Microdosing is a method of dosing cannabis in a way that allows you to reap its medical benefits without getting high. Here’s how that’s possible and how to do it.
Nowadays, there are a couple of big trends among medical cannabis consumers:
The other trend is a special approach to consuming cannabis, which was previously associated only with psychedelic substances—microdosing.
The premise behind microdosing is simple:
By administering very small doses of cannabis it’s possible to relieve symptoms of many conditions while avoiding the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Basics of microdosing
Microdosing is a method of consuming cannabis in the smallest possible (but still therapeutically beneficial) doses, in order to avoid getting high or experiencing side-effects of cannabis.
Of course, most cannabis enthusiasts don’t consider the THC-induced high as something negative—quite the contrary—but some users have a tough time adjusting to these novel sensations cannabis produces. Microdosing is perfect for these types of users.
Microdosing originated in psychedelic drug research, and it was initially a way to administer low doses of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes.
So, if we can successfully microdose psychedelics to treat depression why can’t we do the same with cannabis?
Hence, microdosing cannabis refers to taking small and precisely measured amounts, in a carefully planned schedule.
Some experts think that overloading the system with THC is not always the best approach, especially if we take into account the subjective effects of cannabis.
Consuming too much THC at one time can overwhelm the cannabinoid (CB) receptors in the body and overstimulate them—this is what causes the two worst side-effects of cannabis: Short-term anxiety and paranoia. Luckily, this is only temporary and isn’t otherwise dangerous or toxic to the body.
Let’s take anxiety as the primary concern associated with too much THC.
In smaller doses, cannabis is used for treating both anxiety and depression but when too much THC is consumed in one sitting it can promote anxiety and even cause full-blown anxiety attacks and paranoid episodes.
Microdosing provides a solution to biphasic effects of cannabis and moves it one step closer to being completely acceptable in conventional medicine.
How to microdose weed (THC)?
Achieving the perfect dose depends on several factors: Your previous experience with cannabis, current tolerance to THC, and the number of your endocannabinoid receptors.
Starting low and increasing the dosage slow is imperative. Here’s how it’s usually done:
Our friend Dr. Dustin Sulak (who successfully treated over 18.000 patients in the US with medical cannabis) suggests that the starting dose should be either 1 or 2 mg of THC.
From there, one would have to incrementally increase the daily dosage until the desired therapeutic effect is achieved.
For detailed instructions on how to dose cannabis (including day-by-day dosage charts for THC and CBD products) feel free to download Greencamp’s complete cannabis dosage guide, which was made with the help of Dr. Sulak.
Microdosing cannabis concentrates
There are 10 milligrams (mg) in one milliliter (ml) of a THC concentrate, so in this case the starting dosage would be one-tenth of a milliliter.
Two drops of THC liquid extract equal to 1 mg—this should be the starting dosage.
In very rare cases, it’s possible for inexperienced users with an extremely low tolerance to THC to feel a minor head buzz with this amount. In that case, try taking one drop of a THC concentrate for several days until you build up your tolerance, before increasing it to 2 drops per day.
When taking the starting dosage wait for about 30 to 60 minutes to see if you feel anything. If you don’t get high, that’s perfect. This means that you’ve got it right.
If you start feeling anything strange in your head and body, you overdid it and you should go back to one of the previous steps and build up your tolerance first.
To reach the optimal therapeutic dose, increase the daily dosage gradually by adding a drop to your regimen every few days.
Knowing your optimal dosage is simple—Stop increasing the dosage as soon as you you start feeling psychoactive effects.
Once you start becoming intoxicated, just take one drop less next time and see if that is your optimal dosage.
Microdosing cannabis flowers (with smoking and vaping)
If you can’t find high-quality cannabis concentrates, or would simply like to microdose cannabis flowers administered through smoking or vaping, here’s how to do it:
Take one puff and hold it in for a few seconds before exhaling. Wait for about 10 minutes to see if this dosage affected you. If not, repeat the puff procedure.
Don’t forget to be patient—To determine your optimal dosage, and especially if you’re doing it for the first time, make sure you don’t draw too often and too much.
Microdosing cannabis edibles
Split the edible into even pieces so that each piece contains 1 mg of THC.
Because the edible must be digested in order for cannabinoids to get released into the bloodstream, determining if this is the appropriate dose for you will take much longer than any other type of consumption method.
It takes about 45 to 90 minutes for a cannabis-infused food to go through the digestion process. So if you do not feel anything after 90 minutes or so, feel free to increase the dosage until you reach your optimal level.
Which conditions are suitable for microdosing?
Cannabis is used for treating numerous different conditions, and not all of them can be treated with the exact same type (or dosage) of cannabis.
Because of this, some conditions are more suitable for microdosing, particularly those that require medicating throughout the day.
Stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain are most often treated by microdosing. A lot of people have also started using very small doses of cannabis to improve their sleeping and focus.
For example, low doses of THC can relieve depression, while higher doses may aggravate it.
When it comes to microdosing weed for depression and anxiety, here’s what you should do:
Choose the right strain. Avoid high-THC strains and go for for 1:1 THC to CBD strains and products.
High CBD strains are also a good idea for these conditions.
If you’re not sure how to choose a medical strain in Canada, you can always use our Strainblazer tool which helps you browse through all strains that are currently on sale in the medical cannabis market.