Have you noticed how suddenly everyone’s talking about microdosing? From Silicon Valley Execs to medical cannabis patients, the world and their dog seem to be at it. That’s because microdosing cannabis is a user friendly way to get the cannabinoids you need, while still functioning in daily life.
The ‘functioning’ element is key. This is because microdosing is usually spoken about in terms of taking some kind of psychoactive substance in such a low dose that any mind altering effect is negligible, but the accompanying health benefits remain. So, in cannabis terms we’re usually talking products containing THC, but not exclusively so.
Is microdosing cannabis just as nature intended?
Some theorize that microdosing serves to strengthen the body’s endocannabinoid function, whereas taking larger doses can make our endocannabinoid receptors less responsive, a concept that could be applied to both THC and its non-psychoactive sibling, CBD. It’s also suggested as high strength THC strains are a modern phenomena, microdosing is more akin to how cannabis was traditionally administered for medicinal use, before getting stoned became the priority.
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What does science say?
Some clinical research points towards the effectiveness of microdosing for certain conditions. In a double blind, placebo controlled study entitled Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain, scientists discovered that vaporizing a low dose strain with 1.29% THC had the same pain relieving effect as a higher dose with 3.53% THC. Subjects taking the lower dose unsurprisingly found learning and memory to be less affected than with the higher strength THC.
A physician’s experience
Integrative Medicine Physician Dustin Sulak, who from his clinic in Maine regularly prescribes cannabis based medicine, has indeed seen how sometimes less is more when it comes to cannabis dosing.
In an article for United Patients Group he says, “when I started my practice, I was surprised to see that some patients were using very low doses (e.g. 1 puff), while other patients require much higher dosages (e.g. 1 joint or a potent edible) to achieve optimal benefits. Over time, I began to notice that most patients using small amounts of cannabis were getting better and more sustainable results than their high-dosage counterparts with similar conditions.”
He goes on, “I discovered that most people have a certain threshold dosage of cannabis, below which they’ll actually experience a gradual increase in health benefits over time, and above which they’ll start building tolerance, experiencing diminishing benefits, and more side effects.”
So for Sulak, it’s not just a matter of reaping the rewards without getting high, but also avoiding getting into a cycle where a patient feels they need to take more and more cannabinoids to achieve the same therapeutic effect.
In such instances Sulak recommends a ‘sensitization protocol,’ allowing patients “to reset the sensitivity of their endocannabinoid system and achieve much better results with a lower dosage in only 6 days. Afterwards, 90% of patients who try the sensitization protocol are able to decrease their dosage while improving benefits, and the average dosage reduction is 56%. This reduction not only improves benefits and reduces side effects – it saves patients a lot of money.”
But what are the microdosing implications for CBD? At Endoca we offer CBD products with concentrations ranging from 3% CBD Oils to 99% CBD Crystals. We have noticed from our customer feedback that for certain conditions just as much benefit can be achieved from taking our lower strength CBD Oils. This could be due to what’s called the biphasic effect which describes when a drug has differing effects on the body depending on the blood concentration levels. For example in the case of CBD, at low doses subjects can find it to be stimulating, while at higher doses it can be a sedative.
It might also relate to the state of health of each individual at the time of taking CBD. Dustin Sulak has noticed that in general about 10% of his patients need a much higher dose, stating that “patients with greater resilience and who are closer to balance in their physiology are more likely to succeed with lower dosages, while patients who have been sicker for longer sometimes may require aggressive dosing to control the disease process, then are able to convert to low dosages later, after they too are closer to health and balance.”
Less can mean more
An important concept to bear in mind when considering microdosing is finding your own personal ‘sweet spot’. We recommend using the up-titration’ method, which means starting low and building up until reaching the optimum amount. Many assume that it’s necessary to increase the dose exponentially to get maximum benefit, but this isn’t necessarily the case. What is key is to listen carefully to your body, avoiding the urge to keep upping the dose when a plateau is reached. In actual fact this is the moment to drop back down to a lower dose.
One convenient way of microdosing CBD is through the delivery method of the moment, CBD Chewing Gum. Each piece of gum slowly releases 15 mg of CBD into the bloodstream, the optimum amount to encourage alertness, and ease chronic pain. But you might prefer a single puff from a vaporizer or a couple of drops of 3% CBD oil. In the end it’s down to you to find your own microdosing method of choice.
So, we would really love to know, have you tried microdosing CBD? Did find that taking less CBD oil can bring about better effects than higher doses? We’d love to hear about your dosing experience. Please leave your comments below.