First, a definition: A microdose is considered a dose at or just below the lowest dose of the cannabis product that creates a perceptible effect, generally at or just below the point where you say “Oh, I feel that.”
This level is different for every user, so the first thing those interested in microdosing should do is figure out their lowest threshold.
Some recommend starting anywhere between 1 and 10 mg per dose, though 2-5 mg also seems common.
Ask 10 people how to start microdosing, and they may all say ‘start low and take it slow,’ gradually increasing dosage until you start to feel something, then stay with that dose for a week and adjust as necessary.
What’s the point of this threshold? Some users find smaller amounts of cannabis to be helpful with anxiety, chronic pain, stress, ADHD, nausea, insomnia, inflammation, and indigestion. Regular mood and emotional enhancements are often reported.
Slightly altered mood and increased creativity are the most encouraging benefits, rather than getting fully high.
There is even medical research that suggests low doses of THC can reverse age-related memory loss (so far just in mice, but interesting regardless).
The idea behind microdosing comes from the biphasic effect of cannabis. Think about alcohol: drink a few beers and you’ll start to feel relaxed, sociable, and happy. More beer can cause you to become anti-social, dizzy, out of balance, even violent.
Though the effects of cannabis aren’t generally as dramatic or extreme as booze, low doses can make you relaxed, happy, and reduce symptoms of many diseases.
Too much can impair cognitive function or even cause anxiety. The trick is finding the sweet spot.
Regular microdosers generally report that they get consistent beneficial results throughout the day, rather than a “stoned” spike, followed by possible paranoia or dips in motivation.
Though people have been treating and using cannabis as medicine for 5,000 years, current users don’t always think of it that way.
Take the advice from the Pen Ts’ao (The Herbal), the earliest published Chinese pharmacopoeia (circa 2700 B.C.E.), which warned that consuming too many cannabis seeds can cause you to see demons. Moderate doses can cause allow communication with spirits.
Many manufacturers are starting to include microdose information on packaging.
As with anything, talk to a budtender for recommendations. Or, if microdosing seems worth trying, mention it to your doctor and make sure it won’t interfere with any prescription medications.
If you’re already a regular cannabis user, try taking a break of a week or two from any use, then introduce smaller quantities.
Microdose fans may have more options in 2019 as some consumers are moving away from higher THC/more potent strains. Instead, there’s a push for more directed uses of cannabis and extracts, including more complex terpene and cannabinoid products.
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