I love summer. Day by day, the earth warms up, and I do not have to waste a bunch of my energy shivering. This leaves room for deep thoughts. This week in particular, partially spurred by my comrade Pufnstuf’s moon rock experience, my brain has been consumed with the topic of cannabis, the range of potential portions one might ingest, and the effects it can have on our health, our consciousness, and our lives. It’s a glorious range that runs from “micro-dosing” to “tripping on weed.”
The concept of micro-dosing – or using sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelic substances to break down mental patterns and open up creative channels – began having its moment in the spotlight a few years ago, thanks to news about how Silicon Valley professionals seek to enhance their work lives by using tiny amounts of LSD or psilocybin mushrooms. The typical amount of LSD taken by these folks was 10 micrograms per serving, or about 1/10 of 100 mics, the current standard of the “single-tab” portion. The discussions surrounding the use of cannabis in a similar, controlled measure determined that taking a micro-dose of cannabis involves ingesting an edible portion of around 2.5 milligrams, a puff of concentrate about the size of a pinhead, or the briefest inhalation of combusted flower. There are even vaporizers that will alert the user when the threshold has been reached. It turns out that this method can be a very effective use of cannabis, especially when dealing with anxiety and pain management.
The trick is being able to calculate the correct amount for yourself, taking into consideration the variables of potency – which can cover a surprisingly wide range, even when comparing flower to flower, as the THC levels climb ever-higher through the decades – and your own tolerance. Never mind the jet fuel that is available in the wax/oil categories. I have generally been a microdoser in my day-to-day usage for many moons. My family has even designated the quick hit as a “poke” in honor of Captain Augustus McCrae of Lonesome Dove fame. I, especially when on my own, often just take enough into my lungs to keep things moving without making the voyage all the way past Stonedtown city limits. It is such that I may stop a little while later to wonder if I am high, and try to remember my last time at the bong, bowl, or vape.
Then, there are the nights when I swallow a gob of RSO and dive straight into the rabbit hole known as “tripping on weed.” It is not for everyone (heck, it is not usually for me during daylight hours), but I have found the trance state induced by taking in a healthy-sized (1 ½ - 2 grains of rice) portion of hash oil to be an extremely valuable meditative tool that has allowed me to explore energetic realms with a kind plant teacher as my spirit guide.
There is usually a period of 2-4 hours where I fall asleep as the potent extract begins to work on my system. When I wake up (sometimes that much oil just brings a good night’s sleep) I have been transported to a place where my ability to put one foot in front of the other becomes a process that summons prodigious amounts of mental energy. This usually brings fits of laughter, which open the doors to revelations concerning my place in the universe, and my relationship to aspects of my life that get burdened and cluttered by the day-to-day dreck that often accompanies modern living. It is a slower, gentler process than using compounds more commonly thought of as “psychedelic,” but the knowledge gained while under the guidance of Mary Jane is of the highest order of ethneogenic transmission. And, as with all good trips, I feel refreshed and ready to wade back into things.
So, DGO, there is the dram and draft of cannabis ingestion. Give micro-and-macro-doing a shot and let me know what you think.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.