A new term is beginning to submerge in cannabis culture. It’s outside of “recreational” and “medicinal” purposes of consumption, according to some. While recreational marijuana is used for psychoactive effects and medicinal is used to treat various ailments, microdosing is starting to appear as a third alternative consumption method, one that opens up creativity, helps your focus and lessens anxiety.
For those that don’t know, microdosing is defined as consuming very small amounts of a certain drug. Microdosing first surfaced in the 1960’s when LSD became a large part of the time’s counterculture. Many people experimented with LSD in order to gain a better perspective on one’s self through the hallucinogenic effects. Scientists just started exploring the drug when the Control Substance Act put an immediate stop to all research. A few universities, however, were allowed to continue their research into how LSD interacted with the mind and body.
Fast forward to April 21st, 2017. The Psychedelic Science summit takes place in Oakland with over 100 clinical researchers and physicians attending with 2,500 psychedelic enthusiasts. This summit held the first glimpse at data for microdosing. The data was pulled from Dr. James Fadiman’s study consisting of 418 volunteers that participated in taking 5 to 10 percent of a normal marijuana dose. The results consisted of alert focus, a rise in positive attitude and an overall better feeling of wellness.
Why Microdose Marijuana?
Applying the same idea but with marijuana, the mantra here is “less is more.” There are many reasons why one would want to microdose marijuana. Some people feel a heightened sense of anxiety when consuming cannabis and ingesting or consuming a very small amount of could help with anxiety, creating a sense of relief instead of restlessness. Others may microdose for a small amount of one type of effect they feel when consuming normal amounts of marijuana. This could include increasing appetite, creativity, or other effects cannabis brings.
How Much is Too Much
When microdosing marijuana, it’s important to know how much is too much. Much like alcohol, cannabis has a biphasic effect, meaning low and high doses of cannabis affects people differently. Ten milligrams of cannabis infused chocolate may be too much for some users while two joints may be too little for others. Understanding how much is too much for you is based on your individual past experiences.
Dr. Allan Frankel, founder of Greenbridge medicine and a major advocate of microdosing, tells Rolling Stones many of his patients are taking less than 3 mg of THC a day. He calls it the “correct dose. In all medicine, with all drugs, you look for the minimum effective dose. Period.”
The best way to microdose would be with cannabis that is already measured out by the company. This includes edibles, tinctures and oils. Once you understand what microdose is right for you, then you can choose the best type of measured cannabis infusion.
Keep it Low
Now that cannabis has become legal in almost half the country, there has been a surge to make cannabis stronger and more potent. Dispensaries compete to raise THC percentages in their strains, some even reaching 32% THC in flower, which is an abnormally high amount.
Ralph Morgan, CEO of O.penVAPE, a leading cannabis extraction company, boasts O.penVAPE’s capability in creating extremely high-potent cannabis oils in an interview with PBS. “We can achieve mere perfect purity, 98%, 99% THC or CBD or any cannabinoid that we’re isolating or extracting,” Morgan said. With potencies this high, it’s no wonder people are looking for ways to microdose.
Microdosing can be achieved by cutting out high THC percentages. The lower the THC, the less “high” you will feel. This may be difficult if you are not eating edibles with doses already measured. In that case, substituting high amounts of CBD to counteract the THC helps cut out the psychoactive effect.
Since microdosing marijuana came on the scene via media discussions, there haven’t been many studies explaining the positive or negative effects. This new trend is quickly taking off and will hopefully soon be recognized as an alternative way of consuming cannabis for the benefit of experiencing a small amount of positive side effects.