Micro dosing is a safe, effective way to explore the magic of cannabis without its psychotropic affects. Users continue to reap the steady, ongoing benefits by using controlled doses. We dive in.
Micro minis, micro tee’s, micro food — if you’ve been lucky, you’ve lived through one or more of these micro era’s. And if you’re really, really lucky you get to live through (and be old enough to legally experience) the next: Micro Dosing.
That’s right, we’re micro dosing cannabis, and it’s a whole lotta fun.
Here’s the scoop: micro dosing is a safe, effective way to explore the magic of cannabis without its psychotropic affects. Users continue to reap the steady, ongoing benefits by using controlled doses.
Using consistent, low dose controlled substances to create medical benefits and to manage illness is definitely not a new idea and has most commonly been associated with hallucinogenics, such as LSD, in the past. The idea with micro dosing is that the substance is used in sub psychoactive levels, allowing for medical benefits without the inhibiting side effects of ‘getting high’. Despite the long term use of micro dosing hallucinogenics for wellness being controversial and unanimously voted as unsafe long term, cannabis on the other hand, gets a solid thumbs up.
Although THC is the known psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, only in high doses will it get you, you know — high. In low doses, THC hovers in a sub psychoactive zone, so that your body can recognize its benefits without the buzz.
The key to finding a dose that is safe, effective and user specific, is all in the ratio of THC : CBD found in the strain of cannabis used. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, carries of a myriad of medicinal benefits, including having a positive impact on: anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain and more. Of course CBD or cannabidiol, which is the non-psycho active counterpart, continues to mellow out the effects of THC while still bringing its own benefits on inflammation, pain and digestion to the table. Introducing plant based cannabinoids to the body regularly, especially in very small doses, continuously activates the endocannabinoid system, which in turn allows the body to stay in a constant state of healing and regeneration. It’s a little bit like taking a high quality multivitamin, and it’s brilliant.
For anyone curious about micro dosing and its benefits, finding your zone will be user specific and require a bit of experimentation. THC works differently for all for all of us and is affected by a series of variables such as: history of use, responsiveness of the endo cannabinoid system, digestion and liver metabolism. If you’re a regular user and have a tolerance to THC to begin with, it’s a good idea to take a 48 hour detox to lower the body’s levels of THC and start with a clean slate. This is the amount of time it takes the baseline markers for THC to reset and is referred to as a “neural cleansing”.
Sure, why not?
As with all things cannabis, starting low and slow is recommended. Less is more in all things, but especially in this case — the lower the dose, the higher the benefit and the higher the dose, the lower the latter here. By keeping doses as low as possible while activating the individual endocannabinoid system, a higher level of sensitivity will be retained over time and a higher capability of the endocannabinoid system up take regulation will remain.
To start, methods of use such as smoking or vaping can be hard to dose and difficult to control, so its recommended that the canna-curious user finds a suitable tincture oil, edible or tea with a ‘per mg’ dosage on the label to being with. Picking a strain that has 1:1 ratio of THC : CBD is a safe place to says Dr. Dustin Sulak, who is widely regarded as a medical cannabis expert and is the founder and medical director of www.healer.com.
According to Dr.Sulak, “ A specific dose THC will begin to have some of the physical and positive mental effects like relieving pain, relaxing muscles and calming anxiety before reaching the dose that causes the adverse psychoactive effects like impairment or intoxication.” Dr.Sulak implements dosing programs with his patients, which are designed for optimal benefit. He recommends starting with a dose of 1-2 milligrams as safe place to start for all users. Dr.Sulak recommends maintaining this dosage for three days of use to recognize your body’s unique tolerance baseline. Users should be careful to observe how they feel at this time, regarding symptomatic relief in pain and inflammation or changes to things like their sleeping pattern. From here, the user can decide whether to increase dosage in 1 milligram increments, or to lower doses slightly. The process should be gradual in its nature, because as we all know, good things come to those who wait.
If your preferred method of use is vaping or smoking, starting with a single puff is where you should be. Again, ingesting cannabis and then observing how you feel before continuing the process. Smoking has immediate effects and should be conservatively used. Remember, the goal is to use non psycho active amounts. Timing will be totally personal as well. For example, as mentioned, smoking or vaping will have immediate side effects and peak about an hour after inhalation. When ingesting your cannabis through oils or edibles, you can expect it to take anywhere from 2-3 hours before feeling the effects, which may then last upwards of 12 hours before needed to dose again.
Because cannabis use is so personal and its benefits are both strain/symptom specific, it’s not a one size fits solution and will take some experimenting to discover the right dose and balance for you. Luckily, living in Canada, access to professional care and advice is widely available and if you’re interested in finding a strain and a dose that is symptom specific for you, I recommended starting with the medical staff of your preferred producer or brand.
As with all cannabis use, my recommendation is to keep a journal that tracks your symptoms before, during and after your cannabis consumption. Also tracking the strains, ratios, dosages and time frames experimented with, which will begin to really help narrow in on the best strain and dose for you.
When you find your sweet spot with micro dosing, contrary to popular belief, you’ll notice a few added benefits in your day to day life, like feeling energized, focus and motivated. Users should feel a sense of reduced stress and better sleep as well.
Although it can be a challenge to find the right ratio of THC to CBD that will keep you in your comfort zone, there are a few strains that are tried and true when it comes to have lower THC and higher CBD ratios:
- Charlottes Web : 0.3% THC
- AC/DC : 1% – 2% THC
- Harlequin: 5:2 CBD:THC
- Stephen Hawkings: 5:2 CBD:THC
Getting curious with cannabis through micro dosing can be safe, effective and a total high in its own right.
I don’t know about you, but more sleep, stronger focus and a higher sense of motivation are definitely daily benefits I’d be happy to work with. Because every now and again, more is more.