If flowers, tinctures, and edibles seem like too much of a cannabis kick, there's a way for you to reap the benefits you want without feeling an intense high in the process.
Shocking your system with cannabis causes an influx of THC to take effect, and sometimes the psychoactive residuals of a large dose can be more disturbing than relaxing. However, microdosing offers a way to alleviate symptoms like stress, anxiety, and pain with relatively small samples of cannabis.
To give you an idea of how this experience works, here's what you need to know about cannabis microdosing and why it's making an impact on the user experience.
What is Cannabis Microdosing?
According to Dustin Sulak, an Osteopathic physician based in Colorado, cannabis microdosing is the process of finding your minimal noticeable response point for cannabis and exercising that amount to increase your sensitivity.
“You are not trying to get stoned, you are not trying to get total relief from symptoms. You are just trying to get a little something. And then once you get to that dose where you feel a little something, stay there for a few days and then you can start gradually increasing if needed. And that typically falls somewhere between one and three milligrams per dose.”
It may sound a bit counterproductive since most people try to get an immediate buzz from their product, but if you follow the right steps, you can actually maximize the sensations and stretch the longevity of your purchase.
How to Microdose with Cannabis Products
Following along with Dr. Salak's advice from above, he recommends that anyone who wants to start fresh with a microdosing approach should undergo a 48-hour period of being cannabis-free. Now one thing to keep in mind is that micro-dosing is a new idea in the cannabis world that has really picked up since many states have begun legalization. Although Dr. Salak’s advice can be beneficial, especially when dealing with long-term chronic illnesses, for recreational purposes you might need to take a little more, and there are ways to do that without having intense feelings of paranoia or anxiety.
For someone who's been consuming cannabis on the regular for years, 2 days might not seem like a long enough stint, but research shows that cannabinoid receptors within the brain revert back to a normal state, even for the most excessive consumers, after that period. That’s important to keep in mind if you are a regular user. Now if you haven’t touched cannabis in weeks, months or even years, but you want to have a dose fun enough to take the edge off but not enough to send you over the edge, there are other ways.
Sulak recommends starting with just 1 milligram and picking up the pace from there as needed. Unless you are using a measure tincture or drink, getting to that milligram range will be a little harder. Moreover, when ingested, cannabinoids break down differently in our bodies depending on our metabolisms.
When microdosing flower or oils, a microdose may be just one puff from a joint, a small bowl, or taking a three second drag from a vape pen. With these methods, you will know the results within seconds, as soon as the cannabinoids hit your lungs on that terpene-rich inhale. You will know whether you are comfortable to take more or not. Give it 10 to 15 minutes before you decide.
If you’re trying to find out your microdose for edibles, it would be wise to start off with a drink. With drinks, you will notice the effects within 5-20 minutes depending on your metabolism, as opposed to edibles which would kick in as fast as 30 minutes or as long as two hours. There are many brands that carry drinks within the 10 milligram range for the entire drink. Start off small, 2.5 milligrams, or a quarter of the drink is a perfect microdose to start off with even for novice users. Within 15 minutes you will know the effects that dose has on your body and can use that as a guide for edibles or tinctures.
What are the benefits of Microdosing?
Don't let the moderation fool you. Just because you're dialing down your intake doesn't mean the effects are any less potent. Here's some knowledge to back up the benefits to microdosing:
A study from the scientific Journal of Pain in 2012 shows that cancer patients who used cannabis as a method of pain relief had better results from a low dose regiment than those who consumed higher doses. The study measured pain tolerances and sleep disruption over a 5 week period for 360 randomized patients. The low-dose groups showed the lowest mean pain and sleep results, and adverse effects were only associated with the high-dose group.
In 2014, another study from the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology ( a super smart book) gave a group of prison inmates small doses of a synthetic cannabinoid called Nabilone to help treat their Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and insomnia. 104 men were tested for an average of 11 weeks. At the beginning of the study, their daily dosage of Nabilone was 1.4 milligrams, and by the end, their final dose was increased to 4 milligrams. With moderate doses distributed, all the subjects showed great improvements with nightmares, insomnia, and PTSD.
“If I see someone with multiple sclerosis who is in the middle of a flare-up and having a really hard time, she may need a higher dose to get the symptoms under control,” Sulak explains. “But as she gets well and heals, her daily dose will go down and down and down, until the point where microdosing becomes a maintenance plan.”
Microdose with Blüm
Small amounts can lead to major gains, so if you're interested in cutting back your cannabis intake for a more potent experience, try microdosing with us.
Whether you like pre-rolls, tinctures, edibles, or concentrates, Blüm provides you with a variety of resources for experimentation. The next time you feel the urge to take a large hit, take a moment to scale back and ease yourself into a tranquil state.