Microdosing: Is Your Business on Board Yet?

Microdosing: Is Your Business On Board Yet?

May 22, 2017

One of the latest trends in the cannabis industry is a term you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot recently, but may not fully understand; microdosing. Microdosing has seen such a significant uptick in consumer demand that even Forbes did an article that explains the ins and outs, however, the article only covers one audience and a single use for microdosing: the less-experienced users. Less experienced users make up a much smaller percentage of your customer base, but it’s important to know that less experienced (and thus less frequent/loyal) users are not the only ones turning to microdosing. In fact, it’s your regulars that are likely to purchase the most once you get them in stock. So what is microdosing and why is the practice going mainstream?

In short, microdosing is the practice of ingesting edible cannabis products that have such a low serving size that there are almost no noticeable psychoactive effects – at least at first. Edibles are considered “microdosed” if they have 5mg or less of active THC in a single serving. For the most part, there are two uses for microdosed cannabis edibles:

  1. Being able to “work your way up” slowly. Less experienced users can try consuming cannabis in edible form with less fear of over-consumption and being “too high.” A frequent issue with edibles is not knowing how much to consume and how it will effect a given user, so it’s always suggested that you start slow by ingesting minimal amounts, and work your way up as you reach the desired levels of effectiveness. Several states require that edibles be parsed out in 5 to 10mg serving sizes for this exact reason; however, even that much has proven to be too much for less frequent users. This is especially relevant for states benefiting from marijuana tourism and catering to less experienced consumers.
  2. Ingesting in small amounts to relieve anxiety, increase creativity, and produce a relaxing effect. More experienced users can ingest a 10mg serving of edibles and feel almost nothing. For daily users, some require as much as 50-100mg to even reach a noticeable psychoactive effect. For consumers who may have a higher tolerance, microdosing edibles as low as 1 to 2.5mg can help them achieve a state of calm by alleviating anxiety and promoting creativity, without risking feeling unmotivated or sluggish because you’re “high.” Many are finding this to be an effective alternative to anti-anxiety drugs and jobs with high levels of stress, so it’s being widely considered a medical use rather than recreational. It’s important to note that microdosing in this capacity does not give the user any psychoactive effect. For a comparison, consider how a person could be prescribed to an anti-anxiety drug. If a non-user of an anti-anxiety drug takes a prescribed user’s dosage, it’s likely they’ll achieve a “high” effect, whereas the prescribed user takes that same dosage every single day and has built up a tolerance, so it allows them to feel less anxious without getting “high” as a result. Microdosing works the same way for those that really on cannabis for its medical benefits.

Currently, microdosed edibles can be difficult to find. They’re becoming more common in markets like California, Washington, and many medical markets as a result of regulatory restrictions that require edibles to be parsed in the lowest serving size available (1-2mg). However, microdosed products are still very hard to come by in some major markets, including Colorado and Michigan. While they can be found, they’re scarce and usually only offer as low as 5mg, which can still be too much for many users. Ultimately, it’s up to the processors to start offering the microdosed products, but dispensaries can also put on the pressure to make it happen. The microdosing train has already left the station; are you getting on it?

Have you seen processors in your state making microdosed edibles? What company? What state? We want to hear!

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