Could microdosing CBD become a new meditation method? Society has come full circle on meditation, and what’s old is new again. A 2017 National Health Interview Survey found that the practice of meditation in American adults has more than tripled in the space of a decade — correlating perfectly with the growing public interest in medical cannabis and cannabis compounds.
In the current post-pandemic climate of economic uncertainty, record numbers of Americans are looking to microdosing for depression and other natural health and wellness as personal lifelines.
The recent popularization of meditation and mindfulness couldn’t come at a better time, given we are more stressed today than ever before. According to the ADAA, over 40 million individuals have been diagnosed with some form of anxiety disorder, with less than 37% of them receiving treatment.
Aside from home therapy and meditative practices, another increasingly favored microdosing for depression and as a method of ameliorating stress and anxiety is the supplementary consumption of cannabidiol or CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is the primary cannabinoid in hemp and is the second most abundant cannabinoid in most strains of marijuana after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, and its anxiolytic potential comes from its ability to regulate hormone and neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
While CBD hasn’t yet been recognized by the FDA as a form of anxiolytic medication as of this writing, its potential for microdosing for depression and its viability as a supplement is backed by a growing body of scientific research and countless anecdotal attestations from diagnosed users across the country via product reviews, word of mouth and social media.
It’s worth noting that for practitioners of meditation and mindfulness exercises, CBD can be doubly beneficial. In this post, we go over how microdosing CBD affects the process of meditation itself, as well as why controlled CBD intake and microdosing for depression are ideal over more substantial doses. Let’s also go over the three most convenient methods of micro-dosing CBD for practitioners of all levels, from greenhorns to bona fide yogis.
Getting Started With Microdosing CBD
To start, practitioners should bear in mind their individual levels of sensitivity to cannabis compounds in order to determine their ideal microdose threshold. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to choose your strength when it comes to CBD products, as manufacturers are required by law to print product potency right on the front label.
CBD isolates can range from potencies of 17 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) to 300mg/mL in premium, extra-strength products. For this reason, it’s especially important to note the potency of the product you’re purchasing if it’s to be used for microdosing for depression when browsing your local dispensary or health store.
Why is Microdosing Important?
When incorporated into meditation at the right levels, CBD lends itself to the process rather than taking it over. CBD is shown to improve focus and concentration by increasing adenosine levels in the brain, but in excess, it isn’t without its share of drawbacks.
While CBD is typically well-tolerated by the body and has no documented side effects, there are common signs of having taken too much in a single sitting, particularly among new consumers. Two common reactions that are disruptive to proper meditation are dry mouth and sharply increased appetite.
Just as in the practice of micro-dosing THC for meditation, where the aim is to become relaxed and uninhibited rather than high outright, actively controlling your intake of CBD around times of meditation is key to a rewarding experience. To be on the safe side, beginners should always opt for standard CBD isolates first, and move on to high-strength products after getting a feel for their own sensitivity and microdosing thresholds.
Because of their effects on the human nervous system, microdosing cannabis compounds can be beneficial to all forms of meditation — whether it be breathing exercises, cogitative art forms like pottery, or the practice of yoga. However, it’s likely cannabis greenhorns will have to work through an initial phase of trial and error; not because micro-dosing is particularly complex, but because it works quite differently from person to person.
Microdosing For Depression and Anxiety Management
CBD interacts with distinct receptors found mostly in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. While the exact way microdosing for depression and CBD interacts isn’t quite known, it’s believed that it may alter serotonin signals which is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in your overall mental health.
Low serotonin levels have been directly associated with depression and anxiety. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in rats, which means it could be used for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
A 2014 study found CBD produced an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect, and a 2018 review found that CBD can reduce stress if the depression is stress-related.
Viable Methods of Microdosing
Once your personal dosage is for using microdosing for depression or just relaxing, and your values are nailed down, there are three reliable methods of microdosing. CBD isolates can be consumed orally, sublingually, or infused into food or beverages. For obvious reasons, light consumables such as tea or a crepe are preferable to dense foods that can cause bloating or thirst.
Although it’s incredibly popular among younger CBD consumers, vaping is not a reliable method for micro-dosing before meditation. The reason for this is simple: it’s easy enough to finish off a cup of tea that’s been infused with a carefully measured amount of CBD. It’s much harder to get the right amount from a CBD cartridge or e-liquid, with significant risks of under dosage or overshooting instead.
Common CBD Myths & Misconceptions
Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the use of CBD. Let’s take a closer look at the most common ones.
Myth #1: CBD is medical, and THC is recreational.
In truth, THC has amazing medicinal properties as does CBD. Scientists at the Scripps Research Center in San Diego reported that “THC inhibits an enzyme implicated in the formation of amyloid-beta plaque,” which is the type of plaque found in Alzheimer’s disease.
The FDA recognizes single-molecule THC (dronabinol, brand name Marinol) as an anti-nausea agent and appetite booster. They classify it only as a Class III drug, which is reserved for less addictive substances.
Myth #2: CBD is most effective without THC.
In truth, CBD and THC work best together, just as the cannabis plant creates them. Scientific studies have proven that THC and CBD act in tandem with each one enhancing the other’s therapeutic and natural healing effects.
Myth #3: CBD is not psychoactive.
CBD certainly isn’t an intoxicant, but it’s a mistake to label it non-psychoactive. It does act as a powerful mood-altering compound, even though you don’t get “high” as you do from THC. It’s more accurate to say, “CBD isn’t as psychoactive as THC.”
Myth #4: Psychoactivity is always an adverse side effect.
Big Pharma is looking to synthesize medically active marijuana-like molecules that don’t make people “high.” So, to them, the “high” is an unwanted side effect. In truth, the word euphoria literally means “having health” in Greek; it’s a state of well-being.
Dr. Tod Mikuriya, a psychiatrist and author of books such as the Marijuana Medical Papers says, “We should be thinking of cannabis as a medicine first. One that happens to have some psychoactive properties, as many medicines do, rather than an intoxicant that happens to have a few therapeutic properties on the side.”
Myth #5: CBD is just like a sedative.
The truth is that very high doses of CBD may trigger a sleep-promoting effect (perfect for those suffering from insomnia), however moderate doses can actually be mildly energizing.
In other words, CBD doesn’t cause sedation, but it may help restore better sleeping patterns by helping your brain produce more melatonin throughout the night. And since it also helps reduce anxiety, it can help improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
Myth #6: High doses of CBD work better than low doses.
CBD isolates do require higher doses than whole plant CBD-rich oil extracts. That doesn’t mean the single-molecule version is better. Reports suggest that a synergistic combination of CBD, THC and other cannabis components can be more effective at lower doses.
Myth #7: CBD is converted to THC in your stomach.
There have been extensive clinical trials demonstrating that CBD, even at high doses, does not cause THC-like effects. On the contrary, in the right amounts, CBD can lessen or neutralize the THC “high.”
To eliminate this risk along with the hassle of guesswork, direct consumption or simple infusion into edibles is recommended when microdoseing with CBD.