A growing number of individuals are embracing the common saying that “less is more” when it comes to their cannabis consumption. People who are seeking the positive effects of cannabis such as enhanced creativity, reduced anxiety, and mood-regulation, while also hoping to avoid the adverse side effects like paranoia or “couch lock” are finding that using low to moderate doses of cannabis to be the way to go.
Benefits of Microdosing Cannabis
Finding the most effective dose (lowest dose, greatest effect), will ensure that you’ll not only get the most bang for your buck when buying bud, but you'll also be doing the best for your health. Microdosing cannabis will also help you keep your tolerance low while maximizing the therapeutic effects of cannabis (without ingesting more than what is needed to reach this state). Who doesn’t like saving hard-earned money (and getting more for less)?
If you were to ask Grandma (presuming she's a teetotaler) why she doesn’t like you smoking weed, she'll like harken back to typical "stoner" stereotypes. "Boy, you know the wacky tobacky makes people lazy!" While this stereotype may hold true for some hardcore chronic cannabis users, it's just the opposite for "microdosers." People who microdose report doing so because it helps regulate mood and provides a boost of energy and creativity. These effects are also dependent upon the strain and the differences in how marijuana affects the individual user.
How to Microdose Cannabis
Meet Dr. Dustin Sulak. Sulak is a physician located in Maine who has many years of experience with medicinal cannabis treatment. In a Rolling Stone article, he explained: “I discovered that most people have a certain threshold of cannabis. Below [the threshold] they'll experience a gradual increase in health benefits, and above it, they'll start building tolerance, experiencing diminishing benefits and more side effects, like short term memory loss and clumsiness." Finding that threshold is the most important step to micro-dosing.
But, what is the right amount of cannabis for microdosing? There is no exact answer to this question since. As previously mentioned, everyone is different when it comes to how they react to cannabis. Every person's physiology is unique, so what works for others, may work differently for you.
"What I found works the best is to give someone a starting point and then give them a methodology, a program for titrating from that starting point to determine what works best for them based on their individual goals," says Sulak.
Dr. Sulak says that he typically starts patients on a 1:1 ratio (of THC to CBD), because he finds that to be the most effective for most patients. However, he notes, "If that person had a history years ago, say of having a paranoid reaction to cannabis, then I would go much higher on the CBD and lower on the THC, maybe a 4:1 or even an 8:1."
Dr. Sulak also recommends taking an "herbal holiday" from cannabis -- a 2 to 3-day break from consuming -- every few months. And then ingesting equal parts THC and CBD, preferably in a tincture or oil as it is easier to get precise measurements.
Before consuming, Dr. Sulak says to ask yourself three questions (answering on a scale of one to 10):
- How easy is it to breathe?
- How comfortable and calm does your body feel?
- How easy is it for you to smile authentically, to feel content and grateful?
After ingesting wait 45 minutes and ask yourselves the same questions again. Gradually increase your dosage (by a milligram or two) based on your desired feeling and record that measurement. After enough repetition, you’ll find your sweet spot.
Know Thy Self
You may have had "the experience" as a twenty-something-year-old -- going out to a bar with a group of friends, then after one or two drinks in, you’re feeling social and have a warm buzz going. Wanting to keep this feel-good train moving you take down a few shots over the next hour. Then, bam! It hits you all at once.
Now you’re possibly feeling nauseous, aggressive, and definitely more than a bit loopy. As you become a more experienced consumer of alcohol you learn your limits and figure out when it’s time to cut yourself off or have a glass of water.
You can apply the same logic to cannabis. Low doses can provide the desired effects while high doses can leave you feeling foggy and paranoid. Find the dose that works for you and ingest smarter, not excessively.