Less is more.
Microdosing all boils down to one basic understanding:
Cannabis has a “biphasic nature.” This means that clients will experience an effect from using cannabis at a low dose and lose that effect as they take more, only to reach another response at an even higher dose.
Let’s break that down really quickly.
Many cannabis users think that if they take several hits and they aren’t getting the desired effect, they need to take more cannabis.
It makes logical sense. Not working… take more… still not working… take even more.
It’s how a lot of things work in our world. You ate, but you’re still hungry? Eat more. Still thirsty? Drink more. Still tired? Take a nap. Still cold? Put on another sweater.
But, it’s not how cannabis works.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, medical cannabis expert, says “most people have a certain threshold dosage of cannabis, below which they’ll experience health benefits over time, and above which they will start building tolerance, experiencing diminishing benefits and more side effects.”
While many budtenders and inexperienced cannabis users may tell you to try a new strain or a new method of ingestion, odds are, you just need less.
Less means something different to everyone, and if you need higher amounts of cannabinoids to reduce the size of tumors or help with major neurological issues, it may not be for you. Always talk to a doctor or consult with a functional cannabis therapist to figure out a baseline for microdosing.
We know what you’re thinking. You might be saying, “But I’m one of those people with a high tolerance and less just won’t work for me.”
And maybe that’s true. Maybe you’ve been taking cannabis for a long time and your tolerance to cannabinoids is so high that you require a significant dose in order to get any effect at all.
The issue with this is that, not only are you burning up precious resources and money feeding your high tolerance, you also may not be getting the full benefit of the cannabis you are using.
Even if you don’t turn into an anxious and paranoid emotional wreck after taking a high dose, you may be experiencing other forms of side effects that can keep you from being vibrant, energetic and happy.
It’s something we don’t like to address in the cannabis industry because it has taken so long to get beyond the stigma of things like Reefer Madness. But, sometimes, cannabis use can have negative side effects, especially with prolonged use of high dosages.
It’s a powerful medicine and, yes, it’s possible to overdo it.
And even if you’re not experiencing direct side effects from taking too much cannabis chronically (see what I did there?), your endocannabinoid system may shift out of balance and your receptors might be shrinking back into your cells to hide from your massive dab seshing. Throwing your endocannabinoid system off could cause a bunch of other seemingly unrelated problems.
Fortunately, there are things folks can do to lower their tolerance, re-sensitize their cannabinoid receptors and regain the myriad of benefits of medicating with cannabis.
How much is a little?
If you are vaporizing Cannabis, try a tiny puff then wait ten minutes. If you’re so inclined, be aware of different boiling points of the cannabinoids and terpenes and use your heat accordingly.
If you’ve made edibles – try a small bite first, then wait 2 hours. Titrating should be consistent with a well-mixed recipe. You may want to look into a Magical Butter Machine.
If using your licensed producer’s oils, note the mg/ml and do the math to keep your dose around the .1 to .4 of a ml., (For example, Canntrust oils have 25 mg/ml of thc or cbd or 1:1). Suggested microdose is between 2.5 and 10 mg.
Depending on lifestyle and sleep cycles, you may want to try both edibles and vaporizing. Combusting or smoking cannabis is the least healthful option and may make it hard to microdose as one inhalation can contain up to 10 mg of THC. If you do combust, try a pipe or water bubbler rather than rolled. This way you can control how much you burn without having to keep putting it out. Use about the size of a matchhead.
What can you expect?
Depending on the strain that you have ingested (sativa vs. indica etc.) you may feel more relaxed or more energetic. Your mood and emotions may be more balanced. You may feel more creative or social and less anxious. Your pain levels may decrease, you may sleep more soundly. Consider microdosing a valuable technique for medicating while working.
A journal will help keep track of the small but effective alterations. Make sure you note strain, cannabinoid levels, time of day, how you felt before microdosing (tired, anxious, apathetic, unfocused) etc. It is suggested that you avoid alcohol, which can augment the effects and vice versa.
Heavy cannabis users may be too tolerant to experience microdosing effects. It’s suggested that you take a break from cannabis for 7-10 days to upregulate your CB1 receptors, or allow 2 weeks of microdosing to regulate system before expecting effects.
Soon, Cannabis may basically be considered an herbal supplement or ‘vitamin’ that has medicinal benefits. Microdosing cannabis (especially with good levels of CBD present) can help keep us healthy while safely managing stress and anxiety.