Microdosing THC: What It Is & Why Do It?

May 21, 2024

Microdosing cannabis is the process of ingesting small doses of THC to achieve desired effects–which can be different for every consumer–while minimizing potential intoxication. As cannabis legalization has become increasingly common across the country, more and more enthusiasts have taken to microdosing their favorite THC products. 

In this guide, we’ll explain why someone may choose to microdose THC and how to do it in a way that fits your individual needs.

What Is a Microdose of THC?

A microdose of THC is not a set amount; rather, it’s whatever amount produces sub-psychoactive, also called sub-perceptual,1 effects. Because everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, a microdose will vary from person to person. A typical microdose of cannabis starts at 2.5 milligrams of THC, increasing up to about 5 milligrams.1

Once you start to increase dosing to over 5 milligrams of THC, many people may begin to feel psychoactive effects. At over 7.5 milligrams of THC, the majority of consumers will begin to feel the effects. In general, if you feel psychoactive effects, you have exceeded a microdose.

How Do You Microdose THC?

An effective way to determine the right microdose for your needs is to start low and go slow. We know you've heard this advice before, but going one step at a time can help you to achieve increased benefits without undesirable effects.

Choose Your Method

Microdosing involves determining small amounts of THC and other cannabinoids that will achieve the benefits you desire. Many people select microdosing cannabis edibles. A tincture will allow you to measure precise amounts, and gummies can be divided into 2.5 milligram sections.

However, be aware that along with other oral methods, the onset time for edibles can be delayed. Vaping and smoking work faster than edibles, but they also make it more challenging to achieve an exact microdose.

Establish a Dosage

If you're interested in microdosing, you already know that you don't want to feel "high" or experience undesirable effects. Start low and go slowly until you find a microdose that works best for you. Some experts advise starting at 2.5 milligrams and maintaining this for three days, then increasing if needed.

Track Effects

You can keep a dose journal to record when you've taken a microdose and how much you've taken. Keep a record of effects and potential benefits each time. This way, you'll be able to discover your microdose level and avoid taking too much.

What are the Potential Benefits of Microdosing THC?

Research around the potential benefits of cannabis continues to be limited, but there are early indications and reports that there is merit in microdosing cannabis. 

  • Better Sleep: Studies dating back to the early 2010s show potential benefits of microdosing cannabis to reduce insomnia symptoms and improve sleep.3 In addition to improved sleep, there is preliminary evidence that microdosing cannabis may also help alleviate other sleep issues like restless legs syndrome and nightmares related to PTSD.4

  • Lower Anxiety: Some consumers are familiar with feelings of anxiety that can come from consuming too much THC. However, a 2017 research study shows that there's a paradox at work: at lower doses, THC may lead to a potential reduction in stress and/or anxiety.5

  • Pain Relief: Research studies conducted at the University of California, Davis also show that low doses of cannabis may potentially offer pain relieving effects, and may offer similar analgesic effects as medium doses of THC.6

Want to know more? Check out some of the links at the bottom to read up on possible benefits.

What Products Are Best for Microdosing?

Tinctures are one of the best products to begin microdosing as they are typically available with a dropper for precise dosing.7 Other products that are easy to dose are gummies or types of edibles that can be divided into segments. You may also microdose marijuana flower, but keep in mind raw flower products can and do vary in potency. Vapes may also offer rapid effects, but are challenging to determine microdose amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find the right microdose amount that works best for my needs and tolerance level?
As we mentioned, start low and increase slowly. Some experts advise that if you increase the dose and experience negative effects, you've found your tolerance level, and should return to the prior dose.

Are there any specific strains or products better suited for microdosing THC?
Tinctures are an effective way to get exact doses to start, along with edibles that can be divided. Different strains may have different effects, which your budtender can share with you.

How does microdosing THC differ from microdosing other cannabinoids like CBD?
Different cannabinoids provide differing effects, including CBN and CBD. Some microdosers may benefit from products with a ratio of 1:1 THC and CBD.

Finding Products to Microdose

Find a dispensary and talk with your budtender about your needs and potential benefits from microdosing THC. They can help you as you're shopping for edibles or tinctures for your microdosing needs, and discuss your options for microdosing products.


Find a Dispensary


1. "The Paradoxical Power of Medicinal Microdosing," Psychology Today, April 23, 2019, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/balanced/201904/the-paradoxical-power-medicinal-microdosing

2. "Microdosing cannabis: benefits without the buzz," Leafly, May 17, 2017, https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/microdosing-weed-guide

3. "Treating insomnia symptoms with medicinal cannabis: a randomized, crossover trial of the efficacy of a cannabinoid medicine compared with placebo," Sleep, June 11, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8598183/

4. "Is Cannabis Good or Bad for Sleep?," The New York Times, March 7, 2023,  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/07/well/cannabis-weed-sleep-aid.html

5. "Dose-related effects of delta-9-THC on emotional responses to acute psychosocial stress," Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependency, May 30, 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28599212/

6. Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain,” The Journal of Pain, December 13, 2012, https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(12)00864-4/fulltext 

7. "What Does It Mean to Microdose THC?" Leafwell, https://leafwell.com/blog/microdosing-thc

Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

Blog categories