The Biphasic Effects of Cannabis Explained

July 11, 2019

Cannabis dosing can be tricky sometimes, and getting the perfect dose can take a little trial and error — especially if you smoke. But does it really matter if you get it wrong?  Can different doses make you feel completely different? If you’ve been curious about the biphasic effect of cannabis, keep reading because this article is for you.

The Biphasic Effect of Cannabis

Why is it that some people can take one hit of cannabis and feel relaxed, but smoke a whole joint and feel anxious and paranoid? It’s because cannabis has what’s known as a biphasic effect. That means it can feel very different at low doses than it does at high doses.

biphasic bud in grinder

Other substances also have this effect, most notably alcohol. You probably know someone who can have one cocktail and feel happy and social, but after a few more they are crying on your shoulder, right? That’s the biphasic effect rearing its ugly head. Even though cannabis can be biphasic, it's not always a bad thing, and you can learn to harness it for your own benefit!

The Biphasic Effect of Cannabis Explained

When a compound has a biphasic effect, it can bring about a sense of relief in small doses but amplify what you want to relieve with higher doses. Yikes! Anxiety is the most common problem that’s sometimes increased with large doses of THC in particular. That’s because THC has so much psychoactive potential.

biphasic cannabinoid molecules

The biphasic effect is more subtle with CBD. People often find that small doses of CBD produce a clear and focused head that’s calm and ready to face the day, while larger doses are more sedating and work well in the evening before bedtime.

How to Deal With The Biphasic Effect

So what do you do if you want to avoid any unwanted effects when using cannabis? The answer is to start low and go slow. This means you should start with the lowest dose possible, often only a milligram or two of THC or CBD. Wait until you feel the effects, and then continue to dose until you get where you want to be.

Taking doses between 3-10 milligrams is considered microdosing, and is popular with those who want to reap the benefits without feeling too sedated or anxious. People report a positive mood, less anxiety, and reduced pain at these levels, without unwanted side effects.

biphasic packed bowl

Since we all have different brain chemistry, cannabis has a slightly different effect on everybody. It’s a good idea to do a little trial and error to learn how you react to specific doses and find what works for you. Even if your tolerance is a bit higher than most, try not to overdo it.

Everyone has a ceiling at which the endocannabinoid system becomes oversaturated and will turn off receptors until it can regain balance. Your endocannabinoid system works to find homeostasis, and you can help it get there with the right dose.

Final Thoughts

Discovering what feels right will include a combination of titrating your dosage over a few weeks and experimenting with the correct ratio of THC and CBD. It’s an individual process, so don’t get discouraged if what works for your friend doesn’t work for you. Have some fun experimenting with different cannabis products until you find your sweet spot. And enjoy the journey!

Looking for premium cannabis products? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Tacoma dispensary online menu and find something that gets you to the perfect level of elevation.

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