Is microdosing with cannabis a viable long-term treatment?

Published Jun 24, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / cheche22

Now that people are using cannabis products for just about every type of problem that you could imagine, we’re slowly figuring out which ways are most effective, but there are still many questions that surround them, like how long they might last for. When it comes to pharmaceutical medicines after time passes, they typically become less effective, but is the same true for cannabis microdosing?

What is microdosing?

Microdosing with cannabis is exactly what it sounds like. It means that a consumer uses only the smallest portions of cannabinoids to achieve their desired effects. This method of cannabis treatment can be performed using various products, including edibles, capsules, concentrates, and flower, as long as the ingredients are always utilized with care and in moderation.

Why would anyone want to use such a small dose?

Recreational consumers are always chasing the next most potent high, but medical patients often have a different goal in mind. All they really want is a way to manage whatever symptoms that they are struggling with, without having to deal with the adverse psychoactive effects that are often associated with cannabis use. The goal is to use just enough of the cannabinoids THC or CBD, that the user gets relief but doesn’t feel stoned, so it’s not the ideal option for everyone, but for some people, it can be life-changing.

How long is it effective for?

Well, this all depends on who you ask because, for the moment, the experts are unsure of the answer. We have done thousands of cannabinoid oil studies to record the effectiveness of treating specific symptoms, but none of this research has gone on for an extended period of time. Typically, clinical trials run for mere weeks, which is not enough time to document the length of time that microdosing that remains effective. What we do know, however, doesn’t sound promising for long term users.


When it comes to CBD, the cannabinoid slowly builds up in the system and dissipates at an incredibly slow rate. For these kinds of cannabis consumers, microdosing could theoretically work for years on end, and in some cases, patients could even take small breaks in between treatments without any return of symptoms, but those who utilize THC for microdosing may not be so lucky, because like with most medicines and substance, it is likely that the user will eventually build up a tolerance.

What this means is that the individual will become less sensitive to the effects of THC, and eventually, they are very likely to need more to achieve the same results. Luckily, since it’s such small amounts, a person should theoretically be able to manage for years with microdosing. Microdosing can fall within a wide range of anywhere from 0.5mg of THC all the way up to around 15mg of THC, and some believe the ceiling is even higher than that, as long as the effects stay the same throughout the course of treatment.


Tips and tricks for a successful long-term treatment with microdosing

Microdosing is a really great way to start out if you’re looking for an all-natural relief that you can’t find elsewhere, but there are a few things that you can do to increase your rate of success like:

  1. Avoiding cannabis product consumption outside of normal treatment

  2. Take tolerance breaks once in a while.

  3. Start with the lowest dose of cannabinoids possible and be patient for results
    before increasing it.

  4. Use any method other than edibles for microdosing, as they tend to deliver a difficult to measure the amount of THC.

  5. Always use tested and labeled cannabis products for a consistent dose.

 Microdosing weed with edibles


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