When it comes to medical marijuana, sometimes more isn’t better.
The concept of microdosing isn’t a new one, though it wasn’t until very recently that it has become popular among medical marijuana patients. If you’re wondering how microdosing marijuana can help you get the relief you’re after, continue on below for all you need to know to get started!
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is really just a fancy way of saying: Use as little of a given compound as possible to achieve your desired effect.
Microdosing doesn’t just save patients money. When microdosing marijuana is put into practice effectively, users can enjoy the benefits of high-potency cannabis while minimizing the psychoactive effects that can get in the way of the rest of their day.
How Much Marijuana Should You Use?
The amount of medical marijuana used when microdosing will vary from person to person. Depending on a user’s tolerance, condition, and individual physiology, what may work well for them may be ineffective for another or produce unwanted effects.
According to osteopathic physician, Dr. Dustin Sulak:
The goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal noticeable effect.
According to Leafly, a good starting point for most medical marijuana patients interested in trying microdosing is to start off at between 1 and 2.5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and stick with that dosage for at least 3 days. Slowly increase your dosage from there, in 1 mg. increments, until you begin to feel the medication’s effects. Once you’ve reached this point, you should stick with that dose for at least four days. If at this point, you continue to feel relief, then there’s no need to increase your dose further.
In the same interview, Sulak goes on to recommend that patients who have built up a tolerance to cannabis undergo an initial two-day period without using cannabis, before beginning a microdosing regiment.
What Methods Work Best?
When it comes to the plethora of legal cannabis products out there, not all are well suited to microdosing.
Microdosing while vaping or smoking medical marijuana is possible, though it may prove difficult to keep dosing consistent. Taking a single puff and waiting to see if you get the desired effect may work, but you never really know exactly how much cannabinoids you are taking in. Because of this, recreating the desired effect later on while microdosing may be difficult.
Legal cannabis products such as edibles, oils, and tinctures are much better suited to microdosing since it is much easier to control your dosage. (Note: At the time of publication, edibles are still prohibited in Florida.) When looking for these products at your local dispensary, try to find ones dosed more conservatively, to make microdosing even easier. A tincture containing 5 mg. of THC per mL. will be much easier to microdose with than say a tincture with 20 mg.
What Conditions Respond Best?
Higher doses of marijuana can sometimes lead to difficulty concentrating and anxiety; that’s why conditions such as depression, anxiety, and pain are especially well suited to microdosing. Not a lot of research has been completed in this area, but anecdotally many patients are beginning to find better success with microdosing than when taking larger doses of marijuana.
In one study conducted with cancer patients who were unresponsive to traditional pain management strategies, low, medium, and high doses of Nabiximols (a cannabis-based medication) were administered. In the group of patients who received the lowest doses, the greatest reduction in pain was achieved. In the higher dose group, the pain was actually made worse.
Another study done on patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showed that a low dose of the synthetic cannabinoid Nabilone was able to relieve their symptoms of PTSD, while also helping with insomnia, nightmares, and even pain.
Microdosing: THC VS. CBD
So far, we’ve mostly touched on how microdosing cannabis, and THC specifically, may provide better results than higher doses. But what about cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD and THC appear to have similar applications, with patients reporting success in both relieving symptoms from a variety of conditions. Research shows that CBD may be particularly beneficial in patients suffering from:
If you’re interested in microdosing THC and CBD simultaneously, Sulak recommends keeping to a 1:1 ratio and beginning with just 1 mg. of each. After a few days of maintaining this dose, Sulak recommends increasing each by 1 mg. until you notice symptom relief. By following this protocol, you will be able to work up to the lowest effective dose for your condition, thus minimizing any potential unwanted effects.