What it Really Means to Start Low and Slow

I’ve been talking to more and more friends about my new interest in cannabis in low doses to help manage stress, and the reaction of almost everyone has been pretty much the same. Some version of “Hey look I’m open minded… whatever helps people, but it’s not for me. Makes me too tired and lethargic.” To which I respond, “your dose is too high”. And they say, “I don’t know anything about the dose.”

And there you have it. Most people, even those with medical cannabis cards, don’t think too much about the dose. Upwards of 80-90% of people use cannabis by inhaling it. When you inhale cannabis, it’s next to impossible to regulate the dose.

There are some popular vape pens on the market from a company called hmbldt that claim to deliver a very precise, controlled dose. Don’t get me wrong, hmbldt is definitely headed in the right direction (and I love my “Calm” pen), but even with the incredible IP, these pens can’t account for differences in inhalation patterns, etc. The controlled dose is simply the dose that’s delivered in a fixed period of time – 3 seconds in the case of hmbldt pens. And they run upwards of $100 a pen!

From my point-of-view, this is where edibles come in. Edibles get a really, really bad wrap. Everyone seems to have an awful edible story. Maureen Dowd even made headlines when she experienced a toxic psychosis from eating a cannabis product. I doubt her cannabis was “bad” – it was a case of consuming something in a ridiculously high dose that wasn’t labeled as such and didn’t contain any warnings.

Here’s where low-dose edibles come in. For starters, when you ingest cannabis, the drug is processed by your liver. This means edibles have a much slower onset and longer lasting effect. This makes them perfect helping to manage stress in a controlled way. Much better than self-medicating with alcohol or using pharmaceutical drugs, especially drugs like Xanax – which has tons of side effects and is highly addictive.

Ingesting cannabis in low doses also produces a full body effect. With edibles, the onset is much more gradual and the effects also last much longer. This type of administration is ideal for helping to manage stress and aid sleep.

Here’s the trick though – for now, you can’t trust your average dispensary to give you a truly low-dose product. Most of the people running these dispensaries think that a low-dose product is something with approximately 10mg of THC. This is way too much!

The ideal product for low dosing is between 2-3 mg of THC but these products are few and far between. I have had a lot of dispensary staffers to tell me to break up a small piece of chocolate into three or four (even smaller) pieces. And, no, they are not kidding! Who wants a sliver of chocolate or to be carrying around a steak knife to try to break things up precisely? For the new cannabis consumer – and those wanting to use cannabis to manage stress and aid sleep – the extra milligrams really do make a difference.

By far, bar none – the best edible product on the market for low dosing (in any category across price, quality, consistency and effect) is Kiva Petra mints. With 2.5mg of THC per mint, Petra offers a reliable way to get the benefits of THC without the disruptive psychoactive effects of THC in higher doses. The effect lasts 4-6 hours, making these mints ideal for managing stress. Take two before bed for a sound night’s sleep. And, don’t mix with alcohol!

For those of you who are more experienced cannabis users, help educate your friends and family about the benefits of low dosing to manage stress and aid sleep. And remember, although it may seem crazy to you, 2-3mg THC is really the perfect low dose for someone new to cannabis

Kristie Amobi

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