Curiosity into microdosing CBD oil has been increasing in popularity with numerous anecdotes supporting benefits in mood, sleep, pain and other conditions.
As people become more aware of CBD oil and the stigma around adult-use and medical cannabis recedes, Australians are becoming more interested in CBD oil education, including the potential benefits of microdosing.
What is CBD oil microdosing?
Microdosing is a technique of taking CBD oil in very low doses, with the goal of achieving optimal therapeutic effect and symptom relief with a minimal dose.
Typically CBD oil prescriptions range from 100mg per day and can exceed 1000mg per day depending on the medical condition being treated. With microdosing, a person’s daily CBD intake might look more like 1mg-10mg per day.
When microdosing, CBD oil is often taken in very low doses a number of times across the day to consistently achieve the ideal symptom relief throughout the day.
The benefits of microdosing CBD oil
Microdosing CBD is widely championed in the adult (recreational) use of cannabis, but there is limited clinical research into the potential uses, benefits and safety of that.
Pharmaceutical grade therapeutic CBD oil (like that prescribed at CA Connect) can potentially initiate a plethora of beneficial biochemical actions in the body. With regards to microdosing CBD, we can assume from dosing studies that low doses of CBD can have an alerting effect, gently increasing wakefulness.
Some people liken this to the invigorating effects of having a coffee, but without the jitters, over-stimulation and caffeine crash associated with tea or coffee. Unlike coffee, CBD oil may simultaneously provide a sense of calm and ease anxiety.
CBD interacts with areas in the endocannabinoid system, the nervous system and the brain that control stress reactivity and mood-boosting neurotransmitters. Anecdotes from people who have explored microdosing with CBD oil tell us of reduced anxiety and chronic pain.
Many people report taking microdoses of CBD as a ‘productivity hack’ because of its calming and uplifting effects which may increase focus and concentration.
Internationally, there are plenty of stories of athletes and elite sportsmen and women who tout the benefits of CBD for their training and recovery. Research supports the stories of athletes who describe in great detail reduced sports performance anxiety and note the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD to reduce pain and improve muscle recovery time.
How to microdose CBD oil?
The general advice for all CBD and medical cannabis prescriptions is “start low and go slow”, when it comes to microdosing – start very low.
For those people who have a tolerance to CBD or cannabis products, research shows that two days of abstinence can reset tolerance even after long term cannabis intake. After a couple of days without cannabinoids in your system, you can begin to experiment with microdoses of CBD oil.
When it comes to any medicinal cannabis treatment or microdosing CBD oil there is no “one-size-fits-all” option. For you to be able to experience optimal benefits from CBD oil, it is important to work with your GP or prescribing healthcare professional at CA Connect to develop a treatment regime that is tailored to you.
Why microdose CBD?
In all areas of medicine, the goal is to achieve the maximum therapeutic effect and the minimum dose. This means finding the sweet spot between the ideal health benefits and the smallest effective dose.
Microdosing allows you and your prescribing physician to titrate (gradually increase or decrease) the dose to maintain symptom relief while avoiding any side effects, such as drowsiness. By microdosing CBD oil, it is possible to enhance the functioning of our body systems without overpowering the body’s innate capacity for self-regulation.
Microdosing isn’t unique to CBD, the concept has grown exponentially as interest and research have grown surrounding microdosing psychedelics and the positive effects of low dose THC.
Studies support microdosing medical cannabis containing THC
Recent research provides early insights into microdosing medical cannabis. A small randomised placebo-controlled trial confirmed that microdoses of THC can be effective in treating chronic pain.
Twenty-seven people with chronic neuropathic pain were given a placebo, 500 micrograms or 1000 micrograms of inhaled THC. The authors reported, “Both doses, but not the placebo, demonstrated a significant reduction in pain intensity compared with baseline and remained stable for 150‐min.”
Furthermore, none of the study participants recorded any cognitive impairment or feeling of being “high” typically associated with THC.
How do you accurately microdose cannabis?
Exciting new medical devices such as the one used in this study offer standardised and metered delivery of medicinal cannabinoids. One of the difficulties of prescribing medical cannabis and specifically microdosing is providing a repeatable standard dose, which can be difficult to achieve with oils and vaporisers.
Updated technology now allows for things like sublingual wafers, inhalers or nebulisers to deliver accurate amounts of medical cannabis, making the medication much more akin to the precise doses the medical community is accustomed to in pharmaceutical products.
Note, if you have a severe, chronic or complex condition, you may require a medical cannabis formulation beyond pure CBD. Experienced doctors like those at CA Clinics are able to guide you in accessing a comprehensive treatment plan with the most appropriate cannabinoid medicine and dosing schedule.
Microdosing CBD vs the placebo effect
There is a chance that some benefits people may see microdosing cannabinoids are the result of the placebo effect. But it’s nothing to be scoffed at.
The placebo effect has a strong biological basis, your body can create very real biochemical changes (increasing endorphins, anti-inflammatory compounds or neurotransmitters) in response to a perceived medication.
So is the placebo effect something you need to be worried about? Not really. According to research and clinical experience of medical cannabis doctors, for some people CBD oil may not have any effect and for a small portion of people, the placebo effect will be at play.
But for the majority of us, CBD can initiate therapeutic effects even if we don’t feel a dramatic or immediate response in symptoms. For others, the therapeutic effects could be felt over a period of time, especially if taken in the prescribed doses.
The future of microdosing CBD oil
As research grows in the realms of microdosing CBD oil, doctors and individuals will continue to discover circumstances where high doses may not maximise the medicinal benefits of CBD oil and cannabis.
In some cases, microdosing or low dose CBD oil could better reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate pain and support overall wellbeing.
CA Connect provides people with mild-moderate symptoms access to legal and quality tested CBD oil through our streamlined online health service. Within our treatment schedules is the flexibility to microdose CBD oil, while also having your progress monitored by a health professional during the phone follow-ups which are included as part of the service.
To see if you are eligible for CBD oil treatment start here.