You’ve heard that slow and steady wins the race, and there’s no example that rings more true than the concept of micro-dosing. It’s a popular cannabis consumption method gaining momentum with those who wish to experience subtler and more even effects of various strains, so they can go about their busy day. While the cannabis compound THC has been said to reduce pain and inflammation, it’s also the reason you feel ‘high’ after consuming – not the ideal circumstance if you have a big meeting or day out with the kids on your schedule.
Micro-dosing is the practice of taking minute, controlled doses of cannabis (or any drug) to achieve predicted effects in a minimal way. This method of consumption achieves a cellular response, but not enough compounds are consumed to create the common feeling of being high. It allows consumers to observe the effects of different strains while skipping any monumental changes that may affect daily routines.
For any micro-dosing novice (or newbie cannabis consumer in general), the golden rule to follow is: Start low and go slow. This is because there is no prescribable amount of THC that produces specific effects. Unlike other medications, where there are recommended dosages for a person’s height and weight based on a majority response, the way cannabis alters the mind and body is different for every person due to our unique endocannabinoid systems.
Dustin Sulak, a physician and Reiki healer in Maine, has developed a method for those new to micro-dosing to find their minimal effective dose. On the first day, Sulak recommends taking 1 mg of a high-THC strain, waiting 45 minutes, and then registering the flow of breath, how comfortable and calm the body is, and how easy is it to smile authentically.
After trying the 1mg dosage, if no effects are felt, the process can be repeated, adding a mg to the daily dose until the point where a discernable difference is felt; after reaching this point, the minimal effective dose has been reached.
Developing this routine should initially be done during hours when you’re relaxed and don’t have major tasks to complete in case you go past the point where more significant cerebral effects are felt.
For the most precise measurements while micro-dosing, infused oils and tinctures are said to allow for the best accuracy and onset time. However, if smoking is preferred, it is important to remember that it’s considered the hardest way to control THC intake, as well as the least efficient method for micro-dosing as you can lose between 60-80 percent of THC compounds due to burning and side stream smoke. If you choose to micro-dose by smoking, allow ample time to assess effects between puffs, and consider starting with a strain lower in THC.
Ingesting cannabis through an edible has the advantage of longer-lasting effects, however, unlike smoking, the sensations are not as immediate. It is important to remember that effects can take up to 2-3 hours to hit their peak, and if you are making your own edibles, it can be very difficult to create an exact dose in your first attempts.
Whatever way you choose to consume, micro-dosing can allow for the opportunity to create a manageable medicinal cannabis routine. Sometimes good things do come in small packages.
Story by Sophie Naprawa
Graphic by Andrew Cooper
The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to condone the use or consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer.