Whether you’re curious or a novice user, it’s always wise to start low and slow when embarking on a cannabis journey. Simply stated, use products low in the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), then wait at least two hours to see how your body responds.
This method is known as micro-dosing. It’s a technique that helps users new to cannabis avoid feeling over-medicated or out-of-control as their body reacts to the product’s cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
How Cannabis Interacts with the Human Body
The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most widely known, studied, and consumed. These compounds interact with your body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS) — a molecular system responsible for regulating and balancing many critical processes, including your immune response, heart function, cellular communication, appetite and metabolism, memory, and more.
THC interacts with your ECS by binding to cell receptors, just like endocannabinoids, which produce a range of effects on your body and mind, some pleasant, others not so much. For example, THC may help to reduce pain but it can also cause anxiety if improperly dosed.
Microdosing cannabis helps you to minimize the unwanted effects and discover where your threshold lies. At Sespe Creek, we recommend that you document your cannabis experiences. Use our downloadable journal to record key data points such as strain type, potency, cannabinoid and terpene profiles, cannabinoid ratios (i.e. CBD to THC), the amount consumed, and the consumption method (i.e. ingested, smoked, topical).
Before consuming, note your state of mind, physical health, food or beverages consumed, the time of consumption, your environment, and other pertinent factors that may affect your overall well-being. After consumption, while under the influence (if possible), record how you feel, physically, emotionally, and mentally. As you dissect the conditions surrounding your cannabis experience and the effects of the product’s attributes on your mind and body, you’ll gain insight into what works for you and what doesn’t.
There are many ways to consume cannabis including smoking, ingesting, vaping, drinking, and absorbing through the skin (either topically or sublingually). Microdosing can be applied to all of these methods, but some are easier to measure and control than others. Edibles, beverages, topicals, and tinctures are the easiest to dose, as they are pre-measured for you. Start with a dosage of 5 or fewer milligrams.
Outside of smoking and vaping, beverages and sublinguals are among the fastest-acting delivery methods. Since they’re not processed through the liver, effects can be felt as quickly as 10 – 15 minutes. The existence of other cannabinoids and terpenes will also affect your uptake.
Understanding the CBD to THC Ratio Effect
The CBD to THC ratio is another factor important to microdosing and early cannabis experimentation. THC is a psychoactive compound that can also reduce pain, inflammation, and nausea. Conversely, CBD doesn’t produce a “high,” but shares THC’s other traits and can quell anxiety and seizures.
In the brain, THC binds with the CB1 receptor. CBD binds with the CB2 receptor and blocks CB1 receptors from binding with THC. In laymen’s terms, consuming products with a higher ratio of CBD to THC can provide you with less adverse side effects like anxiety or psycho-activity.
To help get you started, here are some products we recommend that are micro-dose compliant.
While we do stock a wide array of gummies, candies, chocolates, cookies, and more, we’re highlighting a few brands with small, discreet packaging and sizing can also help in managing your consumption levels.
Petra is California’s first micro-dosed cannabis-infused mint, and boasts the most discreet, portable, edible package on the market. At 2.5Mg THC or less per serving, Petra is perfect for the new or casual cannabis user, and the seasoned cannabis user looking for a consistent, low dose of THC throughout the day. Try one of these worldly flavors Morrocan Mint, Pineapple, Saigon Cinnamon, Tart Cherry.
Canna Soothe lozenges are not only microdose compliant, but their flip-top packaging, made from recycled plastic, and non-individually wrapped mints are eco-conscious too. Each mint contains 5 mg of full-spectrum cannabis extract and natural ingredients, making these lozenges are tasty and effective. Indica Tangarine and sativa Strawberry are now available.
Kiva Confections combines old-world handcrafting with modern innovation. These award-winning chocolates have spawned many imitators. Using a traditional, labor-intensive panning process that is considered an art in the confections world, each chocolate-covered treat contains 5MG or less of THC per bite Available in Espresso, Blueberry, and Sea Salt Caramel.
Sespe Creek Collective stocks a fairly wide selection of cannabis-infused beverages, including sparkling water, soda, tea, and mock beer. These quality and value-driven brands are great first-time selections.
CANN social tonic is available as singles or six-packs and comes in Lemon Lavender, Grapefruit Rosemary, and Blood Orange Cardamom flavors. Each serving contains 2 mg of THC and 4mg of CBD for a relaxing yet spirited experience.
Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops from Absolutxtracts provides an 18:1 (CBD: THC) ratio. This sparkling beverage is made using everything Lagunitas knows about hops — but with zero alcohol, zero calories, and zero carbs. Infused with THC from the finest, sun-grown cannabis Hi-Fi hops are another ideal alternative to alcohol.
Nectr is another low dose (5 mg per bottle) beverage option. It’s unique in that it’s priced lower than many of its competing products and it contains zero sugar. Nectar is available in Grapefruit, Lemon Line, Orange Creamsicle, and Watermelon.
Tinctures come in several forms, including sublingual strips, sprays, and, the most popular, droppers. Sespe Creek carries a wide assortment from many different brands, including Breez, Care by Design, CBD Alive, Chemistry, Cosmic View, Fiddler’s Greens, Kikoko, Kin Slips, Papa & Barkley, The Root of it All, among others. We recommend starting with a ratio above 10:1 if you want to diminish the psychoactive effects. However, if pain relief is your aim, stick with a 4:1 or lower ratio.
Like tinctures, topicals are faster acting than some other delivery methods. Whether you use balms, bath soaks, oils, ointments, or patches, topicals are great for treating localized issues like joint pain, inflammation, and skin issues like eczema or rashes.
Humble Flower, Mary’s Medicinals, and The Root of it All are three popular brands that combine natural ingredients and elixirs with cannabis to soothe aches and pains from everyday discomfort. We like Rewind for restoration. This essential ointment includes turmeric, black pepper, and cloves and a 3:1 ratio of CBD to THC for fast, localized relief. Muscle Freeze is another salve that utilizes CBD and natural plant extracts for a soothing, cooling effect.
No matter what delivery method you choose, remember to start slow and low and you’ll find your zone.