Cannabis 101 // March 12, 2021 // Ben Berkowitz

How to Manage Your Cannabis Consumption

How to Manage Your Cannabis Consumption

Managing your high can be daunting. There are so many options: edibles, tinctures, flower, dabs, drinks and vape — Oh My! I plan my weekly panic attacks right before a trip to the dispensary. I have brunch, go for a hike, and then let the anxiety flow. It’s fun building a whole day around it.  And once it abates, I get all my cannabis shopping done. However, procurement is only half the battle, as they say in comedy… timing is everything.

Low Dose for a Chill High

Microdosing cannabis and other psychotropic substances got really popular with the more adventurous of the Bay area tech crowd a few years back — and as with most things Silicon Valley touches, it was an instant disruption, in how we think about and use these substances.The idea was that low doses don't intoxicate, but allow for creativity and productivity, along with an overall sense of wellbeing, without the big high. Legal weed allows for easy experimentation, and for most people doses as small as 1mg-5mg of THC, up to around 5-10mg (depending on your tolerance) can help reduce anxiety. Also, from my personal experience, a microdose can induce a unique feeling of balance. I sometimes feel like I got 12 hours sleep and am ready to dive into whatever I am doing with a rested feeling. I am incredibly present and more peaceful than I was before the dose. So what a microdose lacks in high, it can make up for in wellness and chill.

Managing Time and Space

In a perfect world, I would be a coddled artist living in an ivory tower, surrounded by people who have the simple and devoted wish to assist me in getting really, truly, deeply high. In this state of perpetual and blissful elevation, I would contemplate the issues of the day and I would never come down. I would function quite well and my productivity would be through the roof. I don’t have that as an option. Plus, there are some very obvious and public health issues to why that should not happen, and most likely never will happen. But if we are not here to dream, then what does it all mean? Alas, we live in the real world, and there are times in life where you can’t be that high. With no utopia on the horizon, we all have to make compromises to live a balanced and continued healthy dosage existence.

The Nitty-Gritty of Microdosing

It took me awhile to learn my tolerance. Those of us who have been smoking and taking edibles for years want to believe that we are iron folk, but it ain’t always so, unfortunately. The truth is, we all have a different metabolism, and I know of no other way other than trial and error to find your perfect dose. When taking a new product, whether you made it or bought it, regardless of its recommended dosage, take half of whatever that is. A half-measure is a good first step because even if it's too weak for your desired effect, it allows you to experience a tiny glimpse of what it offers — analogous to wine tasting. When you get a better sense of how you feel, then try the full dose. It may be lovely THC concentrated hash oil living inside a cookie or mint. I like a good 10-15mg to push the limits of what most of us would consider a microdose, but for me it has that micro effect and balances me out.  Within this fairly broad spectrum of smaller doses, some doctors and cannabis experts define it as "precision dosing." I like that, because although the process of exploring what to take is not precise, once you narrow it down with lab-tested and calibrated dosing it's very easy to know what you need. I like 5mg of a certain hash oil that is tried and true on my toast with some jam each morning and I have a 2.5mg THC gummy later in the day, or maybe a CBD/THC 1:1. I know the effects these will have on me, with no surprises. 

Perfect Portions

Microdosing is exactly what it sounds like: People taking tiny doses of marijuana that are small enough that doesn't have too "high" an effect, and it doesn't last longer than desired. I spent years wanting that exact experience, but I thought it was a pipe dream — and now here we are!   I usually sum it up for people like this: imagine a world in which there was no option to have just one piece of pizza. If you chose to eat pizza, you would excitedly go to the pizza place, order, and an hour later an entire pizza would be inside you. Just sitting there, weighing you down like a prop in some low-budget science fiction movie. Pizza slices are a key element of pizza eating, and now we can say that cannabis has joined pizza and beer and almost everything else we consume in perfectly defined portions that we can all enjoy.