Understanding the way we take our medicine is an important first step towards treating ourselves correctly and cannabis is no exception. Larger doses will affect the body and brain differently than small sized “micro” doses. Microdosing uses the “less is more” approach which appears to be gaining popularity for numerous health benefits and overall practicality.
How is a high dose measured differently from a low or microdose? While the active ingredients in cannabis include cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids; most cannabis products are measured by the content of the cannabinoid THC.
Microdose (1-5mg): At this range, you are unlikely to experience cognitive effects. However, most people experience an elevated mood. Microdosing generally appeals to healthy adults who are interested in the overall benefits of cannabis. Medical patients who experience debilitating symptoms such as pain are unlikely to see full relief with doses this low.
Low/Medium dose (10-20mg): This is still considered a relatively small dose that delivers less THC than typical recreational products. Many patients tend to see improvements in their symptoms in this range.
High/Macro Dose (50mg +): This potent dose will cause the user to experience intoxication. This is something which tends to favor a recreational user but it may be an undesired side effect for some medical patients.
Since cannabis affects everyone differently, the ranges do have some wiggle room. Many users experience an increase in tolerance and choose to avoid it by using lower doses on a regular basis.
A 2014 study published in “The Journal of Pain” stated that lower dosing offered exactly what most patients needed: relief with minimal to no high to assist with day to day activities. Starting patients with a lower dose gives them the opportunity to start slow and see how they will respond so that adjustments can be made as needed. Too high of a dose can cause feelings of anxiety and paranoia which can make new users feel wary and unsure of using cannabis again.
Patients that are microdosing may also choose to do it due to the obvious financial benefit. Since cannabis is still only covered by a few insurance companies, the reduction in treatment cost is a significant perk.
All in all, microdosing has clear benefits that have made it popular among the medical community and has allowed more people to consider using cannabis without the undesired side effects that come with a higher dose of THC.