I’ve been writing about my experiences of being a Medical Marijuana patient for two years now. I’ve often talked about the way I use cannabis: in small doses, not enough to get high, but enough to make a change.
Suddenly (in the shower, of course!) a word came to me out of nowhere: microdose. I had never heard it in my life as far as I knew, but it was clearly time to do some research using the old Google. Turns out that microdosing is indeed a thing
on your planet, and it has some relevance to psychedelics (coincidentally or not, some of the related experiences sound a lot like happy cannabis users), but there’s relatively little talk about the word “microdose” in connection with cannabis. So it’s time for us to claim it, because it’s one of those words that almost explains itself. Almost…but not quite.
So, for the record, Wikipedia defines microdosing as “a technique for studying the behavior of drugs in humans through the administration of doses so low (“sub-therapeutic”) they are unlikely to produce whole-body effects, but high enough to allow the cellular response to be studied. ” In the medical cannabis context, I’d like to similarly define microdosing as “a technique for using cannabis in humans through the administration of doses so low (“sub-psychoactive”) they are unlikely to produce gross body or mind effects, but high enough to allow the subtle and positive changes in thinking, feeling, and pain relief that the patient desires.”
What do I mean by subtle changes? Well, you might not want to go numb, but you’d want your pain to disappear. You don’t want to get giddy and high, you just want your depression and brain fog to go away. You don’t want to feel stoned, you just want your anxiety to go away. That’s right, world: we medical marijuana patients don’t want what you think we want. And the proof is right here in what we’re talking about.
The trick is to develop a procedure for a dose, measured in some way clear to you, that works consistently to get you to the appropriate level of consciousness: that place where you can feel something different in your body and mind, but you’re not feeling high or impaired or stoned or in any way out of control. For most people, this will be somewhere between  and .
- Smoking/Vaping — this is by far the most popular method. The advantages are that it requires little preparation or supplies, and that it starts working within seconds.
Smoking anything, of course, is not optimal for your long-term health, but as long as you don’t have any lung or heart ailments, you should be fine, especially if you hold your smoking down to a period just long enough to determine what strain and consciousness level work best for you.
It’s incredibly simple to find your proper dose if you inhale. Just take one toke, and wait 8 to 10 minutes for the full effect to hit you. Evaluate how you feel, and decide if you need more. Repeat as necessary.If you get higher than you’d like with a single toke, you’ll have to be creative. Roll thinner joints, pack smaller bowls, take only 5-second tokes rather than 10…or whatever works. Leave a comment and let us know what worked!
- Tincture — a very discreet way to medicate. You can easily drop some of this liquid into a drink such as coffee or tea, or put some under your tongue for almost instant results. The tradeoff is that you’ll have to plan several weeks ahead, because that’s how long it takes to make it.
A dose of tincture is usually a dropper or two, so start with 1/4 dropper to be safe, and put it under your tongue for the fastest results (warning: it will burn like hellfire if high-proof alcohol was used in making it). Wait 15 minutes, then as before, evaluate how you feel, and decide if you need more. Repeat as necessary.
- Oil and Canna Capsules — Medicated cooking oil or cannaoil allows you to not only measure out doses easily, but use it for cooking as well. You can even make salad dressing with it! And, once you determine your proper dosage, you can load up 50 gelatin capsules at a time for the ultimate in discreet dosing.
As usual, there’s a tradeoff, and that’s the fact that this method takes the most work. But it’s worth it, especially when only an evening’s work can let you make enough capsules for several months of daily use. If you plan to use your cannaoil for cooking, I recommend making it from olive or coconut oil, preferably the latter, but not canola oil and never use hempseed oil.
The strongest cannaoil I’ve ever seen had a dose of 10 drops, so start by taking 5. The thing about edibles is that it takes a relatively long time to work their way through the digestive system, so you’ll have to allow 45 minutes to a full 2 hours here. Evaluate how you feel 15 minutes after you first feel anything, then decide if you need more.
The procedure changes here because of the time delay, so if you felt nothing at all, double the dose (for example, if you started with 5 drops, take 10 the next time if you feel nothing after 2 hours). Repeat as necessary.
A lot depends here on how strong the oil is. In any case, at one point you’ll start feeling it, and then you should experience that level for 4 to 6 hours, which will give you a good guess for the number of drops to take next time (whether more or less). It might take a good few days of careful experimentation, but eventually you’ll know how many drops of that oil is the right dose for you. Then you can put that amount into capsules and simply take a capsule when you need it, or squirt it on your salad or French bread, or whatever!