It’s safe to assume that most of us have experienced a bad high at least once. Regretting that extra puff or mouthful when it’s a smidge too late and resigning yourself to the nauseating night you’re about to endure. It’s wildly overwhelming and can happen to even the most experienced canna-connoisseur. Some may want to give up on the green guru altogether, but that’s really an overreaction! Just lower your dose slightly. Or significantly… which is where the concept of microdosing comes into the picture.
WHAT IS MICRODOSING?
Microdosing is all about taking things lightly and enjoying the subtle effects. It’s fast becoming popular in the medicinal and recreational realms for alleviating the effects of anxiety, chronic pain, and stress among other things. Microdosing is a great way to benefit from the therapeutic effects of your herb and slide past the sometimes-negative effects associated with increased consumption. By definition, a microdose is a small amount of any substance that has no blatantly obvious effect on the user but still provides the subtle beneficial effects of that substance.
Becoming popular in the early 2000’s, particularly around Silicon Valley, microdosing has been around for some time. Utilizing sub-effect-level doses, users were able to go about their day as normal, without feeling like they’re bouncing on the moon, and reported improvements in their problem solving abilities, focus, along with numerous other benefits. While previously only associated with psychedelic substances, recent times have seen more exotic substances come into the micro mix.
In this case we will focus on flower microdosing and the ins and outs of how it works and how it might benefit you. Really, the goal of flower microdosing is to eliminate any negative side effects, like paranoia and anxiety, and exclusively enjoy the beneficial effects of your herb.
WHY SHOULD YOU TRY MICRODOSING?
Now why would you bother microdosing when the point of the experience is to reach your peak level, right? We’re constantly spilling the beans on how to get the thickest clouds from any device and that won’t ever change. But there is always room for something a little bit extra in your routine, or a little bit less in this case.
Microdosing provides numerous health benefits including relief from anxiety and depression, pain management, improved sleep cycles and overall mood to name just a few. Microdosing might even be your quarantine lifeline for switching between work and home tasks and minimizing stress. It’s also a great tool for reducing your tolerance. Over time, most people naturally increase the amount they consume as they slowly build a tolerance to their herb. Microdosing forces you to experience how a small dose really affects you and resets your tolerance levels so you can get buzzed off a smaller amount and ultimately conserve your stash and cash.
With microdosing we’re aiming to experience the psychologically beneficial and medicinal aspects of the plant, without getting super ripped. Whether your goal is pain management, mood management, easing anxiety or depression, or treating a range of other conditions, microdosing will unlock the beneficial qualities of your herb while still maintaining a baseline level. Ideal for when you need to concentrate on work or study, or if you don’t feel like being blazed all day long.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Microdosing is an intricate process and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s particularly challenging with flower, as a dose size can depend on your consumption method, previous use, metabolism, and even your body’s unique endocannabinoid system. With most drugs, population reactions fall into a bell-shaped curve. The majority will experience the drug working, a few won’t notice any change and another handful may have a negative reaction. But with herb, there is no majority response.
Although it requires a bit of experimentation and perseverance to find your perfect microdose, the benefits of microdosing are far too great to ignore and it's worth the effort. A typical dose ranges between 2 and 10mg, but like I said before there is no majority response, so take this with a pinch of salt. You may find with your particular herb and consumption method that this number is completely different, or you may not even bother working out the amount you consume but focus more on a regime to get your microdose in (e.g. two steady inhales for eight seconds). It’s all about finding what works for you.
Now if you find yourself feeling slightly high after a microdose… I’m sorry to say but you’ve taken it too far. Microdosing should produce a body high, not a mind high.
METHOD OF CONSUMPTION
With herb, the easiest way to microdose is with edibles. It’s easy to know how much you’re consuming when you have a small pre-measured dose, although there is a longer wait time for them to kick in. A tincture will work just as well, but act a little quicker than an edible.
It’s definitely possible to use your vaporizer to microdose, but it’s not quite as simple as using an edible. The trick with a vaporizer is to factor in the strength and profile of your particular flower as well as your draw speed. With a little practice you’ll be able to use any vaporizer to microdose like a pro.
HOW TO MICRODOSE?
To start microdosing you’ll need to begin by exploring your own tolerance boundaries and find your beneficial dose range. If you’re a regular user it’s recommended to hold off consumption for two days prior, to allow your body to readjust its receptors and reset the tolerance you’ve built over time.
The concept of microdosing is simple, start small and slowly increase until you start to feel some effect. That is your maximum microdose and anything less is a good amount to microdose. Remember we’re after a body high, not a mind high. You should take the same amount for a few days and monitor how your body responds. If there’s no noticeable effects, try increasing your dose slightly. Once you’ve established your dose level, you can consume a microdose twice a day or whenever it will be beneficial.
The key to microdosing with a vaporizer is to take a single, steady draw, and then wait 15 minutes. Make sure you give yourself time to fully feel that single hit, you may be surprised at the level it puts you on. If nothing happened after the 15 minutes, try again and reassess. You’ll defeat the purpose by taking more than you need, so try not to do that.
THE BEST DEVICES FOR MICRODOSING
Although microdosing with flower is relatively new, there are a few devices specifically designed for microdosing and many devices can be adapted for microdosing. The Dosist is designed to deliver 2.5mg of THC and then stop, taking all the guesswork out! As long as you don’t stop your draw early it’ll give you a very predictable and repeatable experience, allowing you to dial in the level necessary to get benefits but not effects.
Microdosing is still possible without a fancy dose device with a little perseverance and fine tuning. Although there are many vaporizers that will enable you to microdose, some will work better than others and make the whole process easier. A device that heats up quickly is key. Warm up and cool down times will cause some active ingredients to be lost so you’ll want to minimize this as much as possible. You’ll want something that gives you a predictable first hit. If it takes a couple draws to get things humming your microdoses are going to be less predictable and not repeatable between sessions. Finally, choose something with a small bowl or one that will work with less than a full pack. You will get way better results by taking 10 hits from 5 freshly packed small bowls, rather than 10 hits from 1 large bowl.
I’d recommend the Fury 2 or the Planet of the Vapes One. Being compact and with a quick heat up time they are my go-to microdose devices for a solid hit from the get-go. Steer away from the larger devices like the Rogue, which has a bigger bowl and will be counterproductive for microdosing.
Another excellent option is a DynaVap M coupled with a Sneaky Pete Half-Bowl Converter. Any DynaVap with an adjust-a-bowl will work, but the M is just such good value that it’s an easy recommendation. I find that with a Half-Bowl Converter in place, if I use a torch and avoid heating it low on the cap where heat will soak the Converter, that first hit will be nice, light and terpy. Using the tiny amount that half-bowl position allows means that you change your flower out more often and can best utilize the fresh pack.
For a desktop device I’d recommend the Ditanium. While this is a monster heavy hitter, it also works well with a tiny pack of flower on the screen. Because it’s powered by pure convection and you can leave it on all day, it’s perfect for loading up a tiny amount on the screen, getting a single solid hit, and then putting it down to come back to later when it’s time for a top up.
Microdosing can be part of anyone’s regular routine. Variety is the spice of life, so if you’re going for massive clouds every single time you might be missing out on a very different side of the experience. Approaching a session from a microdosing perspective allows you to take a step back and assess the effects of a micro amount on your health and well-being. Getting familiar with your unique tolerance level and knowing how much herb will benefit you without being noticed is a valuable experience for any user. So sit back, relax and enjoy a micro hit.