Microdosing, or consuming cannabis in small quantities, is a trend that has been growing since the legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018. Microdosing in Canada is on the rise, especially since legalization 2.0 occurred in October 2019.
Edibles and other pre-packaged cannabis-based products (all available to medical cannabis patients) are often available in low THC doses which offers individuals the ability to consume smaller doses of THC without the impact on their daily productivity. While microdosing generally refers to THC, the cannabinoid in cannabis that produces the psychoactive effect, it is beneficial to also incorporate CBD when microdosing. Combining THC and CBD offers a wider therapeutic window while reducing some of the side effects commonly seen when using THC.
What Is Microdosing?
The word “micro” comes from the Greek word “mikros” meaning small. Microdosing is just that, a small amount of marijuana that is used to produce a very mild and continuous effect. Proper microdosing should only have a small, almost unnoticeable effect.
The idea of microdosing THC came from the tech workers of Silicon Valley who were looking to increase their creativity while decreasing their anxiety and depression. These small doses allowed them to gain a creative advantage while maintaining their productivity.
Current scientific evidence around microdosing cannabis is limited, however, cannabis users who have been microdosing cannabis swear by its benefits. The threshold for THC may be far lower than previously thought. Too much of a good thing can cause more harm than good according to Dr. Dustin Sulak, an osteopathic physician based out of Maine. “When you raise the dose sometimes you get diminished benefits, and sometimes you get the opposite of what you are looking for,”. The goal for microdosing should be to start low and go slow. “The goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal noticeable effect,” says Sulak.
Why is microdosing cannabis gaining popularity?
New cannabis users
For individuals new to cannabis, learning about the benefits and dosing of cannabis can be an overwhelming experience. The idea behind microdosing is to achieve a therapeutic dose with the least amount of cannabis possible. Starting low refers to the starting dose you consume, but also the frequency in which you consume. A typical starting microdose is between 1 and 2.5 milligrams of cannabis. This can either be a THC-based product, CBD or Hybrid. Microdosing individuals typically use THC-based products, however, there is a therapeutic benefit to also microdosing with CBD and Hybrid products as well. According to Dr. Sulak, cannabinoids are unlike other supplements or treatments and with CBD, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Individuals’ endocannabinoid levels can impact their optimal dose causing some individuals to require a lower dose of CBD, while others with lower eCB levels require higher doses.
Discreet dosing options
Microdosing offers individuals the ability to consume cannabis in a discreet and non-obvious manner with products like oils, softgels, edibles, sublingual strips, and beverages. Some individuals appreciate the fact these options do not have the typical smell associated with cannabis when smoked or vaporized. Microdosing allows for discreet and consistent dosing whenever or wherever you need it!
Parents and ‘cannamoms’
Many parents are turning to microdosing cannabis to be able to stay present for their families, feel their best and relieve pandemic-related stress. “It makes me a more relaxed mom, a fun one who’s willing to forgo the stack of laundry for a game of Go Fish and give second-grade drama stories my full attention.” says the author of the article ‘An Anonymous Philly Mom Opens Up About Microdosing THC’. Barinder Rasdoe said in a recent BBC article about parenting during the pandemic “My cannabis consumption not only helped ease my own anxiety about the situation but made me a more patient parent”
There is still a lot of stigma around cannabis use which some parents and ‘cannamoms’ find frustrating, especially with cultures such as the ‘wine mom’ being culturally acceptable. Regardless of the stigma, microdosing is becoming more popular among parent groups and deserves more constructive conversation around it.
Treating medical conditions
Many people are turning to microdosing cannabis to treat various conditions like insomnia, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and stress. While more studies are needed, existing research suggests microdosing may be medically beneficial.
Very low doses of THC were shown to significantly reduce pain levels in patients with chronic pain according to a 2020 study. Patients who received the 1 mg dose of THC displayed a significant decrease in their pain symptoms compared to the placebo group.
Another study completed in 2012 of patients with advanced cancer who didn’t respond well to opioid painkillers were given low, medium, and high doses of a THC/CBD compound. Patients who saw the greatest level of pain reduction were those who received the lowest dose of cannabis.
It’s important that those looking to use microdosing to treat their medical conditions speak with a healthcare professional experienced in prescribing cannabis. At Apollo Cannabis Clinics our team of dedicated experts will guide you through a thoughtful process that will answer all of your questions while helping you take charge of your health.
Microdosing with cannabis can be a more cost-effective way of reaping the benefits of cannabis while minimizing cost. Since microdosing individuals are consuming a smaller amount of cannabis to achieve an effective dose, the impact on their wallets, compared to those who consume cannabis in larger quantities, is lessened. Once an individual finds the dose that works best for them, they can fully maximize their prescription and their dollars spent.
Many Licensed Producers in Canada offer a variety of products to their medical cannabis patients that are both discreet and cost-effective. New products such as beverages, gummies, lozenges, and chocolates allow for convenient, on-the-go dosing that won’t break the bank.
The future of Microdosing
While the stigma around cannabis use is still existent in society, more and more individuals are opening up to cannabis and microdosing as being a viable option for them as a replacement for pharmaceuticals or to bring greater balance back into their lives.
While more studies are needed on the efficacy of microdosing cannabis, it’s hard to ignore why many individuals are giving this convenient and safe treatment option a try. Products geared towards those looking to microdose cannabis are being released on the market regularly. This is great news for medical cannabis patients who have access to the same products available on the recreational cannabis market. Medical cannabis patients have the added benefits of their medication being tax-deductible, potential coverage under their health insurance’s reimbursable health care spending accounts, and pricing discounts (patients must qualify with a Health Canada approved Licensed Producer).
Want to learn more about microdosing?
Those looking to try microdosing cannabis for medical reasons are encouraged to contact the experts at Apollo Cannabis Clinics. We are an evidence-based clinic that has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014. Our team of health care professionals and patient care specialists will guide you through a thoughtful process that will answer all of your questions while helping you take charge of your health.
To find out if medical cannabis is right for you, book a free video or phone appointment by completing this short form here.