You can forgive yourself for thinking the concept of “flying too close to the sun” didn’t exist in the weed world. It’s a scene seemingly obsessed with potency, getting higher, and then dealing with the consequences after.
In reality, this is a little bit too much for most potential weed smokers. Wouldn’t it be great if we could reap the benefits of weed’s active compounds without having to risk turning up to meetings “strung out?”
The truth is - you already can.
Recently, there’s been a surge of cannabis enthusiasts who are saying no to cottonmouth, heart palpitations, and paranoia. Interestingly, they’re also refusing to give up the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of weed.
How are they doing it? Well, first of all – easily.
Micro-dosing is simple, and that’s only one part of its charm. Unlike regular dosing (macrodosing,) micro-dosing involves only consuming enough substance to produce a perceptible effect without tipping over into the psychedelic realm. In short, you get to reap the benefits of weed without having to experience a high.
Most micro-dosers credit their smaller doses with helping them get through their day by sharpening focus, improving sleep quality, and alleviating pain. These benefits are in stark contrast to “macro-dosers” who often experience trouble completing day-to-day tasks while high.
Does micro-dosing work?
Micro-dosing is typically associated with hallucinogens such as LSD or psilocybin in the past. While micro-dosing proved effective for more potent, mind-altering drugs, there was some doubt surrounding cannabis as a micro-dosing contender. After some consideration, experts now believe that the threshold for the medical benefits of THC is far lower than many people think.
Empirical research on the horizon
In fact, developing research has shown that there may be an “optimal opening” for medicinal benefits in regards to cannabis dosage. In a study published by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, participants experienced greater stress-relieving effects from 7.5 milligrams of THC than 12.5 milligrams.
More recently, in 2020, Israeli med-tech company, Synge Medical, conducted the first clinical trial that proves low and precise THC doses can effectively relieve pain while avoiding the common side effects associated with cannabis use.
What’s the optimal micro-dosing dosage?
Like most questions asked about weed, the resounding answer is simply – it depends. There’s no universal dosage that works for everyone. Finding the magic number depends on your tolerance, consumption method, and your endocannabinoid system.
A “go slow” mentality is the best policy when it comes to harnessing the plant’s therapeutic properties, and most seasoned micro-dosers claim a 1:1 THC and CBD ratio is an excellent place to start.
For regular consumers, a typical micro-dose can range between 2.5 and 10 milligrams of THC. Beginners should aim for the lower half of this range, preferably starting with 2.5 milligrams.
While first-time micro-dosers should be fine to dive right in, some experts recommend an initial 48-hour period of abstinence to regular weed users.
During these two days, your endocannabinoid system should completely reset. Brain imaging studies have indicated that even in heavy smokers, endocannabinoid receptors bounce back to baseline levels after just two days.
Note: For consistent results, micro-dosers should schedule regular abstinence days (1 to 2 times a week) to ensure their systems don’t become tolerant to micro dosages.
The best micro-dosing strategy?
Since most micro-dosers plan to micro-dose throughout the day, whether they’re on the go or stuck at home, they’ll naturally prefer more discrete micro-dosing methods. However, even the smallest amount of CBD or THC gives off a distinct odour that’s immediately recognisable as cannabis.
Instead of risking turning up to work smelling like a group session, most will resort to the following tactics:
Tinctures: Tinctures are oily concentrates of weed’s active compounds. Tinctures work using droppers to deposit one or two drops above or below the tongue. Or, you can add them to goods/ointments/creams. Tincture users are aware that they’re dealing with a concentrated, potent substance and that they’ll need to be cautious about dosing to avoid unwanted side effects.
Edibles: Edibles are the fastest-growing micro-dosing option due to their discrete, portable, accurate, and often delicious benefits. Gummies, chocolates, jellies, honey, and teas are just some favourite micro-dosing goods. If you want precise, slow-burning, and tasty doses that you can consume throughout the day (without raising suspicion) – edibles are for you.
Smoking or vaping: Inhaling micro-doses is just that little bit trickier than other methods. First of all, many processes and variables go into the smoking/vaping process. Even just a 10-degree temperature difference can take your micro-dose from soothing to paranoia-inducing. Moreover, it’s hard to determine what exactly comprises one dose while inhaling. So, it’s best to experiment to find exactly what works for you.
This is where calibrated pens come into play. They vibrate when you’ve inhaled enough for one dose, letting you know when to stop and start.
The best approach to micro-dosing is to take it slow. You may not yet know how your body will react to micro-dosing under different circumstances. Consequently, becoming a micro-dose involves cultivating an intuition around how your body handles cannabis doses.
The Final Word
While you may have to be discrete, to begin with, cultural acceptance of micro-dosing is growing at a lightning-pace. Due to the word’s traditional association with more potent drugs, cannabis micro-dosers still face an uphill battle when spreading the word of the harmful plant that causes little to no harm when consumed in moderation. And now that you know the ins and outs of micro-dosing, you can get to enjoying its benefits and share the good news!