I Didn’t Inhale – I Micro-dosed: Micro-dosing in the Rogue Valley
“A micro-dose is generally considered to be one-20th to one-10th of a recreational dose,” according to an article published by The Cut titled “Microdosing’s Micromovement.” “If someone’s seeing things, he or she has taken too much. Most people micro-dose mushrooms or LSD, but other drugs have also become popular of late.”
Essentially, it’s the act of taking such a small amount of a psychoactive drug that a small effect is noticed, but for the most part, the psychoactive properties are avoided entirely.
In that same article, the feeling of micro-dosing LSD is described by avid micro-dosers of the drug as “like a day in which you’ve ‘gotten enough sleep and eaten well.’”
General manager at Talent Health Club, Andrew Robison, described the act of micro-dosing cannabis to be very beneficial to people suffering from an array of uncomfortable symptoms brought on by any number of physical and mental illnesses. He said it’s also helping society to view cannabis in a more positive light as it’s a way for people to experience relief from the drug without necessarily getting high.
“Briefly put, there are so many more uses for marijuana than just getting high, and micro-dosing is helping to usher in a new perception of cannabis,” Robison said.
Robison said there hasn’t been scientific studies to prove the effects of micro-dosing cannabis, but there have been numerous cases in which people have felt relief from pain, discomfort, lack of sleep, lack of appetite, anxiety, headaches, post-op recovery, and more. The benefit in micro-dosing, he said, is that you’re receiving the minimal dosage.
“In all medicine, with all drugs, you look for the minimum effective dose. Period,” Dr. Allan Frankel, leading authority on cannabis medicine, said.
Robison added, ideally, someone interested in micro-dosing cannabis is working closely with their doctor to determine the correct amount to take, in which case there shouldn’t be any negative side effects. If too much is taken, then there might be some effects linked to marijuana such as lethargy or paranoia, but when done correctly, no effects should be apparent.
According to Robison, many are reporting that their experience (with cannabis) is more equivalent to relief from their symptoms as opposed to getting high.
Robison said he hasn’t met anyone who micro-doses regularly on mushrooms or LSD, but there is a high level of interest in micro-dosing cannabis in the Rogue Valley.
“In general though, I would say that much of Southern Oregon has a lot of experience with cannabis consumption,” Robison said. “So many people we as a dispensary see approaching micro-dosing with curiosity include an older crowd who haven’t experienced cannabis in a long time. The other major demographic seems to be those who would never have approached cannabis for recreational or ‘mind-altering’ purposes, but are curious about alternative or naturalistic health and wellness options out there: those people who don’t find relief in traditional Western Medicine and are taking control of their own health and exploring alternative ways to find well-being because they have heard you don’t have to get high.”
Yet, there are multiple uses and benefits from the practice.
According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “Some are micro-dosing to regulate their moods, boost their creativity, or enhance their workouts and yoga sessions.”
Janna Champagne, BSN, RN at Integrated Holistic Care said starting at a low dose and increasing slowly reduces the likelihood of intoxication and is the best way to determine an individual’s best regimen.
“As a nurse focused on natural health enhancement, I’m a huge advocate of micro-dosing cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceutical medications,” Champagne said. “Overall, cannabis has fewer side effects, and is often more effective at managing symptoms compared with its pharmaceutical alternatives. In addition, since the action of cannabis may extend beyond symptom management to actually addressing the underlying cause of diseases, it’s considered ‘potentially curative’ for many diseases. In my opinion, cannabis and other natural options should always be exhausted prior to resorting to pharmaceutical medications, which have greater potential for harmful side effects, and rarely offer the ‘potentially curative’ effect of cannabis.”
Robison said he’s heard personal testimony of people micro-dosing in the Rogue Valley for relief of migraines. He describes it as a “maintenance plan.”
Many dispensaries in the Rogue Valley carry cannabis tinctures, which are optimal for micro-dosing because a very low dosage can be administered under the tongue and the effects only last two to three hours, Champagne said.
There have been federally approved studies on the effects of psilocybin (the psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms) on cancer patients suffering from anxiety and depression, as well as MDMA assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. These studies have shown improvement of symptoms on patients, but ultimately there has not been enough research conducted to form a safe conclusion. However, the act of micro-dosing is gaining popularity and so far, has had positive results.