By: Kristian Astre
With 61% of Americans supporting the legalization of cannabis, it’s no secret that people are curious about marijuana. They want to know how it works, ways to incorporate it into their lifestyle and how to use it without having an experience that’s overwhelming and unpleasant. Microdosing cannabis has been a steadily rising trend in the last couple years, particularly among women who are now the biggest consumers of low-dose edibles. It’s a market that continues to grow as more companies offer products with lower amounts of THC made for the mindful consumer
Microdosing is essentially taking a very small amount of a substance with the purpose of experiencing its therapeutic benefits without the high. When it comes to cannabis, tiny doses of THC can be used to help reduce pain, promote sleep, improve mood, increase creativity and treat depression, stress and anxiety. It’s a good introduction to cannabis for people who may have no experience consuming it or those who want to try it again after decades of abstaining. The method can be used to manage symptoms as well as a way to slowly and comfortably increase your tolerance over time.
The typical microdose is between two and five milligrams of THC but can go up to 10 milligrams for those with a naturally higher tolerance. Edibles, tinctures and controlled-dose vape pens are the easiest way to measure the amount of THC consumed, as it is difficult to gauge dosage while smoking. To begin microdosing, start with a two milligram dose of THC. If you prefer to smoke, look for a strain that is low in THC and begin with taking one puff. Wait at least 10 minutes to see how you feel before taking another.
Take the same amount of milligrams daily for two to three days while you observe how you feel. If there are no noticeable effects, increase the dosage by one milligram and wait another two to three days to assess the effects. It’s up to you whether or not you want to take more than one microdose per day but start with twice a day — once in the morning and evening — before adding another round. If you start to feel high, decrease the amount. The size of the microdose and how many times it needs to be taken throughout the day will vary from person to person depending on factors like body mass and metabolism.
For complete novices, it’s best to avoid alcohol consumption until you are familiar with how your body responds to microdosing. Once you have the hang of things, play it safe by keeping your cocktail consumption low and evaluate how the two interact before increasing the amount of alcohol. Even though it’s such a small amount of THC, it’s in your best interest not to underestimate any potential sensitivity to combining substances.
Long-time or high quantity cannabis users who want to reap the benefits of cannabis minus the buzz can also benefit but should take a break from consuming cannabis for at least 48 hours to allow their bodies time to adjust to a lower dosage. They may prefer to start with a higher microdose of five milligrams and build up from there one to two milligrams at a time until reaching the desired effect.
There’s no need to seek out tinctures that are low in THC because you can easily microdose by taking a few drops at a time. With edibles, look for products that can easily be broken into smaller, measurable pieces or find brands that make low-dose treats like Kiva Confections’ five milligram Terra Bites. You can also try controlled-dose vape pens like Dosist or Quill.