Microdosing cannabis: How and why to get just a little high

This week I sat down for a chat with author, cannabis expert and sexologist Nick Karras to talk about how baby boomers can use cannabis to enhance creativity and intimacy. We covered a lot of ground — and you’ll soon be able to listen to the podcast of our conversation. But in the meantime, here’s a recap of a part of our discussion that made a lot of sense.

The case for microdosing cannabis

After decades of being responsible adults, many baby boomers are reluctant to return to cannabis, maybe because we remember what’s it’s like to get stoned and giggly to the point of debilitation. If the phone rings, or you need to answer the door, or the kids / grandkids need something, you have to be able to respond.

Something that never occurred to some of us when we lived in the dorms: You don’t have to use cannabis to get obliterated. As an aid to creativity and intimacy, microdosing cannabis allows you to subtly change your state and perhaps lighten your mood, without getting stoned to the bejesus.

In praise of the light high

A light high can change your perception, get you outside the box, and enable you to recognize patterns you might have overlooked. We all know that cannabis can heighten your senses, even in small doses. That’s how it can help make food, music, the outdoors, and simply the company of another person a more sensual experience.

Today you can buy micro-dose mints and chocolates that deliver (they tell us) precise dosages of anywhere between 2.5 to 10 milligrams of THC. For most people, this delivers a mild relaxing effect, not the full-blown bong-driven near-psychosis you might vaguely recall from your college days.

Are these products the way to go? Mints and chocolates are discreet and fun, but there are some disadvantages too:

  • They take at least an hour or two to take effect. With that lag time, if you’re not experienced with edibles, you may think nothing is happening, and take another, thus doubling your dose. Then it hits, and your mild, relaxing high is something closer to the couch-lock you wanted to avoid. Or worse, like Maureen Dowd, you become convinced you're dead and no one has told you.
  • Edibles stay with you longer. Which might be great if you’re on a four-hour flight across the country; but if you have an hour or two in which to relax, that THC mint might not fit with your schedule.
  • Manufactured edibles are processed foods, which invariably will have additives. If you’re concerned about your health, you’re probably leaning toward more whole foods (and we’re not talking about the whole-paycheck division of Amazon). In this realm, the unprocessed cannabis plant is the closest thing to a whole food. And once you find a strain that agrees with you, you can grow your own!
  • Vaping is fine, you can control the dose effectively. But you have to invest about $50 on a vape pain that may or may not contain a strain that works well for you.

See where this is going? Karras prefers the old-school way to get a little bit high — smoking a joint. It’s easy to take one puff and immediately gauge the effect. If you need another half puff to relax, there you go. A pipe would work just as well.

One toke under the line, sweet Jesus

That’s microdosing, and despite the newfangled edibles, people have likely been doing it for centuries. As an alternative to alcohol, microdosing cannabis is easier on your body, and your wallet. Two puffs a day of middle-shelf dispensary cannabis comes out to about 75 cents per light high, according to Karras.

If alcohol has been your go-to relaxant, it might be worth doing a little cost-benefit analysis and comparing organic-plant cannabis vs. your favorite brand of fermented poison.  Once you get over the 100-year-old stigma of cannabis being a bad thing, you can reliably relieve stress / pain / change your state — without getting hangovers, wrecking your liver or enduring all the other fun things that happen when you drink too much.

There's more from Nick Karras on our podcast

Want to hear more form Nick Karras? Listen to Episode 1 of Let's Talk About Weed, the Kannaboomers Podcast.

2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Vicki November 17, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I think the microdosing mints would work for me. I have PTSD and I am bio-polar. I also have no disc in my neck and I have previously broken a hip. Do you think microdosing would help with my issues?

    • Reply
      Tom December 31, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Microdosing would be a good way to try cannabis. Start low and slow, as is often recommended, and then you can increase and see if it helps with the PTSD and the pain from your injuries.

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