CBD Oil Microdosing: Everything You Need to Know
Microdosing CBD oil could help maximize and extend its benefits.
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
CBD oil microdosing is a concept that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? For many people, microdosing is a complete mystery and in a world where more is often considered better, it may even seem counter-intuitive.
In order to microdose CBD oil effectively, there are a number of things to take into consideration. So, welcome to CBD microdosing 101!
What Is Microdosing?
In order to understand microdosing, it is important to understand the work of Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist responsible for creating and studying LSD (a.k.a. “acid”) in the mid-1900s.
Hofmann believed LSD was a tool that could help people fully realize their own potential. But he was also aware that at its full dose, LSD use could be problematic to daily living. As such, for much of the latter part of his life, Hofmann took a daily microdose of LSD. The dosage was just a fraction of the amount you’d need to experience a full-on trip, but enough to yield the subtler benefits of increased awareness and appreciation for one’s surroundings.
CBD oil is vastly different from LSD in a number of ways. CBD is a naturally occurring compound (not synthetic) and it does not produce intoxicating, mind-altering effects. But, like LSD, microdosing can help users get the most out of their CBD oil products.
Why Microdose CBD Oil?
With LSD microdosing, the intent is to experience a highly diminished but still noticeable version of the substance’s effects. With CBD oil microdosing, the intent is quite the opposite.
In the case of CBD oil, microdosing over the course of a day allows you to experience the potential benefits of CBD oil for longer periods of time. If you were to take the full daily recommended dose all at once, the effects would wear off relatively quickly, offering only short-term benefits. Interestingly, CBD can exert different effects on your body depending on the dosage. For example, small doses of CBD has been shown to make people more alert, while larger doses have been shown to have a sedative effect.
Cannabidiol (CBD) helps the human body’s endocannabinoid system function at a higher level; this system manages processes like immune response, metabolism, sleep, inflammation, pain, and mood. Microdosing CBD oil helps stabilize the endocannabinoid system, mitigating the peaks and troughs that can come with ingesting a maximum dose. Microdosing CBD oil can help you create and maintain a state of homeostasis that could positively affect how you feel, mentally and physically.
Is CBD Oil Microdosing Right For You?
While microdosing can be undertaken by anyone who is using CBD oil, there are certain groups that may benefit more than others.
CBD Oil Microdosing for Athletes
Top athletic performance relies on a consistent and challenging workout regimen. Taking small amounts of CBD oil on a regular basis could yield benefits for longer periods of time, especially in the way of post-workout recovery. By microdosing CBD oil, you could be able to better maintain a stable and effective exercise schedule.
CBD oil is able to reduce inflammation during and after training, reducing the aches and pains you often feel a day or two after exercising. Not only that, but thanks to its antiemetic properties, CBD oil may also help ultra-marathon runners push through the nausea barrier during extreme physical exertion.
CBD Oil Microdosing for Pain Relief
People who experience infrequent pain may find the occasional dose of CBD oil is enough to relieve symptoms when they arise. People with chronic pain, however, will often rely on CBD oil to manage their condition over long periods of time.
When it comes to chronic pain, a single daily dose of cannabidiol may not provide the lasting outcome that is needed. Instead, microdosing CBD oil throughout the day allows for a constant level of pain relief, without the crash that can happen when a full dose wears off.
The main downside to CBD oil microdosing is that it requires more effort on the part of the user. While a daily dose can easily be taken in capsule or drop form, microdosing requires regular intakes throughout the day. For this reason, many people prefer the convenience of a full daily dose, accepting that toward the end of the day the effects may wear off.
How to Microdose CBD Oil
There are many different ways to take CBD oil but some of them are better suited for microdosing than others.
Low concentration capsules are an option but they are not necessarily a good choice when flexibility is required; because they must pass through the digestive tract, the time it takes to feel a capsule’s effect can vary and take longer than other delivery methods. It is for this reason that most people will microdose with a CBD oil tincture, which dissolves under the tongue, or a CBD vape pen.
Sublingual drops and tinctures are fairly discrete, and if you plan on microdosing CBD oil, you can keep a bottle in your bag or at your desk for distribution throughout the day. CBD vapes are easy to keep on hand, and one of the quickest and most effective ways for cannabidiol to enter your system.
Whatever CBD product you decide on, be sure to discuss your options with a trusted physician before you begin. If you are unable to get the answers you are looking for, you might consider talking to a cannabis doctor who can provide direction as to how to microdose CBD for your specific ailment.
CBD Microdosing Dosage
The amount of CBD you should take while microdosing will vary. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and while it could take 5mg for you to feel CBD’s benefits, it could 10 mg for someone else.
The first step to figuring out your personal microdosage will be determining what the minimum dosage is for you to feel CBD’s therapeutic effects. Then, you can use this minimum dosage as your baseline and go-to amount when you start experimenting with microdosing.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, a physician with 10 years of practicing cannabis medicine under his belt, suggests the following methodology* for figuring out your minimum dose:
- Step 1: Do not use any cannabis or cannabis-derived products for two days.
- Step 2: Once the two days have passed, ask yourself these questions, rating your answers on a scale of 1 to 10:
- How easy is it to breathe?
- How comfortable and calm does your body feel?
- How easy is it for you to smile authentically, to feel content and grateful?
- Step 3: Take 1 mg of CBD oil, preferably in drop/tincture form (this will make measuring how much you’re taking easiest)
- Step 4: After 45 minutes have gone by, ask yourself those same three questions. If your scores haven’t changed, increase your next dose by 1 mg; if your scores have gone up, stick with taking 1 mg of CBD oil every 45 minutes to an hour
- Step 5: When you start to feel the effects you desire, add up the number of mgs of CBD you took in the four hours (approximate amount of time CBD stays in your body) prior—this will become your minimum dosage, your North Star when it comes to deciding how much CBD you need to microdose
As far as microdosing frequency goes, you will need to experiment and pay close attention to how you feel throughout the day. Keeping a log using the questions and rating system mentioned above could be helpful. Microdosing will yield much subtler effects, so it’s important you are observant and patient with this method of CBD oil use.
Once you’ve mastered the microdose, you’ll be able to keep your brain and body at an even keel throughout the day.
*Dr. Sulak’s method includes taking 1 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) along with the 1mg of CBD. For this page’s purposes, we did not include taking THC as part of finding your ideal CBD microdosage, but it may be worth experimenting with.
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How big is 1mg? what in size is it comparable to?
1 drop from a dropper ?
size of a grain of rice?