Is Microdosing Cannabis Really Effective?

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Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

This is my new mantra.

When it comes to the number of clothes in my closet, books on my shelf and appointments in my calendar, this principle seems so simple.

It’s easy to see the things that clutter up our lives and make us less effective, to haul piles of clothes to Goodwill and pots and pans to a friend’s house.

Once you start living with less, it’s obvious that giving ourselves the gift of more with less leads to a healthier, calmer, and more fulfilling journey. It becomes clear that while we may be conditioned to think that we need more to be happy and effective humans, that’s not really true in practice.

I get it.

So I’m not sure why this same lesson hit me so hard while studying my module for the Holistic Cannabis Academy this week: Less is also more when it comes to medicating with cannabis.

While I’ve been on the “start low and go slow” bandwagon for many years and have posted about microdosing in the past, I didn’t really get why microdosing was beneficial and why it’s important for everyone to understand (not just beginners).  

You see, I have to microdose marijuana. There’s no other choice for me these days.

About three years ago, after taking a long break from all things cannabis after writing Wake + Bake, my tolerance completely disappeared. I went from ingesting the amount of cannabis it takes to make several cannabis cookbooks in 6 months (i.e. a LOT) to melting into the floor after a 20 mg dose.

The truth is that I get negative side effects when I use a high dose of cannabis. I’ve taken a dab twice and both times were horrific, and if you’ve ever read this blog before, you probably know about what that infamous Hash-Butter Grilled Cheese did to me.

And as someone who exclusively writes about cannabis, I feared the idea that I couldn’t handle bong rips and 100 mg edibles made me totally inauthentic and… well… weak sauce.

The fact that after 8 years of medicating with cannabis, a moderate amount of THC made me paranoid made me feel like there was something wrong with me. And the worry that maybe cannabis eventually wouldn’t work for me anymore was, quite frankly, terrifying.

I started thinking, “How could a plant that has helped me so much for so many years be turning on me?”

And in hindsight, that question is pretty funny.

Because after studying one module at the Holistic Cannabis Academy [Personalizing Doses: Less is More by Joe Cohen DO], I completely understand what happened and how to adjust my dosage accordingly so I can continue to experience the benefits of this incredible plant.

And I can also effectively coach new medical cannabis users and long term patients on effective dosage in a safe, simple and healing way for the first time.

Have I mentioned that I love this program, yet?

Okay… well, we’ll get to that later.

Microdosing: The Minimalist Art of Cannabis Use

Microdosing all boils down to one basic understanding:

Cannabis has a “biphasic nature.” This means that clients will experience an effect from using cannabis at a low dose and lose that effect as they take more, only to reach another response at an even higher dose.

Let’s break that down really quick.

Many cannabis users think that if they take several hits and they aren’t getting the desired effect, they need to take more cannabis.

It makes logical sense. Not working… take more… still not working… take even more.

It’s how a lot of things work in our world. You ate, but you’re still hungry? Eat more. Still thirsty? Drink more. Still tired? Take a nap. Still cold? Put on another sweater.

But, it’s not how cannabis works.

It’s likely that most of you (or your students or clients) are starting off with too high a dose in the first place and they’re missing that sweet spot of cannabis dosing.

While many budtenders and inexperienced cannabis users may tell you to try a new strain or a new method of ingestion, odds are, you just need less.

Microdosing and “High Tolerance”

And, I know what you’re thinking. You might be saying, “But Corinne, I am one of those people with a high tolerance and less just won’t work for me.”

And maybe that’s true. Maybe you’ve been taking cannabis for a long time and your tolerance to cannabinoids is so high that you require a significant dose in order to get any effect at all.

The issue with this is that, not only are you burning up precious resources and money feeding your high tolerance, you also may not be getting the full benefit of the cannabis you are using.

Even if you don’t turn into an anxious and paranoid emotional wreck after taking a high dose, you may be experiencing other forms of side effects that can keep you from being vibrant, energetic and happy.

It’s something we don’t like to address in the cannabis industry because it has taken so long to get beyond the stigma of things like Reefer Madness. But, sometimes, cannabis use can have negative side effects, especially with prolonged use of high dosages.

It’s a powerful medicine and, yes, it’s possible to overdo it.

Fortunately, there are things folks can do to lower their tolerance, re-sensitize their cannabinoid receptors and regain the myriad of benefits of medicating with cannabis.

What this Means to a Health Coach

A lot of you have been emailing me about how Holistic Cannabis Academy’s Cannabis Counselor training is going since I posted about it last week and I wanted to share some of what I learned from HCA’s microdosing module so you could get a good idea of the topics they cover.

I’ve completed four modules so far, and what continues to surprise and excite me is that the topics are so client/patient focused.

As a health coach or wellness professional, this client-centered cannabis information is incredibly useful and can be integrated into your current practice without having to figure out how to apply tons of information.

For example, in this lesson, Joe Cohen distills 7 years of extensive research and working with patients and offers a direct and detailed guide to working with clients specifically around dosing. He covers the preferred methods of consumption, CBD:THC ratios, working with beginners and the elderly, and how to help your clients avoid the trap of tolerance.   

I just listened to it this morning, and four hours later, I’ve already started writing it into my existing coaching materials.

I’ll keep you all updated on my experience attending the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments section below. If you’d like to inquire about cannabis counseling or health coaching, or if you’d like more information about HCA, feel free to shoot me an email at

Much love,


Is Microdosing Cannabis Really Effective?
Article Name
Is Microdosing Cannabis Really Effective?
Microdosing, or taking tiny amounts of cannabis is the latest trend in medical marijuana. It turns out that microdosing cannabis isn't just for beginners. The biphasic nature of cannabis makes microdosing the solution to finding an effective dose of THC for everyone.

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  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Bravo! Very Insightful!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Dustin Sulak, DO, explains this perfect. he even has a sensitization protocol for 6 days. Even people who have smoked for 20+ year all day long comment on how much less they smoke or vape. my preferred method is tinctures. What most people find is what they used before now last them 3 months rather than 1. There is a bell curve once you find your optimal dosage. as you go more and more you start to lose the efectiveness. By going thru his 6 day protocol your body starts to build more receptors, CB1 and CB2. and you will find you need less to help your illness.

    During the day if I cant find a 1:1 cbd ratio I have to microdose every 2 hours with 20% + THC. it may take 10 days for me to find my optimal dose this way, wether from a different strain or batch.

    Since I started dosing with tincture, .1ml increments using a syringe, I barley touch my vaporiser. Also most people overdose from the start becase they take too much. if you smoke or vape take 1 hit to start and then wait 45 min. especially with a 1:1 CBD ratio. it takes a bit longer to feel the full effects, but CBD last a longer time than THC also.. so if your dose is really 2-3 hits and you smoke a joint you are already on the lowest downside of the medicinal benefits, but instead of backing off most people take more. USE a Journal if you have to.

    It may take a few days to get this right but it does work.
    Nice topic, dear to my heart. Coined the” Sulak method”. Not microdosing, but microdosing to find your optimal dose.
    Some may neverr find thier optimal dose becase the side effects may bother them. studies have shown that optimal dose usually dose not need to be increased over time much. if at all.

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