microdose cannabis often refer to the process as enhancing who they already are. If you’re getting stoned while microdosing, your doses are too high (more on this later). This controlled dosing technique isn’t anything new. People have been using microdosing for a very long time with other medicines and drugs. Microdosing used to be associated with strong psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) and LSD, which also are thought to have beneficial qualities at doses so low that there are no psychedelic effects and are used particularly for those suffering from debilitating depression. With a surge in medicinal cannabis use, many people recognize that marijuana also has therapeutic benefits that are unlocked at surprisingly low doses.

Microdosing benefits

There are many studies which support the fact that cannabis has medicinal benefits at low levels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no benefits to taking higher doses. One study found that a low dose of marijuana with just 1.29% THC was effective in reducing neuropathic pain by 30%, a condition which is often otherwise treated with very strong and addictive opioid drugs. The study participants experienced negligible psychoactive effects when tested on their memory, attention, and motor skills, allowing them to be fully functional while receiving pain treatment. Another study on advanced cancer patients whose pain could not be alleviated by opioids found that a low or medium dose of cannabis reduced their chronic pain significantly. A low dose was equal to 2.7 mg of THC and 2.5 mg of CBD one to four times per day.

In addition to pain management, microdosing for anxiety, stress, insomnia, PTSD, and a variety of other issues has seen a large increase with many brands such as Indose catering to people who microdose. A study from 2017 demonstrated that a low dose of THC (7.5 mg) can reduce stress and anxiety, while high doses (12.5 mg) were linked to an overall more negative mood, exemplifying the value of microdosing over recreational doses. People without health issues can also find value in microdosing. Those who take regular low doses of marijuana attribute it to an increase in creativity and being more focused at work. 

CBD gummy bear edibles

How to microdose cannabis

If you’re just learning about this, you may be wondering “how much should I microdose?” It is very difficult to determine the correct dose of cannabis to use for microdosing since a variety of factors come into play and the effects can differ for each individual. A history of previous cannabis use is one of the biggest factors in determining dosage since those who smoke frequently have a much higher tolerance. If you normally smoke daily but would like to switch over to microdosing, do a three day cannabis cleanse (no CBD or THC products) to reset your body then follow the steps below. If you are not a frequent cannabis user then start here:

  • Determine your need - Why do you want to microdose marijuana and what mental or physical issues, if any, are you struggling to keep under control?
  • CBD or THC - Certain conditions may be better treated with CBD vs THC or a mix of both cannabinoids. If you want to relieve stress and anxiety, CBD might be the answer, while a combination may be better for pain and insomnia. Test out different combinations to see what’s the right mix for your needs.
  • Choosing a product - Of course an accurate dose is key to microdosing since a little too much and you will experience psychoactive effects. Microdosing is easiest with edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, and controlled dose vaporizers. Unlike normal vaporizers, controlled dose vapes deliver a precise amount of medicine with each timed inhale then shuts off. Try a few products and choose one that works with your lifestyle.
  • Experiment with dosage - This may take some time to figure out, though when starting out most cannabis consumers will find that around 2 mg of THC or CBD will do the trick. Remember that this may involve cutting up edibles or capsules into smaller pieces to get the right dose. Start with this amount two times per day (morning and evening) for at least three days then evaluate. If you’re not feeling any difference, increase each dose by 1 mg and see how you feel after another three days. If you ever feel like you’re high or cognitively impared, your dose is too high. Most people who have been microdosing for awhile take between one to four doses per day. Eventually you’ll perfect your dosage and find what works with your body so you can reap the most benefits and live your best life.

Do you microdose cannabis? Share your experience in the comments below.


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