DISCLAIMER: This article is provided for information purposes only. Vape North does not claim that microdosing is effective as a medicine, aid, or supplement, nor can it be claimed to be a substitute for professional medical help, therapeutic help, or health advice. In case of medical or psychological complaints as well as the first symptoms of depression or anxiety you should always contact your physician or a mental health professional.
Depression sucks. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. Having a cloud of sadness following you everywhere, with no clear end in sight can be really rough. Depression is a debilitating disorder that affects approximately 5% of adults around the world, but most people don’t reach out for the help they need and instead suffer in silence. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are many options available to help you manage symptoms and change your perspective, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to stay open minded and persevere with different treatment options until you find one that works for you.
One way to achieve some clarity, unlock your mind, and improve your situation is to incorporate a pinch of cannabis into your daily life. If that piques your interest, read on to find out if this tool might help you on your path to recovery. This article is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical advice, but it does offer up a treatment option that’s worth giving a shot.
WHAT IS MICRODOSING?
Microdosing is quickly gaining momentum in medicinal and recreational realms as a treatment for the symptoms of depression, chronic pain, and stress among other things. Previously the practice has only been associated with harder psychedelic substances, but recent times have seen cannabis come into the micro mix.
Traditionally, cannabis growers have focused on producing stronger and stronger strains, to keep up with the demand for the heavier highs that most people were looking for. With the recent legalisation of cannabis in many countries, the range of consumers has broadened greatly. Many of them are more interested in very mild and functional highs, enjoying the subtle benefits while maintaining focus, instead of the usual head-in-the-clouds type of high. Microdosing is a great way to achieve this.
A microdose is a small dose of a substance that will have no distinctly obvious effect on the user, but still provides the subtle beneficial effects of the substance. Coming into prominence during the early 2000’s, especially in Silicon Valley, microdosing has a decent amount of history behind it. By utilising sub-effect-level doses, pioneering microdosers discovered they could function throughout their day as normal, without feeling any type of impairment, while reporting improvements in their problem solving abilities, focus, along with numerous other benefits.
MICRODOSING FOR DEPRESSION
When microdosing cannabis for depression, we’re aiming to experience the psychologically beneficial and medicinal aspects of the plant, without getting super ripped. It can give you something to look forward to everyday, which can be crucial for people suffering with depression. Having something to take your mind off your situation and provide a fresh perspective can make a world of difference. Providing numerous health benefits including relief from anxiety, pain management, improved sleep cycles and overall mood, microdosing can fully unlock the beneficial qualities of your herb and alleviate a lot of the stress associated with depression.
Microdosing cannabis harnesses the magic powers of the human body’s endocannabinoid system to uplift and regulate your emotions. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in your body and the endocannabinoid system is constantly fighting to restore harmony in your body, while being thrown off by environmental toxins. These specialised compounds are responsible for keeping everything inside in check, from digestion, to nerve signalling, and your vital immune system. They play a major role in motor control, cognition, emotions, behaviour, and they happen to have a similar construction to THC, CBD, and other compounds found in cannabis. Incorporating a few more endocannabinoids into your system through microdosing is a perfect way to alleviate symptoms commonly associated with depression.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Microdosing can be a tricky process to begin with, you’ll probably need to do a fair bit of experimentation to figure out your ideal dose size. It’s even trickier if you want to microdose dry cannabis, because a dose size can vary depending on your consumption method. Using concentrate cannabis can be a bit more consistent since it tends to be more carefully measured for potency.
Although it requires a bit of work and perseverance to find your perfect microdose, the benefits of microdosing are far too great to ignore, especially for those suffering from depression. And let's be honest, it’s far from being unenjoyable work anyway. If you find that you feel noticeably high after attempting a microdose, then your dose was too large and you should reduce it next time. Gradually reduce your dosage until the point where the mental effects are not obvious and you will have found your ideal microdose.
METHOD OF CONSUMPTION
The easiest way to microdose cannabis is with edibles, it’s much easier to judge how much you’re consuming when you have a pre-measured dose that you simply put in your mouth, the downside however is the longer wait time before it kicks in. Tinctures work similarly to edibles but with the advantage of acting a little quicker.
Using a vaporizer to microdose is another option, it’s not quite as simple as using tinctures or edibles, but it has its own advantages, with the main one being the much shorter time it takes to kick in. The trick to microdosing with a vaporizer is to factor in your inhalation speed and length, as well as the potency of your cannabis. Give it a bit of practice and soon enough you’ll be microdosing with a vaporizer like a pro.
HOW TO MICRODOSE?
To get started with microdosing you’ll need to begin by figuring out your tolerance level and working out your minimum perceptible dose size. If you use cannabis regularly it's a good idea to abstain from consumption for a few days prior, so your body has time to readjust its receptors and reset the tolerance you’ve built up.
A typical microdose ranges between 2 and 10mg, but what works for you will depend largely on your tolerance, so this should only be used as a very rough guide. You may find that with your strain of herb and consumption method you need more, or even less than that. You might not even bother working out the weight of the amount you consume, and instead focus on your consumption method to measure your microdoses (e.g. one steady inhale for five seconds). It’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you.
The process of figuring out your ideal microdose size is simple - start with a very small dose and slowly increase the size until you can feel the effects. That is the point where microdoses become normal doses for you, so anything less than that is a good amount to microdose. Remember that you’re after a body high, not a mind high. Take the same size of dose for a few days and monitor how your body is responding. If you feel no noticeable improvements to your symptoms you can try increasing your dose a little, but make sure not to overdo it to the point of feeling high. When you’ve established your ideal microdose size you can consume a microdose two or three times a day, or whenever you think it will be beneficial (it’s not microdosing if you do it every 10 minutes though!).
The key to microdosing with a vaporizer is to take a timed, steady inhalation, and then wait 15 minutes. You need to allow some time to pass so you can accurately assess the effects of that single hit, if you feel a mental high then it was too much, try a shorter duration inhalation next time. If you don’t feel anything after 15 minutes, you can try another draw again and reassess. You’ll defeat the purpose of the exercise if you have enough to feel high, so don’t push it too far.
One benefit of having legal recreational and medicinal use in some areas is that you have much more opportunity to test different strains of cannabis until you find the one that works best for you. Unfortunately this is much more difficult in places where it is illegal, for obvious reasons. For more information about the legality of cannabis use, take a look at our article about places where cannabis is legal.
Microdosing can be a useful tool for managing the symptoms of depression. As legalisation across the globe begins to make the stigma around cannabis use fade away, more people are realising its potential as an effective medicine. It’s truly a wonderful thing that so many people are no longer prevented from taking advantage of the helpful properties of this amazing plant, just because of archaic and ill-informed laws. For cannabis to be optimally incorporated into your wellness regime you should work closely with a medical practitioner that has experience with cannabis, so you can work together in creating a depression destroying scheme that is suitable for you and your situation. Remember microdosing cannabis is one of many treatment options to alleviate depression, but one pinch of this magical plant might provide more than a hint of hope among your hardships.