The benefits of CBD are being widely studied. However, while more research unquestionably needs to be done on the topic, numerous studies have found that CBD can yield significant benefits across a series of physical or emotional problems. As such, CBD seems to have the potential to provide relief to people who suffer from many different illnesses.
However, many questions remain about CBD, and these questions all require more research: What are the consequences of long-term use? What strands work better than others? Is THC necessary to yield all the benefits of CBD? And what dosages work best to provide relief?
It is that last question which is a particularly interesting subject.
The notion of a “set” CBD dose is difficult. Like some modern medicines, the effectiveness of CBD can be altered by numerous factors, including:
Unfortunately, this leaves quite a bit of variability for the user, and it also means that they will likely have to engage in some experimentation in order to determine the right dose for them.
The concept of micro-dosing is not exclusive to CBD. Indeed, it was actually born when discussing psychedelic drugs, such as LSD or mushrooms. The theory behind it is that users take a very small amount of a drug – say 1/20th of a “normal” dose. According to the theory, taking this small of an amount doesn’t actually get you high. Instead, it will give you greater focus, creativity, and an improved mood. According to some sources, micro-dosing has been on the rise lately, particularly among younger generations who are looking for easier ways of focusing for longer periods of time. Many celebrities and well-known personalities, like Steve Jobs, were fans of micro-dosing.
The theory behind CBD micro-dosing is different than that behind micro-dosing mushrooms or other psychedelics. It wouldn’t give you more focus or concentration, but instead, you’d feel its benefits throughout the entire day.
Estimates and individual responses vary, but at least one estimate says that CBD works for a 4-6 hour period. In theory, then, taking CBD over an extended period of time would extend the benefits. This may or may not get around the problem which occurs among CBD users and building a tolerance to the compound, but more research is needed there.
If micro-dosing does yield these benefits, it would extend the amount of time that people feel other purported CBD benefits. This would include less fatigue, reduced pain, better skincare, and less inflammation.
This could be particularly beneficial for ongoing or chronic conditions. For example, there is evidence to suggest that CBD can be very helpful for certain types of pain, and particularly for chronic pain. If micro-dosing works the way that advocates say it does, you could theoretically extend the benefits of CBD all day instead of having it work only over a multi-hour period. This would also mean that you could feel a relatively steady level of CBD and its benefits, rather than having the CBD wear off towards the end of its expected period of working.
To be clear, more research is needed before any definitive claims can be made about CBD’s ability to deal with these issues. However, numerous studies and anecdotal evidence have found that CBD may be helpful with these and other issues.
Unfortunately, the theory behind CBD micro-dosing remains just that: A theory. At the moment, there is no specific research that indicates whether or not CBD micro-dosing works better, worse or as well as taking CBD in one dose.
However, that’s not to say that there is no research surrounding micro-dosing in general. In 2018, studies were launched that researched the effect of micro-dosing psychedelics on depression and other mood disorders, as some evidence has shown that this may successfully improve mood and fight depression. Furthermore, according to the same article, some studies have found that micro-dosing can improve thinking and concentration.
Other researchers found mixed results after reviewing the research behind micro-dosing and magic mushrooms. Some studies found real impact when it came to micro-dosing, while others determined that psilocybin (the psychoactive component of magic mushrooms) targetted serotonin receptors. This, in turn, could lead to improved mood and focus. However, the review ultimately concluded that more scientific research was needed before more definitive claims could be made about the benefits of micro-dosing.
In theory, you could take the amount of CBD you would take normally (say 10mg) and break that up into ten 1mg doses. The trick would be to monitor the effects. What days did it seem more powerful, and what days did it not? On those days, what had you eaten or drank? Had you exercised? Used any other CBD or THC products?
Once you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t, make the appropriate adjustments. Furthermore, you may want to adjust your dosage upwards if you find you aren’t experiencing anything.
Interestingly, at least one article suggests that first-time CBD users microdose. This is to allow users to experience CBD’s benefits in as gentle a way as possible and potentially avoid some of the limited negative side-effects that users experience.
There is some guidance with psychedelics that you could follow. Drs. James Fadiman and Sophia Korb devised a micro-dosing protocol that largely follows the steps noted above. You could try using the same protocol if you wanted to try micro-dosing CBD. This is safe, as CBD is a non-addictive and non-intoxicating compound.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consult with a doctor before using CBD. You absolutely should, as there are concerns over CBD’s interaction with certain types of drugs and the potential to damage liver function.
If you are looking for an alternative CBD experience which is based on the experience others have had with more intoxicating compounds, micro-dosing may be right for you.