New Research Says Microdosing Is Most Effective For Relaxation
When it comes to recreational and medical use, nothing beats the ability of cannabis to truly relax you no matter what causes you stress. Whether it’s after a long day of work, dealing with anxiety, stress, or your in-laws, you know that you can count on cannabis to help you unwind physically and mentally.
In fact, almost half of cannabis users state that the reason for using the plant is for relaxation. Despite this, we’re all too familiar with the paranoia, a possible side effect from using cannabis. While a few tokes will relax one person; for another it’s a cause of severe anxiety and paranoia that all you want to do is go home and curl up in bed. The incidence of paranoia is more likely if a user has consumed too much cannabis, but how do you know just how much is enough?
A new study featured in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal reveals some fascinating insight. Based on the findings, the line between just right and too much is so thin that it’s so easy to go overboard if your intention of using cannabis is to relax. The researchers analyzed how much cannabis is needed to transform a person from a state of relaxation to anxiety; and their findings suggest that it only takes a small amount of cannabis to help people effectively relax – a concept we’re already familiar with; microdosing.
Finding The Right Amount
Cannabis, like many other things, will be much stronger the more of it you take because it’s so dose-dependent.
To determine the right amount of cannabis needed to relax, the scientists chose 42 volunteers aged between 18 and 40, all of whom already had some experience with cannabis but weren’t using the plant on a daily basis. The participants were divided into 3 groups, each given a different dose: low dose (7.5mg of THC), high dose (12.5 mg THC), and a placebo. The physical stress markers among all volunteers were equal as well; they all had the same hormone levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.
The participants were asked to come in for 2 sessions. They were asked to do a stressful task two hours after being administered with their respective doses of cannabis. During the first visit, they were made to prepare and engage in a mock job interview which was recorded. Following this, they were assigned a 5-digit number and were repeatedly asked to subtract 13. During the second visit, all volunteers were asked to discuss their favorite movie or book, and engage in a game of solitaire.
Emma Childs, one of the study’s authors and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said, “We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect.” In addition, volunteers who were given low doses said that they were much more relaxed than those who were placed on placebo. Their stress levels quickly died down after they completed their tasks. On the other hand, volunteers who were given high doses ended up pausing more during the job interview and said that the tasks were challenging, stressful, and threatening.
What Exactly Is The Correct Amount Of Cannabis To Use For Relaxation?
“The doses used in the study produce effects that are equivalent to only a few puffs of a cannabis cigarette,” Childs says. This translates to a few hits of a bowl or joint to be just enough for helping users manage stress and become more relaxed. A few more hits than that will easily increase THC levels in the body and place them on a “high” dose, increasing the risk for them to feel stressed more easily.
The main takeaway from this study is that microdosing is ideal for users who want to relax, just how it helps many other patients who use cannabis in small doses. Since most of the commercial cannabis found in dispensaries or are cultivated today have the goal of getting as much THC in the plant as possible, if you’re prone to paranoia or stress you’re better off going with low-dose THC strains to help you unwind.
Has microdosing helped you relax? How much do you use?