Macrodosing vs. Microdosing
Have you ever powered thru a joint or eaten a brownie in one sitting? Hours later did you find yourself laying on your bed, your heart pounding so hard that you’re sure this is the end? So you start screaming to God and apologizing to your father? If you’ve seen or experienced a similar situation, you need to know about microdosing.
(The story above is true. A friend of the AVNT GRDNRs had this experience in Amsterdam.)
For a lot of people, taking a large puff from a joint or eating a brownie or oil doesn’t work well. The potent, natural drug, instead of calming and relieving, overwhelms with fear, anxiety, and even paranoia. And this means that you are shut out of the medicinal benefits that cannabis offers.
But there is another alternative to those who struggle with the psychotropic effects of cannabis: it’s called microdosing.
Less is More
Homeopathic treatments are believed to work in minute amounts targeted to specific cells in your body, and the same appears to be true for micro-dosing marijuana use.
Less, may very well be more.
Growers are crazy about sky-high THC rates, but the more natural stuff, with unaltered genetics –– you know like the pot your grandpa smoked –– might be the best start for microdosing. If you can’t get your hands on old genetics, try to use organically grown cannabis for best results.
One common fear when you start using cannabis to treat a problem, such as pain, hunger, anxiety, is that you continually need to use more and more to get the desired effect.
The opposite is true with microdosing, where it is believed that minimal amounts of cannabis can give your body the benefits of all the THC and CBD and some 80 other molecules, while allowing the body to avoid some or all all the uncomfortable psychotropic effects.
Also, for some science, consider a 2012 study that showed how lower doses of THC and CBD showed the greatest reduction in pain in those experiencing advanced stages of cancer.
What is the Correct Microdose?
Because the experience of using cannabis as medicine is unique to each person, there are no strict limits on what is a low enough dose for you, explains Michelle Ross, the founder of IMPACT Network, a medical research body that’s working to find the impact of cannabis on patients.
She tells Leafly, one of our favorite cannabis magazines, “Most people don’t know about microdosing. They just blast their system with cannabis or high amounts of THC, and that is not always the best approach for whatever condition they have.”
The Examples Set by LSD and Traditional Pharmaceuticals
Some people experience hallucinations like they are on LSD when they microdose, prompting experts to believe that the threshold for cannabis to work its therapeutic effects may be a lot lower than we’ve been led to believe. This may cause science and research to research new channels for dosing, along with clinical trials that support new theories.
Regular users of cannabis often complain of the diminished “well being feeling” benefits over time, and this is true with many other pharmaceuticals, such as statins, which do have a diminished physiological effect over time. So microdosing, according to Dustin Sulak, a physician in Maine, is one way to avoid tolerance to cannabis potency.
How to Scale Back to Microdosing
This article over on High Times explains how microdosing can be an approach if you are a heavy user looking to scale back.
A microdose is about five milligrams. Experienced users can use about 10 milligrams as the proper dose.
Time to hold that toke? Microdosing can be done with vaping and edibles, and it’s still the early days of understanding how it works. For now, you will need to take dosing into your own hands.
Conditions to Treat with Microdosing Cannabis
- Severe weight loss
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleeping disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
So next time you take a quarter of a puff from your friend’s home-rolled joint, don’t tell him that you are a lightweight. Tell him you are in fact medicating with higher awareness. Microdosing might be a more balanced way for long-term treatment.