Microdosing Cannabis: Benefits Without the Buzz
Across states where both medical and recreational cannabis have been legalized, it is usually the strains with the highest percentage of THC that get the most attention. While more attention is being given to the medical benefits of high-CBD strains, THC remains where it’s at when it comes to most growers and breeders of cannabis.
But not everyone wants to get high, and sometimes it’s THC that’s needed for a particular issue, not CBD. With that in mind, there is a growing segment of the marijuana-consuming population that believes less is more when it comes to cannabis dosing.
The technique, called “microdosing”, is gaining popularity among those who wish to reap the medical benefits of THC but stay under the psychoactive threshold.
What is Microdosing?
Simply put, microdosing is using very small amounts of marijuana. This allows a person to get the medical benefits of the THC in marijuana without crossing that threshold where you begin to feel the psychoactive effects of the drug.
While microdosing is typically associated with drugs such as mushrooms or LSD, many experts are beginning to believe the threshold of THC efficacy for many conditions is much lower than many people think. This may be especially true for people who get anxiety and paranoia from too much THC.
When it comes to pain control, lower doses may be more effective as well. The Journal of Pain published a study that took a small group of cancer patients who were not finding relief with traditional opiate pain relievers. This group was given a CBD/THC compound called nabiximols. The doses ranged from low to medium or high.
Those who were given the lowest dose reported the most relief. Conversely, those given the high dose reported more pain.
What is the Dosing of a Microdose?
This depends entirely on the individual. To someone who is used to cannabis, they may need more than someone new to treating ailments with THC. Previous usage, liver metabolism, and genetics of cannabinoid receptors can all affect the amount needed to microdose.
An effective microdose is an amount that gives the benefit without kicking the user over too far into a high. Using dry herb vaporizers can help you create very fine dosing measurements, so you may need to invest in these before giving it a try.
For absolute beginners, starting out at a dose of 2.5 milligrams and maintaining that for a few days before increasing can be a good starting point. If you already use cannabis regularly, it might be a good idea to do a 48-hour fast from cannabis before evaluating whether you will benefit from microdosing.
While that might not seem like a long time for heavy users, studies indicate that just two (2) short days can reset a person’s endocannabinoid receptors back to baseline.
Ways to Microdose Cannabis
This is one of the easier ways to measure dosing when wanting to try the benefits of microdosing cannabis. It is also the most appealing method of ingestion and most non-smokers are preferring edibles from marijuana dispensaries. However, the tradeoff is that an edible will take longer to take effect than smoking or vaporizing.
Microdosing using a vaporizer makes it much easier to manage dosage versus smoking. It might also be the healthier option. Because vaporizing allows more of the active cannabinoids – the THC – to be activated, you typically need even smaller amounts than traditional smoking. Using dry herb vaporizers or a vape capable of using concentrates can be preferred to smoking.
Microdosing may refer primarily to THC, but when it comes to cannabis, one may obtain optimal benefit by combining the THC with a small dose of CBD as well. The two (2) compounds work well together in what has been termed “the entourage effect.” By adding CBD to THC, the psychoactive effects might be lessened which broadens the therapeutic window.
Microdosing may be the future of therapeutic THC consumption. While there will always be room for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, those using it for the medicinal benefit may not want to be bogged down while working or going about day-to-day activities. Microdosing may be the best way to achieve nominal functionality while reaping a medical benefit.
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