The Essential Guide to Microdosing Marijuana
Every cannabis smoker will never forget the first time they blacked out. It usually starts with a friend leaving you too much weed to smoke. As a newbie, you don’t even know your ideal dosage so you end up getting thoroughly stoned.
In my personal experience, a friend left me a thick joint, which got the best of me. Because of my delayed THC high, I got very stoned after some time. It’s not a surprise that this is what most newbies go through as they learn the ropes of consuming weed. This phenomenon is so common that an idiom has been made just to explain it. “Maureen Dowd-ed” was essentially coined after an inexperienced columnist had far too much of an edible helping. She then lay paralyzed on a hotel floor, struck with paranoia.
Except the common ‘stoner’ stereotypes, weed users are getting more and more advanced as the industry evolves. For instance, weed consumers no longer have to wait to indulge in cannabis as they can do that with microdosing, a method that allows them to partake small doses of cannabis to dramatically enhance their daily lives.
Although it’s a recent concept in the cannabis world, microdosing appeals to me in a great way. Before we try to unpack the benefits of microdosing, let’s first understand what it is. A microdose is defined as the lowest dose of a psychedelic that creates an effect that can be perceived by the drug consumer. It’s technically a dose that’s just below the threshold dose that markedly influences your mood or mindset. A microdose gives you a subtle sub-perceptual effect. In the case of cannabis, it’s widely described as a sensation that mirrors the indulgence of past eras, like the Second Wave.
So, why does microdosing seem to make so much sense for me?
In most places where weed is illegal, there’s a general lack of information about reliable dosages and ingredients that are essential for users who consume the drugs for a specific purpose. Many times I’ve needed to experience subtle sub-perceptual effects but couldn’t. With microdosing, I’m now able to do so.
Given my circumstances, microdosing empowers me to achieve the sub-perceptual subtleties.
With microdosing, you don’t need to deal with psychoactivity that comes with a full dose. Psychoactive effects include social anxiety and lethargy. For microdosers, they don’t have such psychoactive effects to deal with so they can comfortably go about their daily tasks. Microdosing is described by an edibles manufacturer as “body functional and mind free”, as the beneficial effects can be felt without any freak-outs.
According to Mashable, microdosing can be described as a world away from garage bong passers.
For microdosers, I recommend they start with five milligrams. However, it’s important to note that this is my recommendation and there will always be a lot of individual variations and circumstances. For instance, Jeffrey Zucker, a weed investor, told High Times that he recommends sub 5 milligrams doses. This doesn’t vary widely from the 10 milligrams that are promoted as the typical dose for novice weed smokers. An edibles maker has gone even further to investigate the matter based on gender. He stated that 2-3 mg is enough for women.
Before you even think of microdosing, it’s important to consider the cannabis strain that you’ll be using. Indicas are known for their sedative properties while Sativas are more energizing. Weed variations, as we know them, don’t stop there. Sometimes we need to consider other aspects like mood, body type, appetite, tolerance, or even daily routines like sleep habits.
To find what works for you, you’ll need to embark on some trial and error exercises, but the most important thing is to take things slow and do an experiment at your own pace.
When it comes to medical professionals, they mostly tell their clients to take low doses in order to get the best results. Essentially, cannabis is bi-modal, meaning that it delivers one effect at a time when taken in low doses. The opposite is also true. The three delivery methods for microdosing are ingestion, combustion and vaporizing.
Let’s start with combustion as it’s the most popular.
It involves the use of pipes or joints and it is one of the easiest ways to get started. However, it’s not one of the cleanest methods and it is not the least expensive. Combustion is a fairly expensive method of delivery. One other thing that you’ll have to notice with combustion is that it doesn’t give you dosage control. With combustion, you won’t be surprised to see one toke taking you way above your desired microdose. Combustion also seems to harbour economic concerns especially after one study revealed that 90% of combusted cannabis had no terpenes or cannabinoids.
In the US & Canada, the THC levels vary widely, from lows of 3% to highs of 30%. The average THC level is 10%.
With these statistics, it’s easy to know the THC strength of the weed you’re smoking. You simply evaluate one gram, dividing the THC percentage into 1000 to get the per/mg amount. (1gram=1000 milligrams) If this sounds too difficult or tedious for you, an online marijuana dosage calculator is available and ready to use. The only catch is, you’ll need to enrol for a ten-minute class on online dosing in order to get access to the calculator. Invented by Cheri So card, the ‘online dosing class’ is free of charge.
It’s a decent delivery method especially when you’re considering microdosing. First, vaporizing helps you to avoid harmful carcinogens.
Additionally, it allows you to have a precise microdose.
Fortunately, there are a lot of materials online that you can read in order to get to know the various vaporization products that can help you take greater control of your experience.
Most edibles manufacturers offer correct dosage information so ingesting edibles is an easy, straightforward practice. One of the reasons that it seems easy is because you already know the dosage you’re ingesting. However, inasmuch as ingesting is a simple delivery method, it delays the effects of cannabis. This makes dose titration a tricky affair.
In its basic form, titration is the gradual adjustment of a dose until the ideal dose is reached. The following resources are a treasure trove of dosage recommendations for cannabis.
Again, the secret to fruitful microdosing is you take it slow and steady. You need to pay attention to the subtle effects regardless of your chosen method of delivery. Once you get subtle effects, you can then adjust the next dose in order to settle into that optimal microdose that you want. Personally, I prefer ingestion, vaporization and smoking as my three best delivery methods. I haven’t been into bongs, despite their rising popularity. With time, I’ve found ingestion to be my optimal consumption method as I’m no longer excited by instantaneous highs. I prefer a full body effect.
It’s very frustrating that getting edibles is not as easy as it sounds due to the global legalization situation. With more positive legalization news, edibles could become widely popular mainly because of the availability of legal edibles from legitimate sellers.
Benefits and effects
Cannabis microdosing knows no vocation or age. Professionals are today microdosing at work, keen on reaping the benefits that come with this sort of practice. These include enhanced creativity and focus, which can be seen in the case of e.g. LSD microdosing, which has become popular in Silicon Valley. According to a New York fashion publicist,” there’s only so much drinking people can do”. It’s startling when you start thinking of the many health benefits that come along with microdosing.
Microdosing is proving to be beneficial to most patients suffering from a variety of disease or conditions such as ADHD, indigestion, chronic pain, stress, anxiety and inflammation. It’s no wonder that most users have reported mood and emotional improvements as some of the benefits.
Personally, I’m happy about the positive effects on my mood because I feel a greater connection between my mindset and my environment after I microdose. It also gives me creative inspiration and experience that I won’t forget. Most psychedelics have varying effects depending on your immediate environment. For me, I love how I get great results when I microdose weed in both rural and urban settings. Granted, the experience is almost the same across other psychedelics, but I find that I need a break from urban settings when I’m on LSD, even if it is just taking a break inside a city park.
Microdosing is not just good for enhancing your mood; it has also proven great to reverse aging-related memory loss in mice. This is according to a study in mice that revealed that low doses of THC could actually reverse memory loss in older mice, making them feel younger again. We cannot yet know if the exact same could be said about humans, as humans have not yet been subjects of such a study. However, we believe that occasional microdosing could stop memory loss in humans.
Can I do this every day?
For most psychedelics, you will not be able to safely microdose on a daily basis. However, it is a very different case with cannabis since there’s a safe way to microdose on a daily basis. Over time, cannabis microdosing has really helped to change the image of weed use at the workplace. Professionals are becoming more functional, less anxious and more focused, unlike what the image used to be: that of a couch-dwelling slacker. Thus, It might not come as a surprise that employment lawyers are working on workplace policies concerning the use of marijuana. And things are changing.
In 2014, the FBI admitted that it failed to hire computer hackers because of the widespread use of cannabis among job seekers. Three years later, they may think of reconsidering their stand.
With overindulgence, users can recover fully after prolonged sleep. Luckily, there are CBD capsules that lessen the anxiety associated with high levels of THC. Such capsules are ideal for microdosers who’ve been consuming too much weed.
When it comes to edibles, slow and steady usage in itself is not enough. You will need to eat well before consuming weed edibles. For the best results, avoid alcohol and heavy machinery.
In coming years, microdosing could be the most sought after concept for weed consumption. According to Albert Hofmann, a psychedelic pioneer, microdosing could become one of the most important research areas as far as therapeutic applications are concerned. Albert said these words before his death in 2008. When I read his revelation, it blew me away.
How long do effects last?
This will depend entirely on the method of delivery that you choose as well as your physiological attributes like metabolism and body mass index. Ingestion delivers a long-lasting effect but a slow high that sets in within an hour. Smoking gives you a peak after an hour of inhaling the smoke of weed. The peak of ingested weed is not as pronounced as that of smoked weed. Smoking also had a prolonged effect that can last for up to 12 hours because of the slow absorption of THC in the gastrointestinal tract. Most people find that when they ingest weed, it would take them a long time before they were able to reach their preferred dose. A known case was a woman in her 90s who confessed to nibbling on an edible for two days to get the optimal medical dose.
How many times can I microdose in a day?
This depends on the person consuming the weed. For a 30-year-old IT professional used to popping many low dose mints to help with inflammation, stress, anxiety or indigestion, he can microdose throughout the day because he’s active all day.
However, the method of delivery also makes a lot of difference.
For instance, most users fail to function properly after trying bongs. With bongs, they fail to control their dosage and lethargy, a negative effect, sets in.
In terms of controlling your dosage, THC and CBD are the two most important compounds that you should take note of as you will most likely find out what a big difference they can make. When you know the effects of each of these compounds, your weed consumption experience and practice will be shaped accordingly.
Even when you’re unable to pinpoint the cannabinoid level of your weed, you’re still able to evaluate the experience more accurately. With the ability to accurately know the potency level of your weed, usual statements like, “I smoked too much” or “I feel tired” will be a thing of the past.
Those who consume edibles made by reputable manufacturers can pinpoint their exact dosage because they already have information about the cannabinoid content. The same goes for users of weed grown by expert growers.
With accurate information about the CBD/THC content, users can easily avoid unwanted side effects including lethargy.