Microdosing: Fact or Fiction?

What is microdosing and how can it be of benefit to you?

The history

Microdosing is a concept that has been around for years. Its history dates back to the 60s, with people experimenting with psychedelic drugs in small doses. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both famously experimented with microdosing, as it’s reported to heighten alertness, energy and creativity. We’re seeing a resurrection of the method, with headlines like “’Microdosing’ isn’t just a Silicon Valley trend”.  However, this resurrection is not just for psychedelics, but rather predominantly for marijuana as well.

Drug bans limited testing on this federally regulated, criminalized drug. Here in Canada, we have entered “the end of prohibition” and can start to explore the benefits of a specific psychoactive compound with a multitude of suggested benefits – yup, you guessed it, cannabis.  So, what is microdosing and how it can be of benefit to you?

The concept

Microdosing consists of consuming cannabis on a regular or timed schedule throughout the day in minute doses, between 2-5 mg, with the intent of not eliciting a psychoactive effect. “Wait, you mean you don’t want to get high?” In a society that touts cannabis for its benefits beyond its high, this non-psychoactive-seeking crowd is quite prolific. THC activates the cannabinoid receptors in the body which can produce many benefits without having the intense psychoactive reaction.

The application

The appropriate dose can be dependent on gender, tolerance and frequency of use. The mantra “less is more” is definitely your guiding light here. The benchmark is to not feel any of the traditionally negative side effects of cannabis, like sleepiness, racing mind or short-term memory loss.  Dosing is highly circumstantial and personalized, so it’s better to start low and test your tolerance. Overdosing can result in psychoactive effects; however, they will be mild since dosing is still relatively low.

Consumption is something that can be difficult to measure, so currently, oils and capsules are the best way to maintain consistent and measured doses. Since edibles cannot be purchased legally in Canada and it takes a very skilled chef to control dosage, this is not a recommended method for a beginner. With smoking and vaping, the variance in THC levels and different terpenes makes dosing hard to determine. However, the onset of these methods is much quicker, so you will know if you feel the effects more readily, which will aid in determining what dose is right for you over time.

If you are concerned about over-consumption, look for strains low in THC to start, or strains that are CBD dominant. Microdosing is hardly a one size fits all process, and it will take lots of experimentation.  Just always remember, slow and steady and enjoy the process.

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