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What Is Microdosing Cannabis And Can It Treat My Health Issues?

  • by Alfonso Colasuonno

Summary

Microdosing refers to utilizing small, non-psychoactive amounts of cannabis in order to treat medical symptoms. It may or may not be right for you, depending on your specific conditions and needs.

Introduction

The term microdosing has appeared with increasing frequency on social media, in pop culture, and throughout general wellness and mental health circles.

Medically speaking, it means to consume a small amount of a substance, then gradually increase the dose in order to achieve a desired effect, such as microdosing for anxiety reduction.

As more states legalize cannabis and
peoples’ curiosity and approval grow, a market for THC microdosing essentials has emerged.

We’ve researched the science—emerging healthcare industry developments and vital dosage information—to guide you through the process and ensure that you'll never have to ask the question "What is microdosing?" ever again. 

Cannabis and Your Body’s Physiological Processes

Cannabis is a complex plant with over 400 chemical compounds, 60 of which are cannabinoids.

Recreational cannabis use can produce effects such as
light-headedness, increased appetite, feelings of relaxation, and reduced blood pressure.

While such effects may be mild and temporary, feeling intoxicated (the sub-perceptual effect) may prove uncomfortable or inappropriate for those who wish to simply obtain medicinal benefits. 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound, while delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

In states where medicinal cannabis consumption is legal, several small storefronts have emerged selling all manner of CBD products, from oils and tinctures to infused water.

CBD and THC both have the same molecular structure and are similar on a chemical level to your body’s built-in endocannabinoids; however, the arrangement of these atoms varies, which allows them to interact differently with your body’s cannabinoid receptors.

Because CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn’t have as many adverse effects, microdosing with CBD and other cannabinoids apart from THC is unnecessary. 

What Is Microdosing Effective For Medicinally?

The effects of medicinal cannabis remain the subject of significant research. Cannabis is currently used to treat psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD as well as physical symptoms like gut pain, migraines, and PMS. Although pharmaceuticals exist to treat these conditions, they are often not without unpleasant side effects.

For example, while treatment options for depression and anxiety have improved dramatically over the course of the past decade, medication and counseling are not equally effective for everyone. 

In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, antidepressants proved just 40-60% effective at managing symptoms. For some patients, a more holistic approach may be needed, one where microdosing for anxiety and other conditions may be quite beneficial. 

Microdosing Art Print by Goldleaf, Designed by Haiikuu

THC Microdosing Methodology

If the thought of medicinal benefits without the overwhelming psychoactive effects of THC seems like an attractive proposition, then microdosing might be for you.

Generally speaking, there are several ways to consume THC, including smoking, vaping (flower or oil), edibles, and dabs. 

  • When smoking, inhale for no more than two seconds and immediately exhale without holding it in the lungs. Wait approximately ten minutes before consuming more. Once you achieve the desired state, cease consumption. 
  • If you’re vaping flower or oil, set the vape pen or other device to a low heat setting, inhale for two seconds and exhale immediately. Wait about ten minutes before inhaling again. Once you reach your desired amount, don’t inhale more.
  • Edibles are tricky to microdose with, but if they prove to be a more convenient option you can make them yourself by starting with 2.5 mg of THC. Even if you don’t feel anything, wait a minimum of twenty-four hours before trying again. You can increase or decrease the dose by 1 mg as needed. If you’re adept at dessert making, you can try making hard candies instead of baked goods as it’ll be easier to control the dosage. 
  • Finally, dabs aren’t recommended for novice consumers because they’re difficult to microdose with. If novice consumers are intent on using dabs, someone more experienced should guide them through the process. 

You might need to experiment with different methods to see which one is right for you.

If any of these methods produce an unintended effect or you worry that you may have accidentally consumed too much, simply reduce the amount until you find a happy medium. 

Interested in comparing delivery methods for your cannabis therapy? Read our article on this subject.

Additional Research & Sources:

MacCallum, Caroline & Russo, Ethan. (2018). Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 49. 10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.004.

Research by Emma Chasen

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