Guide to Microdosing Weed in 2022 - Getting up to Speed

Benefits of Microdosing weed

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered some interesting science that led to thousands of people with health conditions turning toward the practice of microdosing weed. Yet, even 30 years later, there’s still a lot to learn about the practice and the science behind it.

Microdosing cannabis started to become a trend for treating a wide variety of medical conditions when scientists discovered what is now known as the endocannabinoid system. Present in all animals with a spinal cord, the endocannabinoid system works directly with the body’s endocrine system. 

Its role in bodily functions is one of homeostasis. That is, the endocannabinoids produced naturally in the body keep everything that’s ruled by hormones — including moods, growth, metabolism, organ health, and reproduction — operating smoothly. But when environmental concerns or other health conditions stress the body, supplementation is needed.

And that’s where science comes in. Researchers discovered that the cannabis plant naturally produces the plant version of endocannabinoids, known as phytocannabinoids. You can supplement these chemical compounds by microdosing THC, a process that provides your body with the support it needs without disrupting your day.

cannabis prescription microdosing

Quick Guide To Microdosing

As scientific research continues to support the use of pot for its proven health benefits, medicinal marijuana has gained legal status in 37 of the 50 United States. That’s led more medical marijuana patients to try microdosing THC. 

What Is THC Microdosing?

The practice of microdosing marijuana is to consume an amount that will provide the desired cannabinoids without an extreme experience of the euphoric high with which pot is often associated.

A common phrase with microdosing is “low and slow,” meaning that a little can go a long way, especially with some of the modern marijuana strains that have high THC content. Because you’re still consuming a THC dosage, you may have to experiment at first to determine the right amount for your body.

How Often Should I Microdose Cannabis?

The cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, that are naturally found in marijuana, impact everybody differently, and medical patients may have very different reasons for consuming the minimum effective dose of THC. 

For example, some people might find that a microdose before bed can help them sleep well. Other people may use microdosing to address chronic pain and want to take it throughout the day. Those with mood disorders, as another example, may prefer consuming medical marijuana only on days when they feel like they need it.

To determine what consumption pattern is right for you, start slow and track your results for about a week before making changes.

How Long Do THC Microdosing Effects Last?

Again, everybody is different. In general, the length of time that a THC microdose lasts can depend on the amount of weed you’ve taken and the frequency of doses. Because the goal of microdosing is to take such a small amount as for the “high” to be unnoticed, if done correctly the effects can last throughout the day.

Tolerance to THC can increase over time, so beginners should start with a small amount. 

When experimenting with microdosing, consider the reason you’re taking it. For example, you may be experiencing anxiety and hope that weed can help. Note the time that you ingest your microdose. Then, check the time when you next feel an anxious thought. This will help you see how long your body takes to utilize the cannabinoids. 

how to microdose

How To Microdose Weed

The trickiest part about microdosing is determining the proper weed amount. If you’ve taken enough to feel that slight buzz that psychedelic drugs are known for, you’ve taken a little too much. This personal information will allow you to reduce the amount next time. 

However, that’s hard to do when you’re simply smoking the raw flower. That’s why many medical marijuana patients prefer getting their THC dosage by consuming one of the newer cannabis products on the market today.

Here’s a look at some of the options you can consider when creating a health regime of microdosing.

Microdosing Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles are candies, cookies, and other snacks infused with chemical compounds like cannabinoids that are naturally found in the marijuana plant. Manufacturers extract the active ingredients from the leaves, flowers, stems, and plant matter and add those into tasty foods.

These processed foods are clearly labeled with the exact THC dosage, making it easy to know exactly how much you are consuming at once. For example, one gummy candy may have 5mg THC. You can cut that gummy into 5 pieces to consume 1mg at intervals throughout the day for a microdosing edible. 

Microdosing THC Tinctures

Another popular microdosing option is using a marijuana tincture, which is the same active ingredients extracted from the plant but instead added to edible oils. These oils are usually MCT oil, olive oil, or even hemp oil that’s made by pressing hemp seeds. 

Tinctures are sold in different potencies, so it’s important to know the amount of THC that’s in the entire bottle to calculate the amount in a dropper. These tinctures are even easier to take in small doses, as you can add just a drop to a beverage or take half a dropper-full at once.

Microdosing Cannabis Flower 

Cannabis flower, which is the name medical marijuana dispensaries use to describe the buds of the plant, can be tricky for determining dosage, but it’s possible. The amount of cannabinoids on a particular bud can differ based on growing conditions and the strain of the weed. Always remember the rule of starting slow: in the case of cannabis flower, this means just taking one toke from a pre-rolled joint or pipe.

Cannabis flower is also sold in single-use pipes, which makes it easier to microdose THC. Vape pens, which are also popular, use a cannabis product that is similar to the THC tincture but more concentrated. Be aware of inhaling too much with a vape pen if you wish to avoid feeling high. 

Microdosing Weed Tea

Finally, many online and in-person dispensaries (discover the best ones using Gentleman Toker) also offer cannabis beverages, including tea. This is a smoke-free and, often, sugar-free way to consume a microdose of cannabis. You can sip it throughout the day in measured amounts to make sure you’re getting a consistent and effective amount.

Is There a Best Way To Microdose?

Yes, start with a low dose. Most medical marijuana patients will take between 1mg and 5mg in a single serving. Many beginners start with edibles, as they are easy to cut up and discreet to consume.

Next, it is important to wait at least an hour or two before taking any more. Especially with edibles, it can take some time for your body to metabolize the product. If you take more too soon because you don’t feel the effects, you risk taking too much.

Microdosing Indica vs Sativa

When you start browsing cannabis products in a dispensary, you’ll notice a difference in strains. Marijuana is broken down into two main types: sativa and indica. Both have very different effects. Knowing the differences will help you decide what is the best weed to microdose for you.

Microdosing Indica-Dominant Strains

Indica strains are best for those who are looking to relax and calm the body. They also offer more full-body effects, which can be beneficial for those who seek to find deep relaxation or reduce insomnia. 

Microdosing Sativa-Dominant Strains

Sativa-dominant strains, meanwhile, tend to produce a more uplifting effect. They can be invigorating and energizing, which can be especially effective for medical marijuana patients who want to address depression symptoms or some forms of chronic pain. Sativa-dominant strains have also been effective at helping with anxiety and stress while improving focus.

Microdosing Different Strains

Often, people who are experimenting with microdosing will purchase more than one strain or what is known as a hybrid — a strain that contains the biological elements of both sativa and indica plants. If one type makes you sleepy, for example, you can microdose that strain in the evening. If another type helps you manage chronic pain symptoms, you may want to take that throughout the day. 

You don’t have to stick to just one strain when microdosing. Since everyone has a different experience, you may find that your routine is unique. Just because one method is beneficial for one person doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. Be open to trying different kinds and regimes before deciding what’s best for you.

Why Do People Microdose?

Microdosing is gaining popularity in medical marijuana patients because the practice can provide substantial relief for a wide range of conditions. Since the endocannabinoid system impacts so many functions of the body, patients are often surprised by the positive impacts a microdose can provide.

Health Benefits

While more research is needed on the medical benefits of cannabis and THC, patients have noticed that microdosing marijuana can address the following health conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer, as well as appetite loss and nausea associated with treatment
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia
    Immune system diseases, like HIV/AIDS or Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Mental health disorders, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Muscle spasms and seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve cannabis for medical needs (beyond specific cannabis-based drugs for epileptic seizures and effects of chemotherapy) because cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug. Until the federal government agrees with scientists that there are medical benefits from ingesting marijuana, funding for important research will be difficult to find.

Replace Harmful or Addictive Prescriptions

Patients with health conditions, of course, know how easy it can be to receive multiple prescriptions for pharmaceuticals, including those that are shown to be highly addictive. But these pills can do serious damage to the liver and other parts of the body. That’s why many people are willing to experiment with microdosing cannabis as an alternative to the pills.

Talk to your doctor about your interest in reducing your prescriptions before doing so. It’s unlikely that cannabis will have a negative interaction with pharmaceuticals, but it’s wise to discuss your plans with your doctor first. If your physician isn’t up to date on the latest research regarding the endocannabinoid system, you may want to find a doctor who is. 

Pain Management

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 20.4% of American adults — that’s 50 million people — are living with some form of chronic pain. This means the pain will restrict their mobility in daily activities while increasing the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Many patients find that microdosing improves their quality of life by both managing their pain and also enhancing their moods. 

Relieve Anxiety & Depression

Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, the percentage of adults with mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, rose dramatically. These mental health conditions can cause people to limit their normal activities and negatively impact their relationships. While talk therapy can be very effective, microdosing is also worth considering.

A 2021 study of adults published in Scientific Reports found that people who microdose reported lower levels of both anxiety and depression compared to people who did not integrate cannabis into their health regimes.

Is Microdosing THC Safe for Dogs & Cats?

Pets can microdose, too. Any animal with a spinal cord (and that includes dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and many other animals) has an endocannabinoid system. This means cannabis can work for pets, too. Of course, you’ll need to adjust the serving size for the size of the animal. Small animals require very small amounts. 

Microdosing Weed and Drug Tests

Just because you may not feel “high” doesn’t mean that cannabis cannot be detected in your system. If you must have drug tests as part of your occupation, it’s smart to talk with your employer before trying microdosing. Even if you have a medical marijuana card and it’s legal for you to consume cannabis, your boss may not permit it. You can decide whether it’s best to look for another job or try something else to address your health concerns.

Microdosing THC: How to Start

If you’re ready to try microdosing, go to Gentleman Toker to search for a location to shop for cannabis. You can learn about the different strains and products to make an informed decision to help you feel better and improve the quality of your life fast.