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A quick guide to microdosing CBD and THC

Microdosing is all the rage at the moment – but what are the benefits of microdosing cannabis? In this post, we’ll show you how people in legalized states are improving their quality of life by managing their ailments with small doses of weed. Specifically, we’ll concentrate on anxiety,

Understanding microdosing

Microdosing involves taking very small doses of a substance with the intention of boosting overall function. Microdosing first emerged as a term in the Silicon Valley, as computer professionals started to microdose on the psychedelic LSD to enhance productivity and their creative abilities – the late Steve Jobs was a known partaker in LSD.

Cannabis microdosing works similarly to LSD microdosing – people take small amounts of marijuana, as they do LSD, to receive primarily its functional benefits, and got get overwhelmed with the psychoactive trip these substances can induce. A microdose of cannabis is sometimes as low as 1mg but is often around 3 to 5mg.

Everybody has their own tolerance to cannabis, which influences the size of a microdose. However, Andew Mieure, a social consumption consultant says that a microdose generally constitutes between 1mg to 5mg for edibles. Meanwhile, a microdose on a joint equates to a one-second puff – the same goes for vaping or if smoking from a pipe. A concentrate microdose would be no more than a dab the size of a pinhead.

Mieure explains, “Cannabis affects everyone differently.” In some users, a 1mg dose may have more of an effect than 5mg dosages would in others. For effective microdosing, concentrate more on the experience rather than the exact amount you take. If you feel that you’re able to get on with work and stay focussed, and not become distracted with racing thoughts or intense euphoria, then you’re probably doing things right.

Microdosing recreational cannabis is becoming more popular at social gatherings where weed is legal, as it works as a social lubricant, just like alcohol. Except weed is more likely to relax and chill out a room rather than fire it up. A microdose of weed at a party can help an anxious person forget about their concerns and preconceived shortcomings and socialize more effectively.

For people who aren’t used to taking weed, microdosing is a good way of acclimatizing yourself to its effects and understanding what to expect from the psychoactive properties of THC. More people are experimenting with pop than ever before, with the herb now legal recreationally in eight states. But for those who don’t understand what cannabinoid concentrations mean and how much weed is too much, diving straight in can have consequences. The best way to get the most out of cannabis is to slowly ease your way into it and gradually ramp up the intensity of your experiences over time.

Manage your anxiety by microdosing weed

If you want to combat your anxiety with THC-rich cannabis, then a low dose will almost certainly serve you better than a high dose. Hefty amounts of THC can be risky if you start thinking the wrong things and your brain becomes consumed with anxious thoughts and paranoia. But in microdoses, the effects are much more controllable.

A 2014 study found that incarcerated man exhibiting symptoms of PTSD in the form of mood disorders and anxiety could have their condition improved by taking microdoses of a synthetic THC-like cannabinoid. Participants reported “significant improvements” after being administered a mere 4mg of the synthetic THC cannabinoid. The treatment helped to reduce the prisoners’ chronic pain, nightmares and insomnia.

Mieure is a prominent supporter of microdosing, and says that he has utilized the techniques to manage his PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and severe panic disorder over several years. The cannabis expert likens his consumption of the herb to treat panic attacks as ‘walking a tightrope,’ in that too much THC just feeds his symptoms. However, a lower dose helps to reduce Mieure’s sensitivity to triggers, allowing him to put the anxiety monkey in his mind to rest.

Which cannabis products are best for microdosing with?

For residents in legalized states, the options for microdosing marijuana are plentiful – you can smoke, vape, dab concentrates, consume edibles and more. But what sort of strains should you use – do you want one high in THC, high in CBD, or with a good blend of cannabinoids and terpenes?

It’s hard to keep the dosage accurate and low with smoking, so you’ll be better off vaping, taking edibles or using a sublingual tincture for more precision. Stick with products that have a minimum 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC to keep the psychoactive effects minimized.

Mieure suggests strains that have at least 10 percent CBD and no more than 10 percent THC if microdosing to treat anxiety – something he calls the ‘10/10 rule’.

Many cannabis users talk about the non-psychoactive properties of cannabidiol (CBD), and it’s true that this compound won’t produce a high even in huge dosages. This makes CBD-only products, with their anxiolytic qualities, an excellent choice for people with anxiety. But since THC can help to reduce anxiety, too, there’s nothing wrong with picking a strain that contains this compound. Ideally, you want a microdose to leave you feeling uplifted, comfortable and mellow. This can ultimately be achieved with high-CBD and one-to-one strains and products.

Mieure suggests that those microdosing cannabis to treat anxiety first find a safe space, so they don’t have the baggage of unnecessary concerns before medicating. It’s essential to feel relaxed and not intimidated by marijuana, particularly if you are a complete novice with the herb. You may find documenting your experiences helps you to learn how your body responds to various cannabinoid concentrations. Moreover, going back and reading over past thoughts is a good technique to stay calm, and you may find your past writings help you to deal with an unsettling situation. If you’re having problems, try reducing your dose down further. Or, if you aren’t noticing any effects from your microdose, it’s perfectly fine to increase it.

Best cannabis strains for anxiety

There are several high-CBD, low-THC strains that are brilliant for microdosing and treating anxiety. For no psychoactive effects, go for ACDC or Charlotte’s Web. However, to get the benefits of all the cannabinoids, a strain like Sour Tsunami is more suitable.

Terpenes are often a forgotten part of the cannabis plant, yet these compounds can have a substantial impact on the overall effects. In fact, when selecting a strain, it’s important to look at the entire profile of compounds in the plant, not just the cannabinoids.

Mieure says that the terpene content of a strain helps determine whether it will produce a ‘body’ or ‘head’ high. Strains high in linalool, an anxiolytic terpene also found in lavender, are very good for anxiety management. Linalool boasts a sweet scent and has a sedative effect on the user. Research shows that when inhaled, the terpene works to reduce panic responses.

Beta-caryophyllene is another handy anxiety-quelling terpene, according to Mieure. This compound is present in many common foodstuffs, including cinnamon and black pepper. Beta-caryophyllene has a woody and spicy aroma.

Not all terpenes and cannabinoids help to lower anxiety levels, though, and Mieure has pointed out some compounds to avoid if using marijuana to treat anxiety. In addition to steering clear of massive quantities of THC, users should also be wary of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), limonene, myrcene and terpinolene.

Strains with high concentrations of THCV can induce an extremely powerful psychoactive trip, a perfect storm for anxiety. While relatively obscure compared to CBD and THC, THCV is found in copious amounts in Durban Poison and other African landrace strains.

Other cannabis products to treat anxiety

A dosage less than 5mg counts as a microdose no matter what the product is. Furthermore, with microdosing becoming more popular among a sub-set of cannabis users, some companies and dispensaries have gone so far as to introduce “low-tolerance” products, useful for keeping anxiety and other ailments at bay. Check out Breez Mints and Blueberry Terra Bites from Kiva Confections.

Keen bakers can also make their own edibles, where they have full autonomy over their strength. While making your own cannabutter is one option, dissolvable THC powders speed up the process significantly and offer even greater precision.

The Dosist pen is recommended for vapers looking to microdose, since they vibrate for every 2.5mg you inhale, so you’ll never take a high dose without being fully aware. Lucidmood pens are also popular, with the various products producing different experiences – or “moods” – for the user, such as increased relaxation or enhanced energy. Lucidmood products have one-to-one CBD to THC ratio, to promote the most productive “high” possible.

Have you tried microdosing before? Let us know how you got on in the comments.

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