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When it comes to cannabis for adults, questions that arise time and again are how to consume, how much, when, and how long will the effects last? After all, these contingencies can mean the difference between effective treatment and an unpleasant experience. The cannabis business community is exploring how to better serve those patients with specific needs, and the answer may be found in a concept known as “microdosing.” The term may be new but the concept itself is not. The idea is to use small amounts of cannabis in measured, consistent doses rather than one or two consumption sessions using larger amounts. It can be extremely beneficial to those adults who may be new or are returning to cannabis use because it provides the healing, wellness, and relaxation benefits without a potentially unwanted psychoactive sensation. On the other hand, depending on the product and your intent, microdosing can also subtly enhance creativity and energy. No matter your reasons for trying it, microdosing takes a useful page from the pharmaceutical industry in providing consistent dosages and delivery methods.
Microdosing Cannabis: Less is More
Microdosing consists of ingesting medical cannabis in amounts anywhere from 2.5 to 5 milligrams, and some experts feel that up to 10mg falls within the concept. According to BAS Research, 5 mg is the standard microdose, however, each person’s body may react differently due to a variety of factors including consumption method. For inexperienced users, experts recommend starting with a low 2.5 mg dose, then increasing it as needed. After a period of time (45 minutes at a minimum is a general rule of thumb) you can add to the initial dosage and then wait again to see how you feel. Patience has its rewards and with some experimentation you will find the balance that works best for you. For some people, it may not be a daily experience as microdosing can also be tried with a regimen of on/off days. Again, finding the right pattern requires some flexibility to determine what works best for your condition, intent, situation, body, and metabolism.
Medical Conditions for Microdosing
Microdosing may help patients suffering from conditions such as pain, arthritis/inflammation, nausea, stress and depression, insomnia, and anxiety. The theory is that if a patient is able to treat these respective conditions throughout the day it will lessen their overall negative impact. This allows the person to receive consistent medicinal benefits without experiencing the high associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical compound responsible for psychoactive effects. While the science is still limited, a 2012 study of cancer patients dealing with pain found positive responses with a cannabis microdosing regimen.
Ways to Consume
While there are many ways to consume cannabis, microdosing requires precision. Smoking does not typically provide a consistent dose because THC amounts can vary based on quantities in a joint or bowl, how deeply the smoke is inhaled, and how long you hold your breath before exhaling. There may also be potency variations within the raw flower itself from different strains or from purchase to purchase. As a result, consumption methods such as edibles, tinctures, cannabis capsules/pills, and measured vaping devices using oils seem to work best. It can also be simple and fun. Our good friends at KIVA Confections created Petra, a line of flavorful microdose mints that put you in control. Each mint has 2.5 mg of THC giving you the ability to manage each dose in precise increments. This accuracy allows you to integrate Petra more easily into your lifestyle, one refreshing mint at a time. No matter what consumption method you prefer, remember the general low dose rule and find products that enable you to start on the lower end of the microdosing scale.
Cannabis Microdosing for Adults
The ability to utilize precise doses is the key to a successful microdosing strategy and may work well for adults. Christie Strong, Marketing Communications Manager for KIVA Confections told Three Wells that “for mature adults who are already comfortable with taking standard medications on a daily schedule, microdosing offers a familiar and trusted way to safely use cannabis.” This makes perfect sense because many adults may be comfortable with this routine. In a recent trend, women and mothers, in particular, are embracing microdosing as a substitute for a nightly glass of wine because it’s a convenient way to use cannabis without feeling a loss of control or anxiety.
Micro Do’s and Don’ts
KIVA Confections also created a helpful online Tiny Guide to Microdosing (we love that title) that provides more information on microdosing. It’s a quick, informative read and here are some additional tips. First, microdosing is an excellent way to build up a tolerance to THC and if you’re new to cannabis, it can help you learn about your body’s reaction to this amazing cannabinoid. Next, start with low doses and depending on your consumption method of choice, be aware of the product’s potency and the THC to CBD ratio. You might want to start with a product that has a higher CBD to THC ratio or perhaps a 1:1 ratio. Track your time of ingestion to when you first begin feeling any effects and you might even want to take notes. Again, waiting at least 45 minutes between doses is recommended by experts. Lastly, don’t drink alcohol when microdosing as it can increase the effects of cannabis.
Microdosing seems to be catching on with mature adults and even publications such as Forbes magazine are posting articles about it. Adults seeking to use cannabis to manage a variety of medical conditions may want to consider a microdosing regimen. It provides a consistent pattern of cannabis consumption which may be a helpful option for many people. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or a medical expert about it and please share your thoughts, comments, and ideas with us on our social channels. We’d love to hear from you.
Philip Rebentisch is a writer and Content Editor for Three Wells.