Microdosing is taking tiny amounts of CBD consistently throughout the day.
Although it may at first sound like an unfamiliar concept, you already have experience with microdosing. Consider the different ways to ingest water – either you take small sips from your Hydroflask throughout the day or pound a full glass after a workout.
However, drinking too much water at once will dilute sodium levels in the bloodstream, potentially leading to hyponatremia – and sometimes even causing fatalities.
The human body and digestive tract can be thought of as the world’s most sophisticated juicer. Anyone who has used a juicer has experience trying to ram one too many leaves of kale through at once, resulting in a log jam of sorts – an annoying problem, no doubt.
Our bodies are similar; we can only absorb so much nutrition at any given time. Bioavailability, in essence. Circling back to the water analogy – microdosing water (taking small sips throughout the day) is a superior method, as it allows our bodies to make the most of what it’s being given – no waste or excess.
When Bruce Lee famously said to “be like water,” he wasn’t speaking to the Cannabis plant directly – yet interestingly, cannabinoids share a lot in common with water.
Like H2O, cannabinoids are utilized in the body at every moment of every day, to one extent or another. They are needed on a perpetual, ongoing basis. Contrast this with minerals or Vitamin B12, which the body stores up in large quantities and can function without additional intake for quite some time (the liver can store enough B12 to last three to five years).
On the contrary, endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made inside the body) are synthesized on demand in response to various stimuli (injury, illness, stimulation, stress, etc.). As such, the amount of support our endocannabinoid system needs varies wildly throughout the day.
This reality makes the common method of taking a large CBD dose once or twice a day seem counterintuitive. It’s bombarding the body with a surplus of cannabinoids for a few hours and then leaving it high and dry for the rest of the day.
This ‘all at once’ approach is like taking three steps forward and two steps back, whereas a microdosing regimen is akin to a slow and steady pace of one foot in front of the other.
Homeostasis, equilibrium, health – these are the goals of ingesting CBD, and the evidence suggests microdosing may be a much more effective way to acquire these goals.
Have you ever eaten cacao, kava kava, echinacea, black pepper, rosemary, or black truffles? If so, then you are already experienced with microdosing cannabinoids. These foods contain cannabinoids that are very similar to the cannabidiol (CBD) found in hemp.
Microdose-aficionados often follow the protocol outlined in The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys by psychologist James Fadiman. An early psychedelic researcher (and godfather of the microdose), Fadiman illustrated that low/high doses of psychedelics have different purposes.
The theory is that large doses are best for transcendent experiences, while psycholytic doses (microdoses) function as problem-solving aids. Fadiman has collected thousands of testimonials reporting that microdosing can help reduce anxiety, enhance creativity, reduce substance use/abuse, minimize headaches, and increase motivation to nurture positive habits like healthy eating, yoga, and meditation.
Proponents of the microdose tend towards exuberance while praising its life-changing power. In the subreddit ‘r/microdosing’ (an online community of over 146,000 users), these mind-alteration connoisseurs wax poetic about how the practice has changed their lives – often by helping them feel less anger, depression, and anxiety.
The Guardian features an article about three women – a university lecturer, a mother, and a businesswoman – who use microdosing to better their lives in various ways. The lecturer said microdosing improved her teaching and helped her feel more empathetic towards her students.
She says she coordinates microdose days with family visits/social gatherings as it makes it “easier to be interested in people.”
For the mother, the current (and controversial) illegal status of psilocybin mushrooms is a significant concern. Still, the benefits she experiences (enhanced mood, overcoming alcoholism, and thus better parenting) outweigh the risks – which says a lot.
Alongside the fact that LSD, MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, and ketamine are in the pipeline to receive FDA approval as therapeutic drugs, this is an interesting time to consider what options humanity has to treat difficult problems where pharmaceuticals have failed.
Why Microdosing CBD is Impossible [Usually]
The ‘bell-shaped dose response curve’ is the important concept to understand here.
This phenomenon is common with isolated molecules (pharmaceutical drugs, for example). The idea is that under/above a specific dosage, the compound is ineffective and offers no benefits.
The reason this is frustrating is:
- Almost every CBD product out there (including the well-known brands you’ve heard of) is CBD isolate. You may have seen the term ‘full spectrum’ on a CBD site and assumed it was not isolate. Unfortunately, there are no federal regulations regarding the usage of the term full spectrum – as such it is used extensively for deceptive marketing purposes.
- These products, in reality, are a blend of various CBD isolates (CBD, CBC, CBN, etc.) produced through supercritical CO2 extraction, and then winterized with petroleum-based solvents.
- Finding the narrow therapeutic window for an individual using CBD isolate is challenging, and will take quite some time to dial in. Even once this has been done, you’re still looking at a stripped down version of what CBD has to offer in terms of health benefits. CBD isolate does not stand up to true full spectrum, whether anecdotally or in clinical studies.
Back to why microdosing CBD isolate is an impossible undertaking: since it is ineffective under a certain dosage, the entire concept of microdosing is nullified.
If you want to try microdosing CBD, it is imperative to source authentic full spectrum formulations.
As it happens, that is our specialty here at Ananda Hemp. It is primarily our usage of ethanol extraction (which preserves the diverse and complex nutrient profile in hemp) that allows us to offer you a superior product with maximum efficacy at all dosages – whether at one or one thousand drops.
Dosage for Microdosing CBD
300mg – .5mg
600mg – 1mg
2000mg – 2mg
Here is an example CBD microdosing regimen using our 2000mg tincture, based on daily dosage:
10mg – 2mg (one drop) x 5
20mg – 4mg (two drops) x 5
40mg – 4mg (two drops) x 10
The goal of microdosing is to feed your body a steady stream of phytocannabinoids to assist with endocannabinoid production in the long run.
Since microdosing aims to gradually nourish and support your endocannabinoid system, it works best for those who need health maintenance, not a total overhaul (or those with severely debilitating conditions). If you have a serious health challenge, it may be beneficial to titrate up to a high dose faster than microdosing technically allows.
However, if you utilize CBD to keep stress levels moderate or enhance cognitive function & productivity, microdosing is likely ideal for your needs.
Consider creating a dosage outline and documenting your daily dosages in a journal or on your phone. After each microdose, answer these queries:
- What is my pain level (from 1-10)?
- Am I feeling better than before I began microdosing?
- How is my breathing?
- How relaxed do I feel (from 1-10)?
- How has my sleep been?
- Have I noticed any changes in digestion?
- What has my mood been like today?
At different dosage intervals, you can track your progress and identify the therapeutic range of CBD dosage that works best for you.
You might think we are pulling your leg with all this microdosing jargon, but check it out – CBD has been clinically proven to activate serotonin receptors even at very low levels. Serotonin is directly correlated with feelings of happiness, wellbeing, and contentment.
The Best CBD for Microdosing
While not always the case, the more potent the better for microdosing CBD. Having a high-strength tincture minimizes the number of drops/frequency of dosing throughout the day.
Plus, taking just one drop versus several allows greater surface area under your tongue for the capillaries to absorb all of the cannabinoid goodness.
Although the 2000mg tincture is a higher price point than our other formulations, it lasts a long time.
For someone currently taking 20mg of CBD per day, the 2000mg tincture would last over three months, coming out to about $1.50/day (with special discount code). Not a bad price put on health and wellness!
We welcome all comments and feedback – have you tried microdosing, with CBD or otherwise? We would love to hear!
To your health and happiness, always.