We’ve recently been talking about many of the different ways that marijuana can benefit your emotional health. While you can find plenty of research detailing the ways cannabis is good for our bodies, our mental health (distinct from emotional health), and a long history of spiritual applications. But if you go looking for research about this wondrous plant's upsides for our emotional health, there are very few sources with anything to say.
We think this is surprising, because cannabis bears many positives for our emotions souls. Cannabinoids can cool our jets and lift our spirits. It’s been known to make good days better and prevent bad days from being sheer disasters. When we’re teetering on the edge of a meltdown, sometimes all it takes is a quick dose of cannabis to calm us down put the world back into clear focus.
Recently, we published an article about using cannabis concentrates for quick emotional relief. The thinking is that sometimes we need an instant shift in perspective – a deep breath, if you will, to help us regain our composure. Concentrated forms of cannabis are highly potent, and when combined with the efficient absorption mechanism that inhaling active cannabinoids allows, they're just the thing for instant relief. But like any healthy remedy, they’re not the right answer for everyone.
Some people find concentrates to be too strong. Others even find flower to be too much. For them, even a puff or two can be overwhelming, making it difficult to find and maintain emotional balance.
The question is – how can people with a lower tolerance to cannabinoids enjoy the benefits of cannabis without feeling like they’re stuck in a daze all day? You can certainly try CBD products. For those who aren't yet familiar – CBD is a non-psychotropic component of cannabis with a wide range of healing, therapeutic benefits, yet without the distinct mind-altering effects of THC.
But there is another alternative emerging – microdosing.
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is, well, exactly what it sounds like – taking very small doses of cannabinoids. This is often done by consuming things like edibles or tinctures that allow for precise dosing. It’s perfect for those who want the reap the healthy rewards of cannabis, while avoiding the distraction of high psychoactivity. This strategy simply involves ingest miniscule quantities of cannabinoids to dial in your minimum effective dose (the same as with any other medicine or supplement) so that you can maintain the uplifted, positive mindset you love, without worrying about overdoing it.
Among most people microdose with little to no psychoactivity can range from 1 milligram of THC, to approximately 10mg. This guideline is far from a one-size-fits-all prescription, but rather an estimate to help you get in the ballpark of finding your unique ideal dose. The dose that’s right for you can depend on factors like your:
- Prior experience with cannabis
- Cannabinoid receptors
- Liver functiom
- Activity levels
- Typical diet
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Sex/gender (Anecdotally, it appears that women may often respond to smaller dosages than men.)
A “low” dose can mean very different things to different people. For some, it’s 2 or 3 milligrams. For others, who perhaps have higher tolerance levels or a slower metabolism, it could be 5 or 10mg. Some people recommend starting even lower – with 1mg doses – and working your way up 1mg at a time.
We recommend keeping a detailed journal to record the date and time of each dose of cannabis, which medicine you've taken (method of administration and strain, if known), the amount you've taken (whether in milligrams or in "puffs"), and a description of the positives and negatives that each dose made you feel. Before very long, you'll have enough of your cannabis history detailed that you'll be able to zero in on your go-to microdose!
The Benefits of Microdosing
In an era that often focuses on higher THC content, it can be a little strange to think that consuming smaller quantities of THC might actually be more beneficial. But there’s a lot of information out there to substantiate the idea that “less is more."
Several studies show positive results when using low doses of cannabinoids to treat chronic physical and mental illnesses. And countless consumers attest to the fact that microdosing makes them happier, more productive individuals, without negatively affecting their ability to function in their daily lives, careers, or studies. Low-levels of THC are reported to reduce stress and anxiety, while increasing creativity and focus. That’s precisely what most people need – just a little natural mood stabilizer to keep them healthy and happy all day long.
(Pro Tip: ask our Medical Director, Dr. William Troutt about the "biphasic" effect of cannabis!)
It can be a fine line between being in a good mood and busting out with a case of the giggles. With so many high-potency strains of flower and concentrates available today, that line can be easy to inadvertently cross. And let’s face it; most employers still frown on people coming to work in a daze, even in recreational states. Knowing your limits is a responsible way to ensure that the improvements in your well-being that cannabis brings you don't come at the expense of your livelihood.
Speaking of your livelihood, don't forget to consider the cost savings that will come from breaking your regular cannabis purchase into much smaller doses to last you a longer period of time!
Give Microdosing a Try
Whether cannabis is part of your health and wellness program or you’re a recreational consumer, microdosing is worth considering. You too, may find that you get better and more enjoyable results from using less.
There are some great products on that market, and on Harvest dispensary shelves, that are worth trying. Kiva Confections Terra Bites and Queen Bee Cannabis-Infused Sugars are just a couple of our favorites. You can also find mints, honeys, gummies, tinctures and more that are perfect for your foray into microdosing. With such a great selection, it’s hard to resist giving it a shot.
So, grab your medical card, head down to your local Harvest, and see what’s on special this week. We’d love to hear about your microdosing experience!