Beth Schwartz
Jun 07 2021 . 5 min read
finding-cannabis-sweet-spot

Finding Cannabis’ Sweet Spot

Finding Cannabis’ Sweet Spot

Taking the mystery out of micro-dosing

Taking the mystery out of micro-dosing

When I first heard the word micro-dosing, it made me nervous. I am not sure why. For some reason I made an immediate association with psychedelics and hallucinogens such as LSD. But micro-dosing shouldn’t be intimidating. It is just a scientific version of the common cannabis mantra: Start low and go slow.

Micro-dosing enthusiasts are merely enjoying small amounts of cannabis to achieve the perfect balance between THC’s desirable benefits and psychoactive effects. In

other words, finding the sweet spot before you become

over-intoxicated.

For many people micro-dosing is the best thing to ever happen to cannabis. Especially women. As I pointed out in the May issue of elevate, see my editor’s note, the female population doesn’t tolerate THC the same way as men. Because of our estrogen output, our bodies are more sensitive to THC and, in turn, we require less of it. Many products have been developed without that hormonal difference in mind and so are automatically going to be too strong for women. So, if you have had a bad experience with cannabis, you can blame it on your estrogen.

But it’s just not the fairer sex who will welcome micro-dosing into their cannabis experimentation. Those utilizing cannabis for medicinal reasons will also find this method of ingesting cannabis to improve their cannabis experience. For instance, I have a friend who is a Covid-19 long-hauler and new to the modern world of cannabis. Sleep is vital to his continued recovery from the virus. Someone gave him a bag of 50mg-per-piece gummies. Obviously, that’s one very strong gummy. He knew he didn’t need a gummy that potent, so he cut it into thirds. He tried a 1/3rd portion, and it wasn’t enough to alleviate his nighttime tossing and turning. The next night he took half (25 mg) a gummy and it worked like a charm. He enjoyed an incredible night of ZZZZZs, and now has a dose that works for him with mild psychoactive effects.

While sleep is a popular reason to use cannabis, others include anxiety, stress, severe pain, chronic headaches, and similar situations when medical marijuana patients want to utilize the effects of cannabis without becoming uncomfortably high. Micro-dosing cannabis is also popular among recreational cannabis consumers who want to get the most out of the plant without becoming overly intoxicated.

There’s another often-overlooked population who will find micro-dosing to be optimal to their cannabis experience. “There’s a misconception about what a large swath of the market wants out of a cannabis experience,” explains David Weiner, co-founder, Gossamer. “While there’s a legacy community of consumers who want to get very high or for whom a high THC percentage is simply the norm, there’s a much larger existing and nascent consumer demo that is looking for a more moderate and functional high. Just as not everyone wants to be drunk when they drink, not everyone wants to be blasted when they’re high.”


HOW TO MICRO-DOSE

The goal of micro-dosing is to pinpoint the serving that achieves your cannabis goals without making you feel high. While this might take a certain amount of trial and error, once you get there, the payoff is worth it. Dosing is dependent on your tolerance level for cannabis, weight, genetics, and any pharmaceuticals you may be taking.

According to Marijuana Policy Project, 10mg of THC is the standard dose per serving so anything below that is considered “low dose.” Products that call themselves “low dose” range between 1mg to 5mg of THC. For people with high THC sensitivity, one or two milligrams of THC might feel like a more appropriate cannabis micro-dose. For medical marijuana patients who usually consume very high amounts, the “standard” 10mg serving might feel like a micro-dose. For ingestible CBD, a usual starter serving size falls somewhere between 10mg and 25mg of oil or tincture, while topicals can be used on sore or achy spots as needed. 

For the beginner: Try a cannabis beverage as they are generally low dose. Cann Social Tonics are 2mg THC and Creative Waters Co. has a line of cannabis sparkling water that are offered in varying low doses. Or you can go the gummy route, cutting one in half or into thirds to determine by trial and error which dose works best for you.

“Over the next decade, we believe the majority of new cannabis consumers, and eventually the majority of all cannabis consumers, will be drinking their cannabis. This seems obvious to us. We have spent thousands of years of human history socializing around beverages. We consume other mild intoxicants, like alcohol and caffeine, in beverages (and in microdoses as well), why would we think cannabis would be any different?” asks Jake Bullock, co-founder of Cann Social Tonics. “Products with a mild dose of THC are the most appealing to mainstream consumers that are open to cannabis but have not tried or have not tried it recently. It is these products, like our Cann Social Tonics with 2mg THC, that will bring in waves of new consumers to the industry. They care about feeling in control, having consistent experiences that are turnkey, energizing, and social.”

For the daily user: Tinctures and oils are your best bet because you can maintain control over your dosage. This precision makes it easy to tailor a single serving as low as you’d like and also simplifies the process of establishing a consistent dosage and routine. Additionally, tinctures have become so refined you can generally find one to match your ailment. Experience Premium Cannabis (EPC) has a tincture made specifically for GI support and another called Breathe Easy for respiratory issues. EPC also has a specific product the brand developed for sleep issues called Good Night CBN Tincture.

Speaking of sleep, it occurs to me that I micro-dose Tylenol PM. I have always cut my Tylenol pills in half but never thought of it as micro-dosing, instead as a way to skip being overly groggy and out of it the next morning.  

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