In fact, there are some folks who are so uniquely sensitive to cannabis that more than a few milligrams can actually turn into a negative experience, with symptoms like paranoia and anxiety coming to the surface. With high-THC levels prized in the industry and dominating the shelves in dispensaries, these individuals may feel like they’ll never be able to reap the benefits of cannabis due to their sensitivity.
Fortunately, there is a method of cannabis consumption that may just be the perfect solution for these consumers – microdosing.
Microdosing is the practice of consuming small amounts of THC, which in turn allows the consumer to avoid the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoid while enjoying the medicinal benefits it provides.
Some research has shown that microdoses of cannabis can be just as effective when it comes to medicinal properties. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Pain found low doses of a cannabinoid mixture were just as effective, if not more so, than higher doses in reducing pain and sleep disruption.
Another study published this year in the European Journal of Pain reported that participants needed just 500 micrograms, or 0.5 milligrams, of THC to feel a reduction of pain.
It’s pretty clear that microdosing can work. So how does one go about it?
How to microdose
There are several ways to microdose. Some are as easy as just taking one or two puffs when smoking or vaping, and waiting to see if you feel results. Smoking and vaping are easy ways to microdose, since the effects are almost instantaneous and you can quickly judge if you need more.
Tinctures and oils may provide a more precise measurement for your dose, though, and don’t require inhalation. Tinctures can be dropped under the tongue or into a drink. However, you’ll have to wait longer to feel the effects and decide if a higher dose is needed.
Edibles can be a good option as well, so long as they’ve been tested, so you know the precise amount of THC contained. Personally, 5 milligrams does the trick for me when consuming recreationally. If I wanted to avoid that mind-altering feeling but still get a good night’s sleep, I’d probably shoot for 2.5 milligrams instead.
As more research about about microdosing has become available, it’s clear that human sensitivity to THC and cannabis is generally much lower than we previously thought. While this definitely fluctuates as the body becomes accustomed to cannabis (read more about tolerance here), this is great news for medicinal patients looking to alleviate some symptoms without actually “getting high.”
To find your sweet spot with microdosing, we recommend keeping a journal to track how much THC you consumed and what sort of effects were felt after. It doesn’t hurt to also track what other cannabinoids and terpenes are in your product, as they might also play a role in the kind of experience you have.