Since we are on the subject of microdosing, there is one basic principle to cover before we go into the details, methods, and benefits.
And that is pharmacokinetics. Yes, I know it's a big word to digest, but don't get overwhelmed. We will explain it simply.
In medicine, pharmacokinetics is the study of the timing and effects a dose of a compound or drug has from the time of administration in a human to the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Basically, it is a cause-and-effect analysis that helps scientists measure therapeutic outcomes.
Dosage, timing, effects, and the life span of the therapeutic benefits of microdosing have been studied across various drug categories and compounds. This is nothing new; however, recently, more researchers and doctors have been getting behind the microdosing approach with their medical marijuana patients. The positive results and effective outcomes have inspired a lot more people to experiment with microdosing THC to address all kinds of ailments and health issues.
The Theory Behind Microdosing Cannabis
Microdosing is the practice of taking a very low dose of a compound or drug to achieve a therapeutic outcome that supports your health and wellness goals. In this case, we are talking about small doses of cannabis or cannabinoid products.
When microdosing cannabis, the standard approach is to begin by taking small amounts over an extended period of time to gradually support your endocannabinoid system.
These smaller doses of cannabinoids activate and produce therapeutic benefits without inducing the stoney stronger psychoactive effects associated with higher doses. Over time you can slowly increase your dose until you find the sweet spot. Make small adjustments until you find what works for your needs and goals.
How to Measure a Microdose
When you start on your journey into the world of microdosing THC or other cannabis products, a good starting point is to take a few days off of consuming cannabis to allow your tolerance to go down a bit. This is generally recommended for those who frequently consume cannabis.
Begin dosing by measuring a very small amount (1-2 mg) of your cannabis product, preferably THC edibles, and see how you respond to it.
How Many Milligrams of THC is a Microdose?
A microdose may vary from person to person, but it's best to start with a very low dose, like a 1 mg serving. The goal is to intake the smallest possible amount that still provides a noticeable effect.
There are some factors to consider when measuring out a dose:
- Your cannabis use experience
- Tolerance and metabolism
- Symptoms or wellness goals
- Cannabis product potency
- Format type: edibles, tinctures, concentrates, and vapor products
Breaking it down to the Milligram
The best way and most consistent way to microdose is to use an edible that contains a pre-measured amount of THC.
Let's say for example, you have some THC gummies that contain 10 mg of THC per piece. You can carefully cut that gummy into five pieces to roughly get 2 mg of THC out of each piece.
What Are the Best Ways to Microdose?
Microdosing is best done with a premeasured edible, tincture, or THC product so that you are able to measure the dosage. Smoking and vaping are not ideal methods of ingestion for microdosing because there is no consistent and reliable way to measure the dose of THC you get from one small puff.
Some Words of Guidance for Microdosing THC
For your first microdose, we recommend taking it in the evening or when you are winding down and free of your daytime responsibilities. This gives you a better opportunity to lean into the subtle effects and see if you notice anything.
Some people are more THC sensitive, while others have a higher tolerance and stronger constitution when it comes to cannabis, so the first few doses will help you to gauge the right microdose for you.
Continue to take your baseline dose every five hours, or you may want to just start with 2-3 doses spread out through the day. Do this for a few days in a row to give your system that frequent "drip" of benefits from the cannabinoids.
Over time you can raise your dosage a little bit until you achieve the desired effect that helps you manage your symptoms and works with your lifestyle.
Benefits of Microdosing Cannabis
Does a lower dose have the same benefits as a higher dose?
Early research shows microdosing provides a wealth of health benefits for relieving anxiety, reducing pain intensity, regulating sleep, and supporting the body's recovery process for cancer patients and people with chronic diseases.
Following a protocol of taking lower doses of cannabis frequently can be more effective than larger doses occasionally. This practice minimizes the potential for unwanted effects while still providing all the benefits the plant has to offer.
Whether you are just starting out on your cannabis journey or consume cannabis frequently, microdosing THC can help with many common concerns, such as pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and mood imbalances.
Some people prefer microdosing, rather than smoking a joint or consuming a whole 10 mg+ cannabis edible because it does not produce intoxicating effects, and it can even enhance cognitive function instead of hinder it.
Microdosing to help relieve pain
A microdose of cannabis has several benefits for keeping pain and inflammation at bay.
There is a growing amount of research and a plethora of anecdotal evidence from patients who microdose cannabis for chronic conditions that say it supports their overall wellness, helps relieve fatigue, and provides a significant reduction in pain.
Microdosing gummies or having a little puff from a vape throughout the day is a great way to take in a smaller dose of cannabinoids frequently. Dosing as such can improve feelings of well-being, mobility, sleep quality, and energy levels.
Microdosing to support mental health
One of the hottest topics that get mentioned among cannabis enthusiasts is how microdosing THC and full-spectrum cannabis products have amazing results for mental health and depression. Low doses of THC are incredibly therapeutic for stress and anxiety. A microdose of THC is generally not enough to cause psychoactive effects; however, it can improve mood and cognitive function. Microdosing can help you stay focused in a flow state throughout the day.
The subtle effects small doses of THC have on cannabinoid receptors in the brain are known to help people with PTSD. More research is needed to see if the practice of microdosing can offer long-term support for mental health issues.
How Microdosing Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System
Your endocannabinoid system is made up of thousands of receptors that spread throughout your body. When they interact with cannabis compounds like THC and CBD, this network of receptors communicates to deliver the cannabinoids to systems that are imbalanced.
When cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in cannabis plants are introduced to your system, the entourage effect takes place. This is where various compounds work together to support the diverse needs of your endocannabinoid system.
When ingesting a microdose of THC every few hours over a time period of a few days, the endocannabinoid system is given a continual supply of cannabinoids to support imbalances and promote system-wide healing.
Our endocannabinoid system plays an important role in most, if not all, of our bodies' automatic functions, from immune system and nervous system response, cellular regeneration to digestion and more.
Microdosing Cannabis Consumption Safety Tips
Start your microdosing journey with high-quality cannabis edibles that have a premeasured dose with accurate lab testing results to ensure consistency.
Microdose gummies, tinctures, and other edible formats that are easy to measure so you can accurately record your results and progress.
For your first few doses, it's a good idea to be in the comfort of your home without a whole lot going on so you can relax into the experience and find the dose that suits you.
Don't mix cannabis edibles with alcohol.
Check with your doctor if you are taking any medications to make sure microdosing THC won't interfere with your medications.
If you are cutting up an edible to break it down into smaller doses, put those smaller pieces back into the original container and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Always start slow with the smallest dose amount and gradually increase the dose.
Every six or eight days, it's a good rule of thumb to take a break from your microdose regimen to see how you feel. This will also help you notice the difference it makes and make adjustments if you wish.
Microdosing cannabis is only for adults 21 and over.
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Written by London Kelley