There is a massive obsession with high-potency THC cannabis strains on the market. There's a growing voice of people pushing for low consumption, but high potency, if that makes sense? This tactic is referred to as "micro-dosing." It has been reported that micro-dosing is a perfect alternative for those who aren't keen on the prolonged psychoactive effects of cannabis, but definitely want the medicinal benefits from full spectrum flower. Because we do understand the particular interference it can have with the demands of daily life.
"Most people don't know about micro-dosing," says Michelle Ross, founder of IMPACT Network, a non-profit organization that uses empirical medical research to find new cannabis-related treatments for patients. "They just blast their system with cannabis or high amounts of THC, and that is not always the best approach for whatever condition they have." "When you raise the dose, sometimes you get diminished benefits, and sometimes you get the opposite of what you're looking for," says Dustin Sulak, an osteopathic physical based in Maine who treats many of his patients with small doses of Cannabis. A prime example is how a little cannabis can actually relieve anxiety, while excess cannabis can actually cause it for some.
So far, Sulak says he's treating patients with micro-dosing to help alleviate conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, pain, and to help improve focus and promote good sleep patterns. A substantial amount of evidence is lacking, still. But there is some clinical research suggesting
that less truly IS, in fact, more when it comes to medicinal Cannabis. A 2012 study exists where patients with advanced stages of different cancers were unresponsive to traditional opioid painkillers. They were given Nabiximols, a THC/CBD compound at low, medium, and high doses. Those who received the lower dosage of cannabinoids reported the greatest reduction in pain. While those receiving higher dosages actually had an increase in their pain.
Sulak also points out that it can be effective for helping to control other chronic conditions and their symptoms. "If someone with multiple sclerosis who is in the middle of a flare up and having a really hard time, she may need a higher dose to get the symptoms under control, " he says, "But as she gets better and heals, her daily dose will go down and down and down, until the point where micro-dosing becomes a maintenance plan." Ross takes several small doses of cannabis each day to help manage her own persistent health. "I have a lot of chronic health problems including neuropathy and fibromyalgia, and cannabis has been the only thing that has enabled me to surmount them," she says. Let's discuss DOSAGES. one of the first concerns people raise is where to start when micro-dosing. But the short answer is, it depends. Everyone will metabolize THC differently. No two people respond to it the same. There's a tremendous variance in the amount of THC it takes to get someone high - which is something you want to avoid with micro-dosing. Individual differences such as liver metabolism, genetics of cannabinoid receptors, and previous cannabis usage can affect the way you react to micro-dosing at different levels.
"Micro-dosing is something very personal," said Ross. "There is no magic bullet for all patients, it is different for each one. So keep experimenting until you find the dose that works for you." She recommends that first-timers start at 2.5 milligrams and to maintain that level for approximately three days and then increase if necessary. "In Colorado we have a saying: start low and go slow. But the lowest dosage they start off with for consumers is 10 milligrams and I think that is already too high."
So Sulak advocates beginning with even lower doses and has created his own step-by-step guide to micro-dosing for clients on either end of the spectrum of experience.
If you happen to already be a regular cannabis user, Sulak recommends a 48-hour abstinence period. He believes this would be a good window to reset the endocannabinoid system. Some might say this time frame couldn't possibly be extensive enough to make an impact. But a brain imaging study, published in 2016 tracked the number of cannabinoid receptors during an abstinence period. This study revealed that, even in heavy cannabis smokers, their receptors bounced back to baseline levels after two days!
After this brief cleansing, you should gradually reintroduce cannabis to your system, starting with even as little as 1 mg.
So, here's what else he says:
"The goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal effect. The goal is not to get stoned. You are not trying to get TOTAL relief of symptoms - you are just trying to get a little something. And then once you arrive at a dose where you feel a little something, stay there for a few days. And then you can start gradually increasing if needed. That typically falls somewhere between one and three milligrams per dose."
Sulak also claims that these lower doses noticeably lead to increased sensitivity to cannabis over time, in turn spot-lighting the importance of staying at low levels for the first few days of micro-dosing. He notes that tests performed on animals suggest that low level doses of THC can result in an up-regulation of endocannabinoid systems.
"If you are building a tolerance to THC, you are building tolerance to your body's own cannabinoids, which are there for the purpose of promoting balance and health. So having a highly sensitive endocannabinoid system is very valuable for responding to illness, inflammation, injury, and stress and people can achieve that with micro-dosing cannabis."
For our readers using cannabis irregularly or the first time ever, he suggests 1 milligram of THC in combination with 1 milligram of CBD and gradually increasing the dosage (maintaining the 1:1 ratio) until they feel something, then remain at that level for four days.
"Everyone is going to get to the point where they increase their dosage and it will not work as it did before. And that means they have passed their optimal dose. That optimal dose is different for everyone. Finding it means going past it." Sulak says.
We've only recently stuck our hands in micro-dosing research and the results we have discovered are IMPECCABLE. We definitely encourage you to go do some digging yourself, especially if you are a medical marijuana patient and would like to avoid psychological effects of cannabis.
Have a groovy week!
Emerald's Triangle LLC