What is Microdosing?
In the news recently there has been a lot of excitement about “microdosing” surrounding psychedelic mushrooms, but the term was used earlier for cannabinoids. While there is a different, technical use of the term at the onset of medical studies, in common usage, it refers to the practice of taking small amounts of a compound at more frequent intervals to maximize effectiveness while minimizing undesirable side-effects, like psychotropic effects.
Why Would I Want to Try Microdosing Cannabinoids?
Simple answer: to find your personal optimal therapeutic dosage and get the maximum benefit while spending the least. Why is it hard to find your personal optimal dosage? Look at the curve below.
The curve shows us that the most effective amount of CBD and other cannabinoids is not the highest dose.(1) In fact, cannabinoids appear to be rather unique as a medicine in that taking more does not yield a predictable and higher reaction in the body related to the purpose of the medicine (like, more NAIAD pills relieve more pain,) rather the opposite happens when consumers take too many cannabinoids. The consumer may start to think, “My CBD isn’t working for me anymore,” try even higher doses with even worse outcomes, and then give up.
You need to experiment to find the optimal dosage for your particular need. Fortunately, some of the few government-supported studies done on cannabinoids tested toxicity in humans and animals. (Generally speaking for medicines, toxicity needs to be well understood before other studies are felt safe to proceed so these types of studies are typically completed first.) These studies indicated that even in extremely high (and prohibitively expensive!) dosages, cannabinoids, unlike NAIADS or acetaminophen, do not result in dangerous toxicity, so you don’t have to be worried about experimenting within reason. Taking too much CBD is most likely to result in making you feel drowsy or sluggish, and this is unpleasant, so when you hit that point, stop experimenting and start reducing your dosage again.
CBD Bioavailability and Half Life Varies by Product Type
The second issue with optimizing your dosage is that CBD is absorbed differently depending on how you take it (smoking vs edibles vs sprays.) Also, your system eliminates it at different rates. The National Institutes of Health published a study of studies about bioavailability and duration of CBD in the body when it is taken by different methods. The study rounded up reliable studies that determined that “CBD metabolizes in the liver and intestines. Smoking bioavailability is approximately 31%. CBD’s half-life after oromucosal spray is between 1.4 and 10.9 hours, 2 and 5 days after chronic oral consumption, and 31 hours after smoking.”(2) So when you begin experimenting with dosages, stick to a particular type of product, be it tinctures, sprays, or softgels.
The Mix of Cannabinoids Also Changes Optimal Dosage Amounts
The third trick to optimizing your dosage of CBD is dependent on the mix of cannabinoids in any given CBD product, and how those work together to relieve any one symptom. A recent study of a big group of patients demonstrated this phenomenon. One group used an oral spray of THC, while another group received an oral spray of combined THC and CBD at an approximate 1:1 ratio. Both groups gradually increased their dose until they experienced satisfactory relief. The THC group settled at an average of 27 mg daily, while the CBD+THC group used close to 60 total mg daily, but the CBD+THC group had a superior relief of symptoms.(3) So since Pure Hemp Botanicals full spectrum CBD products were designed to include a small amount of THC to increase the beneficial Entourage Effect for the most conditions, you may need a slightly lower dosage depending on the amount of THC and other cannabinoids included in the specific product.
Finding a Reliable, Consistent Dosage Method for Testing
Lastly, you need to take CBD using a product that delivers the same dosage consistently so you can ensure you’re accurately testing outcomes of specific dosages. Smoking flower is probably the least accurate method for repeatable microdosing – flower is hard to consistently dose, and it’s nearly impossible to know the per-dose amount of THC with any accuracy. Pure Hemp Botanicals softgels, on the other hand, contain the same amount of CBD every time and are easy to ingest day or night.
A Practical Way to Find Your Optimal Therapeutic Dosage
Trying to find your optimal therapeutic dosage while balancing all of these parameters is easier with a low-dose product like Pure Hemp Botanicals full spectrum 10 mg CBD softgels. As we’ve seen, your body eliminates CBD faster when it’s taken as a spray or by smoking. Edibles, like Pure Hemp Botanicals Pure Balance softgels, remain in your system longer. While edibles like softgels are less bioavailable than smoked products, there is no risk to lung tissue from smoking. Because they remain in your body longer, it should be easier to keep the optimal amount in your system even if you miss a dose or two.
Find your optimal dosage by starting with 10 mg of full spectrum CBD per day for a few days, and note how you feel. Then try 10 mg in the morning, and 10 mg in the evening, and continue for a few days. Take notes about how you feel. Then try 10 mg at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and, again, record the outcome. Next, try upping the dosage to 40 mg per day, by splitting the dosage between night and day. Eventually you should find the point at which you no longer feel increasing relief. At that point, try cutting back by 10 – 20 mg per day until you optimize the outcome and minimize the cost.
(1) A physician’s perspective on optimal cannabis dosing Dr. Dustin Sulak https://www.leafly.com/news/health/a-physicians-perspective-on-optimal-cannabis-dosing
(2) A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6275223/
(3) Johnson JR, et al. “Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2010;39(2): 167-179.