Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Hello, loves! I hope all of you are enjoying the start of this holiday season. With the holidays in full swing, self-care is so important! This season is busy. In effort to please everyone and get things done, many people neglect their own mental health. I’m here to tell you to take a little time, decompress, and focus on your wellbeing. Only your best self can provide the best to others. This leads to my next topic discussing micro-dosing. Micro-dosing has shown promising results in treating mental health in recent scientific research. As a budtender, I’ve noticed that many patients are unfamiliar with this treatment option. High dosage THC products are in abundance on dispensary shelves in Oklahoma, causing low dosage THC products to take the backseat. With this market trend limiting these discussions, you could be missing out on a viable treatment option. Let’s face it, who doesn’t need a little stress relief during the holidays?
What exactly is micro-dosing? Micro-dosing is the practice of medicating with small amounts of cannabis in order to benefit from its function while mitigating unwanted side effects. This is particularly useful in mental health. It allows the patient to maintain full function and a clear head without sacrificing symptom relief. Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Micro-dosing will help alleviate the stress without your co-workers having suspicion that you’re “high”. Are you new to cannabis? This treatment option is great for novice cannabis users. Ok, ok, this sounds great, but I know what you’re thinking, “where’s the science behind this”? Let’s get to it. Washington State University published the most recent study regarding micro-dosing with cannabis. When analyzing treatment for depression, Washington State University concluded “the greatest reduction in ratings of depression were reported after using cannabis with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD”. CBD and THC work together synergistically, providing the best symptom relief. This means that you’ll get the most benefit from your CBD and THC when they are taken together. Think of it as a team in trivia. Alone, you may not know all the answers. However, when you have a big team, all of you can put your knowledge together to take home the win. Some people have the misconception that consuming more THC/CBD results in more symptom relief. With this frame of mind, micro-dosing does not sound beneficial. Washington State University addressed this concern as well stating “a single puff resulted in the same magnitude of change in ratings of depression as 10+ puffs”. Also, when examining anxiety and stress relief, the University found a “nonsignificant linear effect in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress with [higher] doses”. This means that higher doses do not cause higher symptom relief for patients with these mental illnesses. Research is showing that smaller cannabis dosages used routinely is a good option for patients with depression, anxiety, and stress.
Are you ready to try out this treatment option? Some products are more user-friendly than others. I recommend using tinctures, edibles, or capsules. These consumption methods are easier to dose correctly. Dosage is the most important aspect of micro-dosing. It is imperative that you know exactly how much to take and when to take it. The standard dosage is around 2-5mg THC taken every 4-6 hours. As when trying any new treatment regimen, start low and slow. Micro-dosing is very personal. Take your time to find your perfect dose. Heavy cannabis users may need to take a tolerance break before starting a micro-dosing regimen. Most scientist agree that a 48-hour tolerance break is all that is needed to “reset” your endocannabinoid system.
As a patient myself, I’ll share with you the treatment option that I find works well for me. I suffer from OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. Cannabis has been a lifesaver in managing these conditions for me. However, when I was a new patient, it was hard to find relief during work. I found it a little difficult (even anxiety inducing) to go to the office after medicating. I worried about what my co-workers would think of me if they found out I used cannabis. I worried about worrying. It was a never-ending cycle, and I was tired of finding relief from my symptoms for only part of the day. I knew cannabis could help me excel at my job. I knew I deserved access to this medicine the entire day - not just after work. This is when I began researching different treatment options that allowed symptom relief with minimal side effects. I decided to micro-dose with Nature’s Key gummies (5mg THC per gummy). These are not only delicious, but easy to dose properly. I started out taking half a gummy (2.5mg THC) every 4 hours. I immediately felt relief from my anxiety, but my OCD was stubborn. After a little trial and error, I found that taking 5mg (a whole gummy) every 6 hours worked best for me. I still incorporate micro-dosing into my daily treatment. I still take 5mg of THC every 6 hours, but I like to switch up the products between tinctures and edibles. Lately, I’ve been predominantly using a 1:1 THC:CBD tincture from Sundown.
Medicating with cannabis is one instance where the term “the bigger the better” is not always correct. Let the low dosage THC products take the passenger seat for once. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised with its song choices to accompany you on your cannabis journey. You may even save some money along the way! I wish all of you a happy holiday season. Take care of yourselves and each other. 😊
A Naturalistic Examination Of the Perceived Effects Of Cannabis on Negative Affect
Carrie Cuttler-Alexander Spradlin-Ryan McLaughlin - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032718303100