Microdosing cannabis: everything you need to know
Lots of people are familiar with microdosing psychedelics, but did you know you could microdose cannabis, too? It won't get you high, but that light touch can soothe your mind, relax your body, and have you feeling ready to take on the world. We'll explain the benefits, show you how to find your optimal dose, and explain how to get started.
While many of us enjoy spicing up our lives with a little bit of cannabis, few have the opportunity to get high on a regular basis. After all, there's work to be done, places to go, kids to be cared for… the list goes on. However, nobody said you have to get high every time you smoke weed.
Specifically, have you thought about microdosing cannabis?
Now, you might be thinking, "I know people microdose acid and mushrooms, but how would that even work with weed?"
Well, it's the same logic! Instead of burning up your stash, what if you just had a little bit? What if you picked a strain with a little less THC than usual? One hit of a mild strain won't get you lifted, but it could give you the clarity and peace of mind you need to get through the day.
WHAT IS MICRODOSING?
“Hold on, what's all this about microdosing? What does that word even mean?"
Well, let's break it down: "micro" means small, and “dosing” refers to the amount of a substance you use in one sitting. So, microdosing, simply enough, refers to taking an especially small dose of a substance. It's not just a one-and-done process, though, as people who microdose will take their substance of choice throughout the day.
We don't blame you if you haven't heard of it before. Honestly, we don't expect people to know about it unless they enjoy psychedelics. Due to the intensity of these substances, the only way to stay functional while under the influence of psychedelics is to take a very small amount. So, instead of taking two tabs and staring at the walls for hours, you take a quarter of one and enjoy a chill wave of euphoria and cheer.
As it turns out, you can experience similar benefits from microdosing cannabis! Rather than smoking a whole joint at once, for example, you'd just take a puff or two, put it out, enjoy another a few hours later, and so on.
Really, someone who microdoses cannabis may not use that much less weed than an occasional stoner. The difference, however, lies in those small, spread-out doses. Since they're pacing themselves, they're able to consistently enjoy what it offers, while staying functional and keeping a stable tolerance.
WHY TRY MICRODOSING CANNABIS?
But what does microdosing cannabis offer? Well, if you ask Dr Allan Frankel, you really only need 3 milligrams of THC to obtain the potential benefits. Think about it: If that's all it takes to feel less tense and overwhelmed at work, why take any more? There's no need to risk being high at work when you can get all the benefits without the stone-y sensation.
Even beyond that, wouldn't it be nice to save some money on weed? If you're a daily smoker, you may find yourself spending hundreds per month on your herb. If you took a short tolerance break and started microdosing instead, only smoking "regular" amounts once in a while, you could save untold amounts of cash!
DOES MICRODOSING CANNABIS WORK?
"Alright, I guess feeling relaxed and saving money would be nice, but does smoking such a small amount actually work? How do I know if it does work?"
Well, this is where you have to alter your personal definition of weed "working". See, you're not going to feel high; you won't be slumped on the couch, giggling a lot, or eating everything. Really, considering how differently THC and the other cannabinoids affect each of us, we can't tell you exactly what you'll feel. If you want a general idea, however, it's useful to think about how cannabis usually makes you feel.
If you experience euphoria and relaxation when you're high off a certain strain, microdosing it will just offer a hint of those soothing and warm sensations. Even if weed has never really been your thing, it could still be worth trying microdosing.
HOW MUCH CANNABIS TO MICRODOSE?
Now, this is where things really come down to personal preference and experimentation. As we mentioned before, cannabis affects us all differently, and we'll all need different doses to achieve our desired effects. That said, though, there's a fairly effective way for pretty much anyone to discover their prime microdose.
To start, you'll want to not smoke any cannabis at all for at least 2–3 days, maybe more if you're a daily smoker. You won't know how much you truly need without completely stopping for some time, as your built-up tolerance will interfere. It's just like any other drug; your system needs to be clear before you can discover what it's actually doing for you.
Once that's done, we recommend starting out with a dose of 2.5mg of THC. Unless you're taking cannabis oil, we won't expect you to be able to measure that out exactly, so just enjoy a small fraction of your usual dose if you smoke, vape, or take edibles. If you don't feel anything at all, you can increase the dose slightly until effects start to take hold. Remember, however, that you are not trying to get buzzed. Rather, you're looking for the benefits that normally come alongside the high, whether it's an increase in divergent thinking, reduced tension in social or work settings, or reduced muscle soreness.
HOW TO MICRODOSE CANNABIS
How do you usually enjoy weed? If you smoke out of a bong, just load the bowl with your measured-out dose and go to town! If you're more of a joint or blunt person, just have one or two hits every few hours or so. The joint should be able to stay fresh, to a degree, but a blunt might get dried out as time passes. Alternatively, if you happen to use concentrates (wax, resin, etc.), keep in mind that microdosing requires some especially accurate measurements.
If you're like most stoners, you enjoy cannabis in flower form, whether it's in a pipe, bong, papers, or blunt wraps.
Microdosing is incredibly simple when it comes to the first two methods; just load a smaller bowl than usual, or smoke some low-THC bud and stop after one. If you're more into joints and blunts, roll a smaller one than usual, stop after one or two hits, and save it for later.
If you're feeling pleasant, and not noticeably high, you can enjoy another couple hits after 2–3 hours.
Out of all the available methods, we think vaping offers the most convenience, and is ideal for keeping your weed fresh. While leaving a joint, blunt, or bowl out for a while can make the flower taste unpleasant, both flower and concentrates stay fresh when they're in a vape pen. In turn, if you're working somewhere you usually wouldn't have access to weed, just step out and hit your vape! Just make sure you stop after one hit, lest you end up high at work.
Given the portability and discretion vaping offers, it definitely makes microdosing easier; just take one or two small hits and you're done. However, vaping can be deceptively smooth, and you may end up taking a few too many hits without thinking about it. Proceed with caution.
Given how intense edibles can be if you go overboard, you'll have to be especially careful. The easiest way to go about it would be to find small pre-made candies or bite-sized baked goods. While some baked goods and candies will have 10+ milligrams of THC packed in, you should be able to find some with only 1–2mg per piece.
If you don't want to bother buying pre-made goodies all the time, though, you could be better off making your own low-potency cannabutter to infuse however you please.
All of these methods are equally valid, but taking cannabis oil is, by far, the most accurate microdosing method. Any bottle of cannabis oil from a reputable company will have the exact amount of THC in each bottle, and the droppers themselves will have measurements to show you exactly how much you're taking. The only drawback, really, is the taste, even though you should take it under the tongue if you're taking it straight.
If you want to avoid the taste, eat it with a food item that has lots of healthy fat (peanut butter, avocado, etc.). The compounds will bind with the fat molecules, helping your body absorb them in a full and efficient manner.
MICRODOSING THC VERSUS CBD
Given the inherent risk of accidentally getting too high, you can bypass THC altogether while still reaping the benefits of the herb. CBD offers plenty of benefits in its own right!
If you want to compare CBD microdoses to THC, just do the same personal experiments you did to figure out your THC dose. The former won't get you high, but we still recommend you start light and increase steadily if necessary. After all, if a smaller dose works for you, why take more? CBD oil is a viable option, as doses are consistent and easy to track, and the dropper bottle makes for discreet intake.
Also, why bother deciding between the two? More specifically, why don't you just have a little bit of both? The entourage effect—the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work with each other to enhance their effects—is still a theory, but it's become more widely accepted as of late. Considering that, microdosing CBD and THC together may be the option that best supports overall wellness.
MICRODOSING CANNABIS: WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT
We can't stress enough that everyone is physically and mentally different. These substances will have different effects from person to person, and there's no dose that works for everyone. The microdosing process is mostly experimentation, and it's likely you won't get it perfect from the start.
Still, it's worth seeing what small amounts of cannabis can do to improve your well-being and lifestyle, without hindering your ability to function.