Cannabis Microdosing FAQs: Is Microdosing Effective?
Over the last several years, microdosing has become an extremely hot topic among researchers, mental health professionals, and experimental users alike. The topic often applies to powerful psychoactive substances like Lysergic acid (LSD), dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and psilocybin (magic mushrooms). The basic concept behind microdosing is that one can use psychoactive substances in tiny amounts, often on a regular schedule, for therapeutic mental health benefits as opposed to taking them in larger doses for the purpose of seeking an intensely psychoactive experience.
The recent public boom in interest in microdosing can be traced back to Silicon Valley, where tech wizards and entrepreneurs were putting in long hours to unlock the creativity and mood-enhancing effects of LSD and psilocybin in a way that wouldn’t make their workday impossible with a hallucinogenic trip.
Cannabis and Microdosing
It is believed that microdosing can unlock many of the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids without leaving the user feeling high. This is comparable to the way in which microdosing LSD leads to mental and emotional benefits in some users without the heady, intense experience of an acid trip. In general, microdosing helps avoid any unwanted or burdensome intense psychoactive effects.
People who turn to cannabis microdosing are usually those who have learned about the extensive list of medicinal and therapeutic benefits inherent to THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and various cannabis-derived terpenes. However, they wish to unlock those benefits for themselves without the heady psychoactive experience associated with high doses of THC. While many people love the effects of full-spectrum cannabis, others may find that THC brings on feelings of paranoia and lethargy or makes anxiety worse rather than helping soothe it. For such people, cannabis microdosing has emerged as an intriguing new option.
How to Microdose Cannabis?
Microdosing cannabis is exactly what it sounds like. You dose yourself with a very small amount of cannabis on a regular basis, often as a way to begin your day. The amount of THC ingested is much smaller than what would be used for a typical recreational or medicinal dose, meaning that you will not get high from microdosing. However, you will still experience some of the other beneficial effects of consuming cannabis.
Human body chemistry works in such a way that even a small amount of THC will effectively bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. So, even if THC isn’t in great enough quantity to cause the user to feel “high,” that doesn’t mean it has no effect. In other words, the many other medicinal benefits of cannabis don’t necessarily require a psychoactive dose of THC to occur.
Why Should You Microdose?
Some researchers and health experts interested in the potential of cannabis microdosing have begun to look at cannabis through what’s called a bimodal lens. This model is very like the way health professionals look at alcohol. For example, while one glass of red wine may have positive effects on your organs, too much alcohol is a strain on your system. Therapeutic cannabinoids may operate on something of a similar spectrum, with small doses providing unique benefits that can be outweighed by the high created when large doses of THC are ingested.
While much of the cannabis industry has been focused on creating products with maximum THC content, cannabis microdosing is all about finding that perfect dose. The ideal microdose maximizes therapeutic effects while remaining low enough in THC to eliminate the psychoactive high.
Microdosing cannabis can be an effective treatment method for many of the same conditions that have already been treated with more traditional doses.
Some of the current therapeutic uses for cannabis include:
- Lack of focus
- Lack of appetite
- General relaxation
How often you want to microdose is up to you, your cannabis advisors, and any health professionals helping you on your journey. You can begin a daily low-dose routine without expecting any ill side effects, or you can simply microdose on those mornings when you wake up and feel the need for therapeutic effects.
What Types of Cannabis Are Best for Microdosing?
The best cannabis products for beginning your microdosing regimen are low-dose edibles, like mints and lozenges, from reputable suppliers. You'll need products that are tested so that you know the exact THC content. Also, products that are pre-portioned can make determining exactly how much THC you're ingesting a simple matter of reading the label instead of a math problem to solve every time you need to dose. Cannabis mints and gummies are made with small doses for ease with microdosing.
A typical microdose-friendly cannabis supplement might have 2 or 2.5 mg of THC per serving. In many products, this will be paired with a higher dose of CBD or another cannabinoid. For a regular cannabis user who already has a tolerance to THC, starting with a microdose of 5 mg might be more appropriate. Once you exceed 5 mg THC, however, you’re likely to experience effects that are more intense, something similar to a small doses rather than a true microdose.
Can You Microdose with Cannabis Flower?
While you can technically microdose using any form of cannabis, trying to microdose effectively and consistently with cannabis flower is not the recommended way to microdose. For microdosing to be effective, you need to consistently control your dose, and this is extremely difficult when smoking flower.
Consistent microdosing by smoking cannabis flower would require three things:
- Testing — You will need to know the exact THC content of your flower, and you might have to recalculate every time you buy more. THC levels can change from generation to generation or grow to grow, even when you stick to a single strain.
- Weighing — You will need to know exactly how much cannabis you’re consuming so that you can multiply it by the THC content and figure out the exact dose of THC you’re getting.
- Consistent Consumption — After doing the tedious math, you must make sure that you’re smoking your flower the exact same way every single day. For truly consistent dosing, you must smoke your cannabis without letting any un-inhaled vapors escape into the atmosphere, a relatively impossible feat.
Dabbing could also be an effective way to ensure you get your full dose without much waste. However, this would require finding a low THC concentrate, which can currently be hard to find unless you’re looking for a CBD-only product. Then, you’ll need to weigh out a precise dab.
That‘s why, if microdosing is your goal, it’s highly recommended you stick to edibles, cannabis drinks, or pre-measured supplements in capsule form. Tinctures are another excellent microdosing option, as they typically have common dose measurements right on the dropper.
Best Cannabis Strains For Microdosing
While you probably won’t be using smokeable flower for microdosing, each cannabis extract or edible product is still based on a particular strain of cannabis plant. For most of the industry’s history, marijuana growers were simply racing to create the highest THC flowers they possibly could. This has resulted in dozens of modern cannabis strains with the monster potency levels and psychoactive effects that some users love.
It is only in recent years that some growers have pivoted to the development of more subdued and complex strains that prioritize terpene profiles or other cannabinoids before THC content. The emergent CBD market made a significant difference in this regard. Now, many specialty growers on the market are more concerned with the ratios of cannabinoids than they are with monster THC content. Some of these more modern strains will provide a good basis for microdosing products.
THC and CBD at a 1:1 Ratio
Some of the most sought-after products for microdosing are based on strains that have been bred to feature a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio, or products formulated to be a 1:1 ratio This means that the average cannabis plant contains equal amounts of psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and therapeutic cannabidiol (CBD).
Some of the most popular 1:1 strains include:
- Shark Shock
- Mai Thai Cookies
- Pure Love
- Royal Highness
- Sweet and Sour Widow
Products with a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio are popular across many different types of cannabis users. This means you can find vape carts, edibles, tinctures, and all sorts of concentrates in a 1:1 ratio.
Consider looking for strains high in cannabigerol, another cannabinoid whose potential therapeutic properties are at the forefront of much modern cannabis research. CBG is typically a minor component of cannabis strains, but due to its influence on blood pressure, heart rate, and the nervous system, it can also make a good microdosing option.
Some CBG-forward strains include:
- White Whale
- Jack Frost
- White CBG
- Frosted Cake CBG
- John Snow
- Sour G
- White Widow
Be careful with high-CBG strains. Many of them, like White Widow, are also popular recreational strains high in THC. Others, like White CBG and Frosted Cake CBG, have been selectively bred for their CBG content, as you can tell by their names. People describe a CBG high as having some of the energy- and focus-boosting effects of THC but without the strong psychoactive element or intense sedation.
Zen Leaf: Your Trusted Partner for Cannabis Microdosing
If you’re interested in microdosing and need to find the perfect low-dose cannabis product to get started, head to your nearest Zen Leaf dispensary. Whether you’re working with the guidance of a health professional or doing your own research, our expert staff can help you find products that are high in quality but low in THC, so you get a consistent dose every time.
Digital Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.
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