Micro dosing cannabis. What is it and how does it work?
Micro dosing of drugs has usually been associated with psychedelics such as LSD and Magic Mushrooms. It is claimed to have helped treat depression and anxiety. Others do it for enhanced spiritual awareness. It is also popular with radical thinking business executives looking to engage in productive blue-sky contemplation without getting too high to function.
One of the latest trends in cannabis is micro dosing. And it’s especially popular with people who are not recreational cannabis users, and have no interest in getting high. Instead, cannabis micro dose advocates are usually more interested in the medical benefits. According to micro dose theory, even though you may not be using enough to get high, your body still gets many of the benefits. If this sounds a little weird, keep reading. The more you look into micro dosing of cannabis, the more complicated it gets.
Micro dosing cannabis.
As cannabis has seen increasing legality, the number of medical uses has increased dramatically. Naturally this stimulates high levels of interest in cannabis from the general public. Many of those that use cannabis micro dosing never get high recreationally, nor do they want to. Instead, they are usually looking for some of the therapeutic benefits offered by cannabis. For some people it is the anti-anxiety effects, for others it is improved sleep, pain relief or some other benefit.
Establishing a micro dose of cannabis
In places with legal cannabis, such as the USA or Canada, you can buy low-dose cannabis edibles. Some of these, such as chocolate bars, are relatively easy to divide up into small pieces/weights. This makes it relatively easy to prepare daily micro doses of cannabis with a known THC content. Others buy a THC rich cannabis oil from the dispensary, and dilute it down themselves to the required dilution.
Most micro-dose enthusiasts prefer a dose below the level which can be felt. That may require a certain degree of trial and error to find a dose which suits your own personal body weight, cannabis tolerance and medical effect. Many micro dose cannabis users aim at around 1-2mg of cannabis. One interesting report from the USA indicates that women micro dose cannabis more than men, and are happy to avoid being ‘fully stoned’ when using cannabis.
If you don’t have access to cannabis edibles with known THC contents it can make it a little trickier, but not impossible, to find a micro-dose that works for you. For some people, vaping a consistently sized small amount of cannabis works. That may be a small crumb of cannabis not much larger than a grain of rice. Clearly, some cannabis varieties will contain more THC than others, so this is not a perfect science. But for many it is good enough, and the only real option.
Can a micro-dose of cannabis be too high?
According to some people, yes it can. Some people take cannabis at a micro dose level of around 1-2mg to help as an anti-anxiety aid. But if they exceed their regular 1-2mg dose they can report that the extra THC actually makes the anxiety worse. One common piece of advice from regular cannabis micro dosers is to avoid alcohol when setting the micro dose level, alcohol can make it difficult for people to gauge whether they can feel any effect from cannabis.
A recent study in patients with advanced cancer was conducted to compare how low, medium or high doses of cannabis would relieve pain. The cannabis was supplied as an oral spray which contained a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD. Perhaps surprisingly, the best reports of pain relief came at low and medium daily doses. This again suggests that cannabis may work more effectively at lower doses than previously assumed. For the medical researchers that means further work is required to understand the mechanism through which cannabis works.
What if the cannabis micro dose becomes ineffective?
Those that adapt well to micro dosed cannabis may sometimes find that it can become slightly less effective over a period of time. Recreational cannabis users are well aware of this issue of tolerance build-up. Of course, the micro dose of cannabis can always be increased. Though that does start to defeat the point of micro dosing. Instead of increasing the dose, micro dosers can simply abstain from cannabis for 1-2 days. A recent study looked at the bio-availability of CB1 receptors, this was the first study of its kind. CB1 receptors are present in the human endo cannabinoid system and are responsible for binding with cannabinoids. The study indicated that cannabis tolerance decreases quickly just within two days of abstinence even in very heavy users. For micro dosers that means that a 2-day break will allow the body to re-set a tolerance back to the micro dose. The study concluded with the following remark
“CB1R availability is decreased in most brain regions in chronic moderate daily cannabis smokers. Significant CB1R upregulation occurs begins within merely 2 days of abstinence, and continues over 4 weeks”
What about CBD micro dosing. And CBG and THCV?
Micro dosing is usually done with specific drug, such as LSD, MDMA or Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms). The unusual thing about cannabis is that it can represent several different chemical compounds. When people think about micro dosing of cannabis, they are usually referring to THC rich cannabis. But in the last few years CBD has become almost as popular as THC. Dutch Passion are also hoping to release CBG and THCV rich feminized seed varieties soon. These exotic new cannabinoids will create some new and interesting possibilities for cannabis use, either with normal dosing or with micro dosing.
Low THC cannabis seed varieties
One other possibility for those that want to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without getting high is to consider a low THC variety such as CBD Charlotte’s Angel or CBD Auto Charlotte’s Angel. These have CBD levels around 15% and THC is usually well below 1%. These varieties won’t get you high no matter how much you smoke/vape.
Will micro dose cannabis ever catch on?
Most people would never have expected CBD to achieve such mainstream popularity and appeal. Yet cannabis and it’s derivatives generate more public fascination now than ever before. Perhaps that’s because the public feel that they have been misled by decades of government hysteria about the dangers of cannabis. The multitude of modern cannabis uses seems to show no end, and that is a natural magnet for public interest. Perhaps one day in the near future, when THC rich cannabis has been legalized in many more places, micro dosing cannabis will become as common as CBD use is today.