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What is Microdosing?

Originally posted 8th June 2017, Updated on 16th January 2019

The idea of microdosing drugs first came up in 2008, when Albert Hofmann, the scientist credited with the creation of LSD, passed away. Shortly before his death, he talked about microdosing, a form of measuring dosages of certain drugs into small amounts. These small amounts would then be taken individually at different periods of time. This, he stated, would allow users to experience the benefits of a drug without any of the side effects.

As marijuana becomes legal for both medicinal and recreational in many countries around the world, the idea of microdosing cannabis is something that’s also become more prevalent. But what is it exactly? And does it really bring more benefits than just sitting around for one long sesh at a time?

What is microdosing?

Microdosing is the idea of “less is more” when referring to the intake of marijuana, or any drug. So instead of settling in for several long and hard bong rips, smaller amounts of the drug are taken at any time, but more may be taken more often.

When marijuana is ingested in these microdoses, it’s said to reduce paranoia and many other side effects that come with consuming more during one period.


Microdosing is much like taking pain killers. Those that deal with chronic pain may take several small doses of Aspirin or another painkiller throughout the course of one day. Microdosing marijuana is no different and may even eliminate the need for those over-the-counter prescriptions, which can bring their own unwanted side effects.

So how micro is the dose? The most recent studies that have been done on microdosing recommend doses of no more than 5 to 10 milligrams at a time. Speaking of those studies, there are a lot of them. Two of the most famous are this study published by the Nature Medicine Journal, and this study published by the Journal of Affective Disorders.

What are the benefits of microdosing?

Microdosing doesn’t bring the traditional high that is associated with marijuana. People can microdose and still remain focused and full of energy and in fact, microdosing can actually help with this. This ability to have a form of treatment that brings all of the benefits, without having to also deal with the sometimes unwanted psychoactive effects is the biggest benefit microdosing brings for cannabis consumers.

People use medical marijuana for a number of reasons. Some may need it to help them with their anxiety or depression, while others may take it to help them deal with chronic pain. Those undergoing other treatments may take it to increase their appetite or to treat insomnia.


For others, microdosing helps open a creative door, and this has been backed up in Silicon Valley. Here one company hands out small coffee beans with a very small THC dosage to help them bring more creative solutions to the team and help them remain energized and enthusiastic while they’re on the job.

Who is microdosing for?

Because microdosing delivers small amounts of THC at any one time, and can be taken whenever needed, the practice is good for anyone, from those that have been smoking cannabis for years, or those that are just starting to learn of its medicinal benefits.

Those that are new to cannabis should go very slow at first, taking even still small doses of a microdose, and working their way up until they know how it will affect them.

People who find that they still have to remain functional throughout the day, such as those who have to work or take care of a family, may find microdosing to be the exact method they need. Because microdosing allows people to get the benefits of medical marijuana they need, they’ll also still be able to attend to the things they need to get done throughout the day.

With so many studies pointing to the benefits of microdosing, it’s really suitable for anyone that wants to give it a try.

What to bear in mind

Just as there are many ways to consume medical marijuana, there are also many ways to microdose.

Smoking marijuana is one of the least effective ways to microdose. Because it’s nearly impossible to tell how much THC is actually in a joint or bowl of a pipe or bong (even when you know the general THC of the strain), it’s impossible to tell how much has been smoked. Vaporizing can be more accurate, but will still not give a completely accurate dose.

Instead, the best way to microdose is to use edibles. Edibles are no longer the massive brownies or cookies that used to be all that was available. Today there is salad dressing, chocolates, lollipops and more that contain very small amounts of THC. The amount is usually written right on the package, taking the guesswork out of any one microdose almost completely.


It is important to remember, especially for new cannabis users, that no more than 10 milligrams of THC is ingested at any one time. Two hours should then be taken before administering another dose. This will allow users to fully understand how the microdose will affect them, and whether they want to take more or less next time.

Lastly, alcohol should be avoided when microdosing medical marijuana; and the side effects will be even less when microdosing is done on a full stomach – saving room of course, for that bite of a microdose!

MSNL Team MSNL Team / 16th January 2019

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