In the winter of 1999, Dr. Allan Frankel, an internist who now treats people with microdoses of marijuana, suffered a viral infection of the heart. Doctors told him he had six months to live.
He’s rarely tried marijuana, but several of his cancer and AIDS patients urged him to use it for his heart. A year later, his heart was normal. Frankel, now 66, says he can’t be certain that cannabis healed his heart. “I’d been depressed and cannabis stopped the depression,” he says. “It gave me something to look forward to. My brain was turned on.”
In the following years, he combed the scientific literature on cannabis, and in 2006, opened a cannabis medical practice. He developed formulas for whole plant oils with different combinations of THC, the compound in pot that gets people high, and CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that’s believed to have broad healing properties.
Working with patients, he found that many could benefit from small doses. “A quarter of my patients are taking less than 3 mg of THC a day,” he says. He calls it the “correct dose. In all medicine, with all drugs, you look for the minimum effective dose. Period.”
Welcome to marijuana 2.0. With microdosing, people are getting the maximum benefit from the minimum amount, without becoming stoned, paranoid or lethargic. Some are microdsoing to relieve anxiety, boost their creativity, or enhance their workouts and yoga sessions.
Susannah Grossman, 29, founder of Verdant Communications in Denver, takes several small doses through the day. “It lifts my spirits, relieves the stress and tension that build up, and allows me to approach my work with more keen interest.”
Michael Backes, author of Cannabis Pharmacy, says when prohibition ends, microdosing could be the most popular way that people use cannabis. Right now, however, anyone who wants to microdose faces two hurdles: finding the right minimum dose, and finding products that will deliver it.
The challenge with finding your dose is that it’s different for each person. One reason may be…
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