A growing number of cannabis consumers are finding that less truly is more when it comes to THC. Rather than reaching for the “biggest bang,” they’re using tiny—even barely perceptible!—amounts of THC while still accessing the plant’s many benefits.

How low can you go when it comes to dosing THC? The extreme version of this trend is called “microdosing THC,” and it’s a fascinating and potentially impactful way to get the benefits of cannabis without the potential distraction of an intoxicating high.

This isn’t merely wishful thinking. As a growing body of evidence suggests, the majority of people actually derive greater benefit from lower dosages of cannabis. If you’re looking to fight pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety and stress, or find deeper, more restorative sleep, you’ll generally get better results (and stretch your cannabis dollars further) by using less.

In today’s post, we’ll share everything we know about how to microdose THC, including best practices, potential benefits of microdosing THC, and specific products that make it easy to do. You may be one of the many who find that using tiny amounts of cannabis actually imparts more lasting and sustainable benefits than using a lot.

Ready? Let’s begin.


cannabis microdosingBenefits of Microdosing THC: Basic Principles?

The concept behind microdosing THC is fairly simple: While we know that cannabis compounds such as the cannabinoids THC and CBD (as well as terpenes and other components) can impart beneficial medical effects, the psychoactive effect of consuming THC—what most of us refer to as “the high”—can be distracting or unwelcome in certain circumstances.

What inspired microdosing? The concept of microdosing THC was initially inspired by the practice used with hallucinogens such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, both of which have demonstrated a number of potential benefits.

While we offer a wide range of non-intoxicating high-CBD or CBD-only products, sometimes it’s preferable to consume very small amounts of products that contain multiple cannabinoids instead. That’s where microdosing THC comes in. It consists of consuming a very minimal dose of a high-THC product. At appropriate doses, many microdosers find the subjective effects subtly enjoyable yet effective over a longer period than they might normally.

What does the research say? One study from 2012 found that tiny doses of the synthetic cannabinoid-based medication Nabiximols provided better pain relief than traditional opioid-based painkillers. Another study published in 2014 found that extremely low doses of another synthetic cannabinoid compound (Nabilone) produced a “significant improvement” in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The fact that these two studies incorporated synthetic cannabinoids may be more of a reflection of the challenges of conducting cannabis research than a statement about cannabinoids themselves. For instance, a 2017 study found that lower doses of THC produced far better outcomes than higher ones in a mock job-interview scenario.

What are some ways you might incorporate the benefits of microdosing THC into your daily routine? Let’s take a closer look.

How to Microdose THC: Subjective Effects

If you’re thinking about microdosing THC, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to increase the odds of a truly beneficial outcome. Microdosing THC is all about calibration. Rather than maxing out THC levels for an overwhelming mind/body experience, the small doses associated with microdose THC are designed to deliver predictable, consistent, and, most of all, sustainable effects.

The effects of microdosing are generally far more subtle than a full dose of THC, and can vary from person to person depending on several factors including the cannabis strain, dosage level, and your personal tolerance. In general, the effects are more subtle and controlled, allowing you to experience the possible therapeutic benefits of THC while continuing to go about your day unimpeded by the intoxicating effects.

When we discuss the possibility of microdosing with our Washington, D.C. dispensary customers, the first question we often hear is: “What does microdosing THC feel like?” The answer is that consuming a microdose is a much more relaxed and less intoxicating experience than ingesting a regular dose. The intense euphoric, intoxicating, and mind-altering effects associated with cannabis are much milder—and sometimes barely noticeable—when using microdose THC. This can be a huge boon for people who don’t really want to feel “high,” especially in daytime or work environments.

microdosing thcHow to Microdose THC: Best Practices

Microdosing cannabis can be a great strategy for people who need to perform on a high cognitive level throughout the day. Many of our customers report that microdosing THC not only allows for a clear state of mind, but may help foster an calmly alert and focused state. A clear mind is one of the most sought-after microdosing benefits and in our experience, a big reason why many people turn to microdosing THC in the first place.

Once you get used to the experience of microdosing cannabis, you may find that in certain situations a microdose can be more than enough to impart gentle benefits. For example, those who use cannabis to help manage symptoms of anxiety and may find that THC actually worsens their symptoms. As we referenced earlier, research indicates that using minimal THC is a far more reliable way to derive maximum benefit from this potent plant-based medicine than taking a lot of it.

Speaking of which, how much is too much? As we explain in our Edibles Dosing Guide, microdose THC amounts typically fall in the 1 mg to 2.5 mg range. Sound like too little? Hardly. One 2020 study on pain management found that even a 1 mg dose of THC produced a significant decrease in pain compared with a placebo.

Is it “bad” to feel slight intoxicating effects while microdosing THC? That’s entirely up to you. If your goal is maximum mental clarity and focus, then we’d recommend dialing your dosage down until you can’t detect any psychoactivity whatsoever. But if you find you tolerate a little “buzz,” you can try increasing the dosage until the effects are just barely perceptible.

As with all uses of cannabis for specific outcomes, it’s helpful to approach microdosing with a bit of a “scientist mind.” Take your time assessing the effects, being mindful that you may actually feel the results the following day.

We recommend you begin with the lowest dose for a few days or a week. If desired, increase your dose by a tiny increment after at least three days if you aren’t experiencing the desired effects. If you’re convinced you require a second dose on the same day, we recommend you wait at least two hours after taking the first one to avoid potentially taking too much. At these low doses, the effects are unlikely to be extreme, but we’re committed to you getting the maximum benefit from cannabis, no matter what dosage you’re working at!

Remember: Whether you’re microdosing THC for the first time or starting up a new regimen, the smallest dose possible is a good place to start. Remember, too, that our bodily physiology can change over time. After taking a break, it’s wise to reset to the lowest dose every time you start a new round of microdosing.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for an informative and interesting read on the subject of microdosing, here at the dispensary we especially enjoyed Danielle Simone Brand’s book: Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out.

Microdosing THC: Specific Consumption Methods

Here’s something to consider: Not all cannabis consumption methods yield the same results.

When you smoke or vape cannabis (whether in large or microdose amounts), you will generally feel their effects much more quickly than with other consumption methods, typically within a matter of minutes. However, unless you take the time to carefully weigh each dose with an extremely precise scale, it can be hard to tell just how much THC you’re actually ingesting, causing you to ingest more than you intended.

That’s a major reason we prefer other consumption methods for microdosing, such as tinctures and oils. This liquid format allows you to measure your doses much more precisely, so you can dose accurately and consistently.

Edibles can be a great alternative as well, especially those that are already portioned in individual servings. However, edibles—especially when homemade—can be inconsistent when it comes to accurate dosing since the distribution of cannabis throughout an edible may not be perfectly even.

Lastly, while microdosing THC may be what many are seeking to do, that doesn’t mean that the benefits of microdosing are limited to just THC. Microdosing CBD or a combination of THC and CBD may also yield great results. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment a little and find out what works best for your situation, your goals, and your physiology.

Cannabis Microdosing ConsumptionBenefits of Microdosing THC: How to Get Started

First things first: If you’re not already in our system, let’s get the process rolling with some brief intake forms for new patients. They’re quick and easy—we promise!—and they’ll help us understand your needs and goals. If you need a temporary medical marijuana card, we can even help. Simply register for an immediate 30-day Visitor Pass ($30 paid to the city) today.

As with any change in your wellness or supplement routine, you should always check with an expert who understands the ins and outs of consumption to see if cannabis microdosing is right for you. One of our qualified Patient Consultants will help you determine if cannabis microdosing is right for you and show you how to start microdosing.

Once you’ve got the professional go-ahead, take a minute to check out some of our favorite high-CBD and low-THC products. Whichever products you choose, the experienced budtenders at our Washington, D.C. dispensary are here to help guide you through your cannabis microdosing journey.

Microdosing THC: Bringing It All Back Home

Why microdose THC? As we’ve covered, there are many reasons! Some people enjoy the relief microdosing can provide for bodily conditions such as relief from chronic pain or inflammation. In contrast, others turn to microdosing for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Either way, a large and growing body of evidence suggests that microdosing THC may impart lasting benefits.

And, if you’re new to the world of cannabis consumption, microdosing can be a great way to learn your own tolerances and discover the right level of THC to suit your individual needs.

If you’re interested in getting started, we’d love to help! As Washington’s #1 family-run medical marijuana dispensary, we’re dedicated to helping you get the very most from your cannabis experience. Have any other questions about microdosing THC (or any other cannabis-related topics)? Just ask!