Bucking the trend of ever-increasing THC potency, more and more people are interested in microdosing cannabis.
As with psychedelics, taking small, non-psychoactive doses of THC offers many benefits without affecting headspace or your ability to function.
The same is true of microdosing delta 8 THC, the mellower molecular sibling of delta 9 THC.
Though research is limited, many users report microdosing delta 8 THC as an effective and durable way to relieve stress, increase focus, and boost energy.
In this guide, we’ll go over the fundamentals of microdosing delta 8 THC to help you get the best results.
WHAT IS A MICRODOSE?
A microdose is a sub-perceptual dose of a psychoactive substance that won’t make the user feel high but promotes desirable physical and mental effects.
Microdosing is most commonly practiced with psychedelics like LSD and magic mushrooms, with research indicating it may can help improve mood and spur creativity.
Now, more and more people are taking small doses of THC this way, including delta 8 THC (D8), and reporting similar benefits.
MICRODOSE VS. THRESHOLD DOSE
With a microdose, typically 10 percent of a standard dose, you won’t feel the substance’s effects directly, whereas the point at which you start to feel psychoactive effects is known as the threshold dose.
To ensure you don’t go beyond the threshold dose, start slowly and regularly while giving it time, perhaps days or a week, to take effect. If you still don’t notice any benefits at that point, you can try increasing the dose slightly.
While microdoses of delta 8 won’t make you feel high, it’s best to initially avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or doing other tasks that would be considered unsafe or illegal under the influence of THC until you know how your body reacts.
Once you’re comfortable with what an effective non-psychoactive dose is for you, then you can start doing such activities with confidence, knowing it won’t impair your neurocognitive functions.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MICRODOSING DELTA 8 THC?
Everyone reacts differently to psychoactive substances, and not a great deal of research has been carried out into microdosing delta 8 THC, so it’s hard to say what the benefits of doing it are for certain.
Anecdotal evidence from people who microdose D8 indicates that it offers the same benefits as macro dosing. These include:
- Improved mood
- Increased focus and concentration
- Boosted energy
- Alleviated aches and pain
- Enhanced creativity
The difference with microdosing is that it allows you to experience these benefits long-term while remaining functional since there are no psychoactive effects.
HOW TO MICRODOSE DELTA 8 THC?
The purpose of microdosing, in general, is to experience the therapeutic benefits of a substance without its psychoactive effects.
Microdosing delta 8 means promoting greater focus, boosting energy levels, and relieving stress and negative thoughts without taking an amount that gets you high.
But how much exactly is a microdose?
While it’s not advisable to apply a one size fits all approach to dosing, certain rules of thumb can help get you started as a new or inexperienced user.
A standard D8 dose is between 20 and 50 milligrams (mg), depending mainly on the user’s sex, weight, age, and tolerance levels. So if a microdose is 10 percent of a standard dose, then a microdose of D8 is between 2 to 5 mg.
Beginners and those with a lower tolerance to THC should start with 2 to 3 mg, while those with more experience or higher tolerance could try 4 to 5 mg. Some heavy users take up to 10 mg of delta 8 as a microdose; anything more than this is typically considered a standard amount with psychoactive effects.
To get the maximum benefits from microdosing D8, take it once or twice per day and do it every day with one or two days off each week to avoid building up too much tolerance. If the effectiveness of the delta 8 THC starts to diminish, then you might need to consider taking a tolerance break for your body to reset, allowing the full effects of delta 8 to return.
The key to microdosing effectively is to establish a routine you can stick to, and part of this process is working out which type of delta 8 product works best for you.
1. MICRODOSING WITH A VAPE
Microdosing by inhalation is difficult as it’s imprecise. Multiple variables affect how much D8 actually enters your system, like how you vape delta 8 THC properly, the volume you inhale and how long you hold your breath for.
This doesn’t mean microdosing delta 8 THC with a vape is impossible, but it does require calculation and precision.
Certain vape pens make it easier to microdose as they’re preset to deliver a specific dose per puff. Also, some D8 vape cartridge vendors provide an estimation of the amount per puff.
If you’re a new user, microdosing delta 8 with a standard vape pen probably isn’t ideal as one draw might be a bit much to start, though you could try taking a short puff. If you have a higher tolerance, then a regular draw should be enough.
2. MICRODOSING WITH TINCTURES
Microdosing delta 8 with tinctures is more straightforward than with vaping but still requires some mental arithmetic.
The first step is determining the potency of the oil carrying the delta 8 distillate. This is measured in mg of delta 8 THC per mL of oil, and some vendors provide this information on the bottle’s label.
Otherwise, you can work it out yourself by dividing the delta 8 THC content (in milligrams) by the volume of oil (in milliliters) it’s carried in.
3. MICRODOSING WITH GUMMIES
Microdosing delta 8 THC with gummies is the easiest method since product labeling shows each piece’s exact dose.
What’s more, reputable D8 vendors manufacture their gummies in such a way that the delta 8 THC is evenly distributed throughout each piece, so you can still accurately calculate a dose when you cut it up.
Most delta 8 gummies available contain 25 mg of D8 THC, which is too much to microdose, so you have to cut them equally into five or more pieces.
WILL MICRODOSING DELTA 8 THC MAKE ME FAIL A DRUG TEST?
The short answer is yes, it can, but it depends on various factors.
In general, though, if you’re required to take drug tests at work or for a prospective employer without at least 30 days’ notice before providing a sample, then it’s not advisable to microdose delta 8 THC.
Drug tests are susceptible to trace amounts of THC. Even full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains a tiny amount of THC, could potentially trigger a positive drug test result.
So don’t microdose delta 8 on the day of a drug test, as it’s almost certain to be detected.
Also, if you consistently microdose delta 8 THC for months, then it’s likely that stores have built up in your system that could take several weeks to flush out thoroughly.
If, however, you’ve only recently started microdosing D8 and you go a couple of days without doing it before a drug test, then you’re likely to pass. However, there are no guarantees.
Small amounts of delta 8 THC consumed over a relatively short time leave the body within a few days. That is, so long as you don’t otherwise use cannabis regularly.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: SHOULD I MICRODOSE DELTA 8 THC?
You absolutely can microdose delta 8 THC, but should you?
That depends on your goals and personal situation.
If your job involves random drug tests and driving forklift trucks, then it might not be a great idea.
But it’s well worth considering if you’re able to integrate microdoses of delta 8 THC into your daily routine and want to manage your stress or boost your energy and focus.
To help get you on your way, here’s a breakdown of what we know about microdosing delta 8 THC:
- Research indicates that taking sub-perceptual doses of psychoactive substances (microdosing) can yield various benefits.
- Microdosing delta 8 THC can reduce anxious thoughts, increase focus, boost energy and creativity, and even relieve minor aches.
- A microdose of delta 8 THC is between 2 to 5 mg, depending on the user’s tolerance levels.
- Microdosing D8 is not advisable if you’re required to take drug tests without advance notice.
- When you first start microdosing delta 8, it’s best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you’re confident the dose won’t cause you to feel psychoactive effects.
- Microdosing D8 works best if you take it once or twice a day. Also, make sure to take one or two days off per week to avoid building up a tolerance.
- You can microdose delta 8 THC with vape cartridges, tinctures, and gummies. The easiest method is to use gummies since each piece has a set dose of D8.
Microdosing delta 8 THC opens up many exciting possibilities to make long-lasting improvements in your mood and productivity. Just don’t get over-excited and take too much.
The microdose mantra to live by is a little at a time, taken regularly. Start small and build yourself up slowly until you hit your delta 8 microdosing sweet spot.
- Kuypers K. (2020). The therapeutic potential of microdosing psychedelics in depression. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 10, 2045125320950567. 
- Prochazkova, L., Lippelt, D. P., Colzato, L. S., Kuchar, M., Sjoerds, Z., & Hommel, B. (2018). Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity in an open-label natural setting. Psychopharmacology, 235(12), 3401-3413. 
- The University of Illinois at Chicago. (2017, June 2). Low-dose THC can relieve stress; more does just the opposite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 29, 2021