How to Microdose Marijuana

Microdosing marijuana involves using the smallest possible amount of the compound to achieve the desired effect, which can help patients save money and enjoy the benefits of cannabis while minimizing its psychoactive effects. The amount used varies from person to person, but a common starting point is between 1 and 2.5 milligrams of THC, gradually increased until the desired effect is achieved. Certain methods, such as using edibles, oils, and tinctures, are more suited to microdosing due to their easier dosage control. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and pain respond well to microdosing, and both THC and CBD can be microdosed for a variety of conditions, with a 1:1 ratio recommended for simultaneous use.
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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?

The concept of microdosing is pretty simple. It just refers to taking small amounts of cannabis, usually frequently throughout the day.

The premise behind marijuana microdosing is equally straightforward. Instead of overwhelming the endocannabinoid system with more cannabinoids than it needs, the thinking goes: Why not provide smaller doses designed to kickstart the body’s own endocannabinoid production? Endocannabinoids like anandamide, after all, are what really keep pain and inflammation at bay.

What are the Benefits of Microdosing?

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. Not to mention, it also saves patients money!

How Much Marijuana Should You Use to Microdose?

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 Microdosing Methods Work Best?

Legal cannabis products such as edibles, oils, and tinctures are ideal for microdosing since it is much easier to control your dosage. 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.

Can You Microdose By Smoking?

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.

What Conditions Respond Best to Microdosing?

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.


When it comes to cannabis dosing, more isn’t always better. In fact, the very best dose of cannabis might be the dose you don’t immediately feel at all!

That’s according to a study put out by Syque Medical, a Tel Aviv-based medical cannabis company. Published only recently, in May of 2020, this clinical trial is the first to show that microdoses of cannabis can be just as effective as much higher doses.

Before getting into the study itself, though, let’s go over the basics.

Microdosing with THC

According to those close to the study, these findings indicate that it really is possible to get the best of both worlds. As Syqe Medical’s CEO, Perry Davidson, explains to The Times of Israel:

It’s about using the smallest amount of the drug to get the highest symptom relief, lowest side-effects and best quality of life.

And getting the best of both worlds also means avoiding unwanted side effects. According to Davidson:

Cannabis use usually comes with side effects. [We’ve] found that a microdose can give significant pain relief, similar to the pain relief from smoking cannabis, but has close to no side effects which makes it a better way of dosing.

Microdosing THC also allows one to avoid the infamous THC-induced high — at least in part. Indeed, most patients given .5mg of THC felt almost nothing (save for some pain relief, of course!).

Microdosing with CBD

More good news: The benefits of microdosing don’t stop with THC!

CBD microdosing may allow for reduced pain and inflammation in the absence of side effects, too. Patients also report that CBD microdosing may combat anxiety and depression.

Here’s to hoping that studies begin to uncover more CBD-specific benefits soon!

Microdosing study: Important findings

Syqe Medical’s scientists set out to learn more about microdosing. They gave 27 patients with chronic pain (reporting pain levels of at least six out of 10) one of the following treatment options:

  • .5mg of inhaled THC
  • 1mg of inhaled THC
  • Placebo containing no THC at all

Patients didn’t know what dosage they were getting.

When the study was complete, the 1mg THC group’s plasma THC levels peaked at over twice the .5mg group’s, implying that higher THC intake may facilitate slightly higher THC absorption. But interestingly, while the 1mg THC group also experienced side effects more than twice as intense, they didn’t experience twice the pain relief — the two groups reported 39% and 25% reductions, respectively.

Both doses resulted in a notable reduction in pain intensity: 63.64% of the patients in 0.5 mg dose, and more than 69.57% of the patients in 1.0 mg dose, demonstrated at least 2‐points reduction in pain scores.

Translation? Higher THC doses aren’t always necessary to alleviate pain.

Updated: May 23, 2024

Article Written By: ,

Jeremy Campbell

Jeremy is a professional writer specializing in medical cannabis and alternative health reporting.


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