Micro-dosing is an increasingly popular method for treating a wide range of medical conditions. As it says in the name, the whole idea is about taking… well micro (aka small) doses to control symptoms, without feeling the full effects of whatever you consume. While it has existed since the 60s on the fringes of society, the practice has become increasingly mainstream with many people micro-dosing with cannabis and mushrooms. It has even been discussed numerous times on the absurdly popular Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.
A staggering amount of people listen to him every day and, as is likely to happen with any person put on a pedestal, many people take his word as scripture. While it is concerning that anyone has that much power of persuasion over an audience, his support and promotion of, not only micro-dosing, but cannabis as a whole has been instrumental in changing a lot of people’s minds about it.
While the majority of attention has been paid to the practice of micro-dosing psychedelics, specifically psilocybin, an increasing number of people have begun doing so with cannabis. Finding the right dose that helps control symptoms without offering any intoxicating effects can be a bit challenging and requires a certain amount of trial and error. That said, once you find a dose that works for you, it makes the entire process of using medical cannabis throughout the day so much easier.
Why Do People Micro-Dose with Cannabis?
Micro-dosing allows you to enjoy some of the positive medical effects of cannabis without feeling too mentally altered.
While cannabis may be legal in Canada now, both recreationally and medically, there is still a large number of patients who are hesitant to try medical marijuana for their symptoms. For recreational users, the idea of, not only using cannabis because you want to, but because it’s also recommended by your doctor sounds like a dream come true. The reality, however, is that many people are intimidated by the effects of cannabis. Even for those who use it mostly socially or at night time may be put off by the idea of getting high by alone and then trying to go about their normal day.
That is why it is important to take it slow and find what works for you. Once you do, you’ll be shocked by how much of a difference it can make.
How to Micro-Dose
As we’ve discussed before, dosing with cannabis can be a bit tricky at first. The best practice is to always start small, and since your looking to micro-dose, that rule has never been more appropriate. Since it is very difficult to determine the amount of THC/CBD consumed when smoked or vaped, edibles are by far the more reliable source for dosing.
Unlike other health supplements, there’s no RDA (recommended daily allowance) when it comes to medical cannabis. In fact, the lack of RDA is also one of the reasons why some doctors actually hesitate to recommend medical cannabis to their patients.
Most cannabis products offer a recommended dose for users, however, because our bodies are built differently, how we react to that one dose may differ. Furthermore, most doses recommended are intended for the full effect of the product to be felt. In the cases where a patient is trying to micro-dose; a full dose would be far too much.
There is no correct starting dosage but we recommend going about as low as you can to start. Try buying a pack of 10mg edibles. Cut one 10mg piece in half to make it 5mg. If you want, you can cut it again to make it 2.5mg. For recreational users, 5mg is a great starting point for micro-dosing. For people who are newer to cannabis then 2.5mg is ideal
Take your first micro-dose in the morning. Give it 2 hours for the full effects to take place. Now evaluate where you’re at. How are your symptoms? Do you feel high? Adjust the dosage accordingly.
It’s best to try micro-dosing on a weekend or a day where you have no serious responsibilities. If for some reason you find that you don’t enjoy the feeling, you won’t be stuck at work, in a meeting or on a bus. Let your partner or a good friend know what you’re doing so they can help if you need assistance at any time.
Micro-dosing is great because you’d really have to go out of your way for it to go wrong. As long as you start small and work your way to a level that feels good, you’ll be fine.
The biggest mistake you can make is taking too much too quickly, which applies to all edibles. If you find that your dosage is working for you and you want to try taking more, don’t just double your dose. Add milligrams in small increments.
Remember: Micro-dosing is not about getting baked. It’s about utilizing the medical benefits of the plant without experiencing its full effects (aka being high).
You should also know that not all labels will be fully accurate all the time. While the quality of edibles has improved considerably over the years, there are still varying methods for mixing the THC and CBD into the product and some batches are not always consistent with others. This means the potency could be stronger or weaker than advertised. I have taken edibles that were supposed to be 50mg and I felt nothing. Alternatively, I’ve taken edibles that were supposed to be 20mg and felt super-duper high. Therefore you should use the label as a guideline but never rely on it until you’ve tried it for yourself. Again, this is why we ALWAYS recommend starting small. Find a company that you trust and stick with them.
You can always take more but you cannot take less once you’ve already consumed it. Trust me. I’ve tried.
What are the Benefits of Micro-Dosing Cannabis?
- More control over your dosage. You can easily adjust your dosage according to your needs or your body’s reactions to cannabis.
- Better control over the effects.
- It helps reduce the development of negative side effects sometimes associated with high-THC doses.
- Slows down tolerance. The higher the dose and the longer you take it, the quicker you’ll develop a tolerance. By starting low and going slow, you are also slowing down the development of tolerance. If you notice that you’re taking higher doses to feel the same effects, you can always take a tolerance break. This means taking a couple of days off of cannabis to help your endocannabinoid system adjust accordingly.
- Easier on the wallet!
What are some of the best cannabis products that you can micro-dose?
You can easily micro-dose using cannabis oils and tinctures. If you’re new to tinctures, we recommend something like Twisted Extracts 3:1 CBD:THC Sativa Tincture. The ratio of CBD to THC should help prevent any unwanted effects. A full dropper offers 2.5mg of THC and 7.mg of CBD. You can always start with half a dropper. If that works for you then great! If you feel like you’re not getting what you want out of it, then try a full dropper or perhaps the 1:1 variety would work better. Again, start with a half dropper. Work your way up from there! The sativa is great for daytime use, but if you prefer indica, they carry those options as well. Just be aware that the indica will make you feel more sleepy.
Edibles are also very popular for micro-dosing as they come in pre-dosed measurements. Reliably and consistently dosed products like Boost or Twisted Extracts give the customer more confidence in what they are taking. Both the Boost and Twisted Extracts Cara-Melts come with 10mg varieties in both CBD and THC. Try cutting one piece in half and then in half again and starting from there. These delicious candies mean you get to treat yourself with something sweet every time you need to dose again throughout the day, making it something to look forward too!
If you want to try smoking or vaping cannabis, we suggest that you start with low-THC/high-CBD strains like Charlotte’s Web and Harlequin. Start with one puff and assess your reaction before increasing the dose. These strains have very low THC content, so you will feel some positive effects without getting too high. However, it is much harder to track and control your dose.
If you’re concerned about feeling the effects of THC but want the benefits of the plant, or want to be able to enjoy cannabis throughout the day without it affecting your ability to work, then micro-dosing may be your new best friend.
Cannabis is a form of personalized medicine. You will have to find your sweet spot or that magic dosage that works very well in controlling your symptoms. It may be trial and error at first, but once you find your perfect dosage, you’ll enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
As it stands, there is an increasing amount of attention being paid to the practice of micro-dosing psilocybin for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. There is still much to know before this becomes a widely accepted practice but the mainstream is beginning to take notice. Will micro-dosing cannabis see the same surge in popularity? Only time will tell.