Microdosing is the practice of semi-regularly taking tiny doses of psychotropic drugs such as mushrooms, LSD, or cannabis. The idea is to take enough to enjoy the effects but not enough to experience an overly intense high. While the term was previously more associated with hallucinogenic drugs, it has become an increasingly popular intake method for recreational and medical cannabis users.
Reasons for microdosing vary. Some people do it to aid in decreasing stress and anxiety. Others say the method helps spur creativity. People with clinical depression and various mental health symptoms also report relief by implementing the practice. If you're new to microdosing cannabis, it's important to understand how to adjust your intake to get the desired effects.
A Brief History of Microdosing
Researchers dispute the origin of microdosing. Some theories date the practice back to the Aztecs, while others credit Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, whose organization the International Federation for Internal Freedom was among the first to studiously explore psychedelics' effects on the mind and body.
In 2011, James Fadiman's book "The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys," presented a manual on how to safely microdose. The trend caught on quickly, especially among the "mind-hacker" crowd in Silicon Valley, and began spreading. Arguably, the publication of Ayelet Waldman's 2016 book, "A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life" introduced the concept of microdosing to an even wider mainstream audience.
When done correctly, microdosing marijuana doesn't trigger a perception-altering state. You won't feel like you would after using a higher dose of your desired cannabis format. Instead, microdosing provides a noticeable increase in focus and flow state and a decrease in stress and anxiety.
Ultimately, microdosing enthusiasts aim to feel more comfortable and improve their mental health. Additionally, the process can help some people pinpoint ideal dosages and conform to the consumption motto of "start low and go slow."
Experienced users may microdose when trying new strains and products to monitor their bodies' reactions. It's also an effective method for regulating tolerance levels to ensure long-term cannabis enjoyment.
Benefits of Microdosing
Microdosing cannabinoids has become increasingly popular as more states green light recreational and medical marijuana laws. Some practitioners have reported:
- Diminished symptoms associated with stress
- Improved emotional balance
- Reduced inflammation
- Relief from indigestion issues
Another positive study published on the National Library of Medicine's website found that frequent low doses of THC appeared to reverse age-related memory loss in mature mice. Furthermore, a 2020 research initiative exploring controlled cannabis consumption concluded that statistically significant numbers of participants with chronic pain enjoyed relief through microdosing THC and CBD.
How Much Is a Microdose of THC?
What constitutes a microdose of cannabis? Several factors impact the answer for each individual, including:
- Past cannabis usage
- Natural tolerance levels
- Genetics and body chemistry
- Product type and potency
- The ratio of THC to CBD
Generally, lower-dose THC products contain between 1 and 5 milligrams. Long-term users with higher tolerances may be comfortable at the 10mg microdosing level. Most guides recommend starting with a 2.5mg dose and adjusting up or down from there. When testing to establish your ideal amount, wait at least two hours between doses to see the full effects.
Popular Cannabis Microdosing Methods
Are you wondering how to microdose cannabis? While vapes are great for telecommuters and days off, it's not always an option for those who work outside the home. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options are available.
Edibles are a popular microdosing method because they're discreet. Moreover, home bakers have complete control over the amount of cannabis they ingest.
But don't microdose edibles for the first time outside of the house. If you have an adverse reaction, getting home may become difficult. Plus, the situation could lead to more significant problems.
Microdosing THC Oils
CBD and THC oils and tinctures are another standard delivery method. You can find them at dispensaries or online, and flavors abound — as do dose options. Most come with a pipet, and users can place a couple of drops under their tongues a few times a day.
If you plan to carry around oil in a backpack or purse, place the bottle in a zip-lock baggie or a closable pouch to avoid catastrophe in the event of spillage.
Microdosing THC Beverages
Sipping low-dose THC or CBD beverages is another convenient way to microdose cannabis. Either make your own or buy one of the many options available in cannabis-friendly jurisdictions. As always, monitor your consumption. Your drink is enhanced, so don't mindlessly down the entire thing in a fit of dehydration.
Many people swear by microdosing and credit the practice for improving their lives. If you give it a shot, remember that potency levels significantly vary between brands, so exercise caution when sampling new products.