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A Guide to Microdosing CBD and Other Cannabinoids [Can You Microdose CBD?]

‘Getting high’ with CBD is not possible because CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.

But you could potentially get high with CBD products that also have THC content. If the content has under 0.3% THC, it’s not likely you will unless you take too many.

This is not an issue with CBD.

But even though CBD will not make you feel intoxicated, it could have a more substantial effect on you than it does on other people. Whatever that effect is for you.

That’s when a microdosing strategy comes into play.

Microdosing may also come in handy if you’re looking to treat a chronic symptom. Some companies suggest that a long-term strategy is needed to feel certain effects of CBD, but the research to back this claim is scarce. However, this is where the microdosing approach comes from.

Other people apply microdosing because they feel in need of a change in their dosing strategy. Perhaps what they are doing now is not working, or they don’t find it pleasant.

Microdosing can also be your initial dosing strategy. Still, it’s more likely to be the approach of a seasoned consumer or a professional healthcare provider who knows what they’re doing.

Because you won’t know your tolerance level right away, microdosing is more challenging to do if you’ve never experimented with CBD. Keep reading to learn more.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What Is Microdosing CBD?

What Are the Benefits of Microdosing?

What Is a Low Dose CBD Product?

How to Microdose CBD?

Is Microdosing CBD Right For Me?

References

What Is Microdosing CBD?

Microdosing CBD or any other cannabinoid, for that matter, requires identifying what your daily tolerance looks like—then taking minor doses throughout the day until you reach that dose.

The goal behind microdosing anything is to provide longer-lasting, long-term results achieved by consuming the compound in question over a longer time, without surpassing your tolerance in a single dose. 

According to a Systematic Study of Microdosing Psychedelics, microdosing is “The phenomenon of… regular ingestion of minimal quantities of psychedelic substances”[1]

Medical marijuana patients often use this technique because they need to take cannabis more frequently than recreational users. Due to the psychoactive effect of THC, the feeling of intoxication can become overwhelming very quickly if tolerance is surpassed daily. 

With microdoses, cannabis patients may enjoy the effects of THC without feeling overwhelmed or overly intoxicated. 

However, microdosing is not limited to psychedelic substances, and the concept can be applied to other products, including CBD.

Microdosing CBD requires taking things slowly. While feeling overwhelmed by CBD consumption is not as common as THC because of its lack of psychoactive properties, it has become popular among recreational cannabis users for a different reason. 

CBD is taken with a more therapeutic approach than a recreational one. Consistently taking CBD in smaller amounts addresses different conditions than a single sporadic dose. Still, the veracity of how effective this approach is needs more research to be conclusively proven [1].

Most of the evidence available is anecdotal so it cannot be referenced. All we can say to date is that there is a portion of users that prefer microdosing to single high applications.

What Are the Benefits of Microdosing?

Even though clinical knowledge on microdosing CBD is relatively scarce, a single rule to the technique is clear; exceeding your tolerance level in a single dose should never happen.

Because most of the information we possess on microdosing CBD is considered anecdotal evidence, we can’t conclusively state the medical advantages. But we can mention why most people lean towards it and what has made microdosing a popular option.

What Are the Benefits of Microdosing?

In a previous article on the effectiveness of CBD in weight loss, we found that CBD is potentially stored in fat [2]. This may have an array of benefits in terms of weight management. Still, it’s also interesting when analyzing microdosing strategies because if true, it would mean that CBD is accumulated in the body if taken consistently.

That will result in more beneficial effects if the level of CBD in the body is increased over time. Making the microdose approach a more attractive option.

Another belief of microdosing CBD is that the therapeutic effects of the component are activated progressively rather than all at once. The explanation behind this is that many people take CBD to address chronic conditions like pain, insomnia, stress, and anxiety [3,4]

If taken once in a heavy dose, CBD might address these conditions, but the symptoms are likely to be back once the effect is over. If CBD is stored in fat and taken consistently in microdoses, the needs could be addressed more efficiently. Or at least this is the hypothesis behind microdosing CBD.

What Is a Low-Dose CBD Product?

There isn’t a standard low, medium, or high dose of CBD. What is a strong serving for you might not be what a whole serving for a frequent user or bigger person than you looks like.

There are two main reasons for this. The first one being that bigger bodies usually have more tolerance to substances than smaller bodies. The second one is that tolerance for CBD can be built up, so it’s only natural that frequent users have a higher tolerance to it.

People often consider low doses to be at least below 20 mg of CBD and high doses to be over 60+mg of CBD. Anything in between stands in a gray area that could be considered either/or. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll believe anything in between as a medium-sized dose.

Regardless, none of the doses described above can be considered microdoses. Microdosing is usually anything between 0.3mg and 2mg of CBD every 1 to 2 hours. What a microdose of CBD looks like to you will ultimately be determined by your tolerance level and goals.

Another essential variable to consider when defining CBD doses is the consumption method utilized. Each method has a unique way of processing CBD.

For instance, a low dose of edibles could be considered a high dose for inhaled products. Or a high dose for inhaled products might be a low dose for edibles. We will explain this phenomenon in detail later on in this article.

For now, it’s enough to understand that CBD products like oils are convenient because they allow you to determine dose strength according to your preference accurately. Edibles, topicals, and even inhalables do not provide this advantage.

In edibles, it has to do with a process known as the first-pass metabolism- a phenomenon of drug metabolism where the potency (concentration) of the drug is reduced before it can reach the bloodstream. The drug goes through the digestive system until it eventually reaches the liver, breaks down, and reduces potency significantly.

Other non-edible products are not subject to the first-pass process.

How to Microdose CBD?

We’ve discussed in the past on our blog how the appropriate amount for a dose of CBD will be defined by the consumer’s specific physical condition (weight, health, etc.) and tolerance. The same goes for a microdose.

The higher the tolerance, the bigger the microdose will be. But in all cases, microdoses should be only a tiny fraction of the day’s total consumption goal.

You can choose to microdose through a variety of consumption methods. Each one with its own set of pros and cons:

If store-bought, edible may provide a more precise dose and are more convenient in general. But due to the first-pass metabolism, even if the among of CBD in the edible is dosed accurately, the amount absorbed by the body will vary. If homemade, edibles are likely not to be precise.

How to Microdose CBD?

Vaping CBD provides a faster onset but can be harder to microdose. Inhaling is challenging to measure, and microdosing requires a significant amount of precision.

Sublingual application is usually easier to dose. Accurate dosage with sublingual products requires you to estimate the amount of CBD per drop. Once you’ve figured that out, it will be easy to calculate how much CBD you’re ingesting. Because CBD is absorbed through the pores under the tongue when consumed this way, it means you are bypassing the first-pass metabolism entirely. The sublingual application of CBD makes microdosing easier and more accurate.

Is Microdosing CBD Right For Me?

The truth is that this question is impossible to answer accurately without some degree of trial and error. Experimentation is needed to comprehend what your tolerance to CBD looks like and if a microdosing strategy will help you accomplish your wellness goals or not. Unfortunately, microdosing is not likely to show you any results in a short time. Microdosing targets the type of long-lasting wellbeing that can only be achieved when taken consistently for longer. 

References

[1] Polito, V., & Stevenson, R. J. (2019). A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics. PLOS ONE, 14(2), e0211023. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211023

[2] Bielawiec, P., Harasim-Symbor, E., & Chabowski, A. (2020). Phytocannabinoids: Useful Drugs for the Treatment of Obesity? Special Focus on Cannabidiol. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00114

[3] Newton, M., & Newton, D. W. (2020). Cannabidiol or CBD Oil: Help, Hope, and Hype for Psychiatric and Neurologic Conditions. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 26(5), 447–457. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390320929410

[4] Shannon, S. (2019b). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041

Hemmfy articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them.

The knowledge around CBD and other cannabis-derived products is growing and constantly changing, as does their legal status. Hence, we recommend checking with your local authorities and a licensed physician prior to consumption.

Simon Cartagena

Simon Cartagena is a full-time cannabis copywriter. This has led him to write for companies like Hemmfy.com where he acts as Senior Content Writer and other world-renowned cannabis publications. Simon has created Content Marketing strategies and articles that have helped company revenues increase by up to 1,000%. Simon’s goal is to help people understand cannabis in an industry where misinformation seems to be predominant.