September 3, 2021 6 min read
This story originally appeared on Emjay
It’s payday and you’re ready to indulge. You open up the Emjay app and start scrolling. Skip to the flower and sort by strain, feels like an indica kind of day. You look over the offerings and land on the most potent, pushing 30% THC. Perfect for your weekend plans, which involve binging Great British Baking Show, sweatpants, and a whole lot of carryout. You add it to your cart and prepare for an epic weekend.
Monday hits and you’ve got a mood to match. While you pull-on pants for the first time in 48 hours you wonder if there’s another option. Not for the pants, your coworkers have been pretty clear about that. But, you might be able to improve your mood without stretchy pants, using a cannabis consumption technique called microdosing.
What is microdosing?
As recreational cannabis has increased in popularity, it seems like the latest and greatest products are always aimed at being as potent as possible. Obviously, we’re totally here for getting super baked and zoning out on some light-hearted British reality shows, but unfortunately, that’s not always an option. Microdosing is an alternative with the potential to transform your day from average to amazing.
Microdosing isn’t a new concept and the medical community has been studying its value in a variety of clinical settings for years. Basically, you take very low doses of a substance or medication more frequently. When you microdose cannabis, you never actually expose yourself to enough THC to get that full-body high that can potentially impede productivity. You use just enough to create a cellular response that can provide beneficial reactions like decreased stress and anxiety without leaving you glued to your couch.
How do I microdose cannabis?
Because individual reactions to cannabis can vary based on tolerance, metabolism, and brain chemistry (among other things), the amount you use for microdosing will vary, but the technique is more or less the same. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to find your microdosing sweet spot.
- Start low and wait. Remember that the goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal noticeable effect. We recommend starting with 2 or 3 mg. Maintain this dose every two hours for 24 hours and see if you notice anything. Increase individual doses by 1 mg each day until you have mild but noticeable effects. Maintain that dose for 4 days, if you notice a decrease in positive effects after 4 days, increase by 1mg and try again.
- Keep experimenting until you find the dose that works for you. An average “dose” of cannabis is considered to be about 10mg. For many, microdosing will involve taking a dose lower than this, but for some, it may require 10mg or more.
- How do I measure a “dose”? It’s easier to measure the THC levels if you’re using tinctures, edibles, or sublingual mints, as many come pre-measured in 5 or 10mg doses. But if you prefer flower you can try using a one-hitter to measure doses rather than focusing on a precise THC measurement.
- If you’re a frequent cannabis user, we recommend abstaining for 48 hours before attempting to find your microdosing sweet spot. This gives the body enough time to reset your endocannabinoid system so you’re getting a clear picture of your body’s reaction to microdosing. Again, the idea is to use the lowest dose possible to achieve positive results, so you need to start with a clean slate, so to speak.
What are low-dose cannabis products?
Low-dose products usually range from between 1mg to 5mg of THC. You’ll commonly see them in edibles like gummies, chocolates, mints, and more. That said, potency levels can vary greatly between brands so it’s always a good idea to start small and work your way up. Be sure to wait around 2 hours to see the full effects when trying a new brand or product. Then you can increase or decrease dosage based on your reaction.
Why should I microdose weed?
Microdosing is a new way to utilize and appreciate the many benefits of cannabis. While you can certainly use high doses of cannabis to relax, unwind, and explore the cosmos from your couch, microdosing is more like taking a daily vitamin. The THC isn’t meant to get you high, it’s simply meant to alter your brain chemistry enough to leave you in a more positive, creative, and productive state.
When you microdose, you can feel comfortable consuming between work calls, out grocery shopping, or anytime your anxiety comes calling because you won’t have the same psychoactive feelings of a full dose. This is especially useful for anyone who uses cannabis to help with anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, or anything body-related but isn’t looking for a “high” so to speak.
Just to be clear, microdosing cannabis is a relatively new concept in the clinical world, so research has been pretty limited. A couple preliminary studies with positive results have shown that microdosing THC was more effective in treating chronic pain in cancer patients and that microdosing THC was effective in treating PTSD-associated insomnia, nightmares, and general symptoms.
Can I microdose cannabis without using edibles?
Because our bodies process THC differently depending on if we inhale or ingest it, some people prefer smoking over edibles, and vice versa. When you eat an edible, you have to wait for your body to digest it for the THC to enter your bloodstream and be processed by the liver. When you smoke, it almost immediately enters the bloodstream and heads to the brain through receptors in your lungs. Both have their benefits, and it often just comes down to personal preference.
If you’re interested in microdosing but don’t enjoy edibles, we recommend trying one of these vape pens from Dosist. They provide a measured dose each time, allowing you to more accurately gauge your intake. If you’re strictly an old-school joint or bowl smoker, we recommend a small pipe or one-hitter that would allow for small, measured tokes.