We can’t help but think sometimes that “more is better.” However, that is often not the case when it comes to medicine. For example, small daily doses of aspirin may help reduce stroke risk in some people. However, a whole bottle of aspirin is dangerous. Likewise, you don’t want to overdo it with medical marijuana for depression. People typically need very low doses of the drug to get the best benefits. Therefore, microdosing is the best course of action.
What is Microdosing?
As the name suggests, microdosing means that you take only small amounts of the drug. It has only become popular with marijuana in recent years. This is due largely to the fact that increased legalization of the drug has also meant better regulation. Therefore, users can more clearly see exactly what they are taking. It is now easy to determine how many milligrams of THC or CBD is in your marijuana.
How Much is Enough when Microdosing Medical Marijuana?
There isn’t a specific set amount that defines microdosing. However, most people say that microdosing means consuming 10 mg or less of THC at a time. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to start as small as possible and work your way up to the dose that you need. You want to find your own personal minimum effective dose. This is the dose that best relieves your depression symptoms without any side effects. Some people find that they can stick with just 2 mg of THC per day and get the best results. Other people need just a little bit more.
Other Factors Beyond THC Levels
It is wonderful that marijuana is now labeled with exact milligrams of THC so that you can safely microdose for depression treatment. However, there are other factors that also play into how well it works.
First, you want to consider CBD levels as well. Marijuana contains both psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD. Both play a role in easing depression symptoms. The effects of THC are balanced out by the CBD. Therefore, if you take 5 mg of THC alone, you will have a difference experience than if you take a 10 mg pill that is 5 mg THC and 5 mg CBD.
Next, you should think about strains. Sativa is usually associated with daytime use because it keeps you alert and focused. That might be exactly what you want when microdosing marijuana for depression. However, sativa tends to have higher levels of THC, so you might need less than if you used an indica strain. There are also hybrid strains that have ratios of both.
There are also other compounds, such as terpenes, that play a part. For example, there is a terpene called beta-caryophyllene that targets a specific receptor in the brain that is known to be linked with both depression and anxiety. Therefore, marijuana strains that include high levels of this terpene can be very helpful for people with depression.
Finally, you need to think about how you want to consume your marijuana. If you smoke it then you’ll see the effects immediately but it is very hard to maintain microdose levels when smoking. On the other hand, there are vape devices that allow for easy microdosing. Alternatively, you can consume marijuana in pill form, which is also very accurate for dosing.
Ultimately, you need to play around with different options to find the best method of microdosing marijuana that works for you. Once you do, it can provide immense depression relief.
Dr. Jeffrey Levine a Hartford Therapist Licensed Psychologist with over 40 years of clinical experience. He specializes in treating adults in individual psychotherapy, with expertise in trauma focused hypnosis, energy transformational healing and Internal Family Systems.