Public perception and about and legislation surrounding drugs like cannabis and psilocybin (or “magic”) mushrooms has changed radically in recent years. At this point, 15 states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, while 33 states have legalized medicinal use of the plant. Oregon made history in November of 2020 by becoming the first state to legalize magic mushrooms.
These legislative changes have mirrored changing attitudes by the general public. Cannabis, in particular, has undergone a radical change in reputation with the American people. While only 12% of Americans thought weed should be legalized in 1969, in 2019 two-thirds of Americans supported legalization.
It’s possible that you have heard the buzz about microdosing psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD, but have you heard of microdosing THC?
For some people, less is more when it comes to THC. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is when you take a substance in a very small amount so that you don’t feel the full effects of a normal dose of the substance. In general, when people microdose, their goal is to provide benefits and produce a cellular response without feeling a full body effect.
This practice is most commonly associated with drugs like LSD, mushrooms, or other psychedelics and hallucinogens. The goal is to avoid experiencing a full trip but reaping some of the beneficial aspects of the substance.
It has become a trend among tech workers in Silicon Valley to microdose psychedelics in order to feel more focused, creative, connected, and productive. However, some studies have found that there are also a number of drawbacks. For example, one study found that microdosing can amplify any emotions, including negative ones, and potentially increase neuroticism.
At the same time, some studies have found that people might have positive expectations about microdosing psychedelics before they partake, and that this is actually what creates the positive mental-health outcomes they experience. Either way, people certainly anecdotally have reported that it helps to promote a sense of well-being and other benefits.
Many cannabis users would never think of using THC and such small amounts. However, many experts have come to believe that the medical benefits of THC can be felt with much smaller doses than people might expect.
For some individuals, using too much cannabis might cause issues such as anxiety. However, a small amount might help to reduce anxiety.
Before we get into the benefits of microdosing THC, let’s talk a little bit about THC itself. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.
Different strains of cannabis will have different amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds in cannabis. This means that different strains can produce different effects. On top of that, not everyone responds to each chain in the same way.
Some of the factors that can impact how you react to cannabis and THC include:
- This strain, the potency, and the dose
- Your delivery method, for example, smoking, ingesting, or vaping it
- Your age, physiology, and gender
- How often cannabis
- Whether or not you are taking other drugs or drinking alcohol at the same time
Some of the most common effects you might feel when you are high on cannabis include:
- Feeling relaxed
- Feeling euphoric
- Feeling giggly
- Feeling amused
- Feeling hungry
- Feeling creative
- Feeling more sensitive to color, light, touch, sound, smell, and taste
There are also a number of unpleasant experiences or feelings that someone might go through when they are high on marijuana. These include:
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Vomiting and nausea
- High blood pressure
- Racing heartbeat
It is more likely to experience negative reactions if you take too much or if you’re inexperienced. More potent marijuana can create a stronger reaction in people.
People also use THC for medical reasons. One common reason to use cannabis is to help gain relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain is a major issue around the world, with more than 1.5 billion people living with the condition.
Some studies have found that the cannabinoids in cannabis can help to block pain signals from being sent to the brian, thus reducing people’s experience of pain.
THC is also used to help reduce vomiting and nausea. For this reason, it will sometimes used by people who are undergoing cancer treatment and suffering from the symptoms of chemotherapy.
THC is also considered to be neuroprotective. What this means is that it is believed to help protect brain cells from damage.
People will also use THC as a sleep aid. It is been found that using THC might actually help to improve breathing while asleep and also help to reduce sleep interruptions.
There is also some evidence that suggests that THC in cannabis can help to treat PTSD. There are an estimated 24 million people that suffer from PTSD in the United States.
When someone suffers from PTSD, they can experience symptoms such as severe anxiety, agitation, insomnia, depression, social isolation, and nightmare. Some studies have found that THC can help to ease a number of these symptoms, which allow people with PTSD to live a more normal life.
THC is also used by people to help increase appetite. This is helpful for people that have eating disorders, HIV, dementia, or hepatitis, as all of these can lead to a loss of appetite.
There are so many conditions that people use medical cannabis for that we couldn’t list them all here. While there are more studies that need to be done about the effects and potential long-term effects of cannabis, there is a lot of optimism in some branches of the medical community.
For those that live in states where cannabis isn’t legal, it can put them in a pickle. For this reason, many have turned to alternatives such as delta-8-THC. Follow this link to find out the answer to the question: is delta 8 THC legal?
THC and CBD: What’s the Difference?
You have probably heard of both THC and CBD, but you might not necessarily know what they are what the difference is between them.
Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. CBD stands for cannabidiol and can be extracted from both industrial hemp or cannabis. THC is the main psychoactive chemical compound and marijuana individual responsible for the mind-altering effects that we all think of when we think of cannabis.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, legal hemp may not contain more than .3% THC. For this reason, the CBD products that are sold in states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is not legal will always have .3% THC or less.
Both you and interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. However, they have different effects.
Chemically, THC and CBD are very similar. They both have the same molecular structure, with 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, the atoms are arranged slightly differently why these two cannabinoids affect your body differently.
The Benefits of Microdosing THC
While many people enjoy using cannabis recreationally to feel the full effects of the drug, others might be interested in reaping the medical benefits without the mind-altering effects. This is one of the reasons why CBD products have become so popular in the last several years, as CBD can provide some medical benefits without making you feel intoxicated.
However, THC has plenty of promising medical benefits that are separate from the benefits of CBD. It has also been suggested that THC and CBD work better when they are used together because of something known as the “entourage effect.”
Some medical marijuana patient has been turning to microdosing in order to treat a wide variety of conditions. These include stress, depression, pain, and anxiety. People also microdose THC to help promote sleep and improve focus.
There is still a need for a lot more studies to be done regarding cannabis in general and the benefits of microdosing in particular. However, some clinical research has suggested that less is actually more when it comes to medical marijuana.
For example, one 2012 study found that patients with advanced cancer actually had the greatest reduction in pain when they were given a low dose versus the group that received higher doses.
Facts About Microdosing THC: What’s the Optimal Dosage?
Because there is so much variance in how much THC will lead a person to feel high, the optimal dosage for microdosing is also going to vary. People’s previous usage, liver metabolism, and genetics, among other factors, can impact how much is the right amount for them.
If you are interested in microdosing, you will have to listen to your body and experiment until you find the perfect dose for you. A good starting point for your first time is 2.5 mg. You can take that same amount for roughly 3 days and then increase how much you take if necessary.
For people who are already using cannabis regularly, it can be a good idea to take a tolerance break before microdosing. This can help to reset the endocannabinoid system. A tolerance break can last anywhere from 2 days to 30 days or more depending on your frequency and amount of use and your desired results.
You might even consider starting microdosing with a dose as small as 1 mg at this time. The goal is to use the smallest amount possible that still gives you the desired effects. When microdosing, you aren’t trying to feel high.
It can also be a good idea to combine THC and CBD when starting to microdose. A good ratio is 1:1.
When you are in the process of increasing your dose, you might find that all of a sudden you are not feeling the positive effects that you felt at a lower dose. This means that you have passed your optimal dosage. At this point, you will want to scale back down to the last effective dosage.
How to Microdose THC
Some methods for microdosing THC might be more effective than others. If you are going to be smoking cannabis, it can be very difficult to measure how many milligrams of THC you are consuming.
However, if smoking is your delivery method of choice, you can simply take one puff to start with. After five minutes, if you don’t feel any effects, you can take another.
Many experts suggest that people use products like oils, tinctures, or edibles for this purpose so that they can more accurately control the dosage. It is wise to use caution when trying to microdose with edibles, though, as dosage can be unreliable in untested edibles.
You can find a number of products all of the market these days that are more suited for microdosing. Some THC edibles are sold in portions that start at 2.5 mg, which is a reasonable starting microdose level. It’s important to understand that consuming cannabis edibles can mean that it takes over an hour to feel any effects.
Microdosing THC: Is It Right For You?
For some people, microdosing THC might not be appealing at all. If they are drawn to cannabis for the intense high that can accompany it, they might not see the point in taking such small amounts.
For others, though, microdosing might offer just the right amount of effects without any of the negative potentials. It’s also possible that the benefits of THC are actually stronger when people take smaller doses.
Whether you are trying to microdose for medicinal or recreational reasons, there’s no harm in trying for people who are already regular users. However, it can be a good idea to take a tolerance break beforehand to help reset the CB1 receptors in your body.
Did you find this article about microdosing THC interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!