Microdose gummies and low-dose seltzers are often seen as an ideal entry point for first-time consumers, but they’re also becoming mood- and performance-enhancing substances for adults from all walks of life. In one limited study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, researchers found cannabinoid microdosing was effective for treating Alzheimer’s disease while preventing major side effects.
“It is remarkable how a dose so significantly lower than those previously reported is able to consistently improve cognitive and noncognitive AD [Azlheimer’s disease] symptoms,” the study’s authors stated. “For instance, Sativex is normally administered up to 20 mg of THC per day, while the dosage here never exceeds 1 mg of THC per day…We emphasize this drastic difference in dose because we used cannabinoids with a microgram range, suggesting this could be the main reason why symptoms improved while no noticeable side effects were observed.”
Microdosing can have positive effects on a person’s energy levels, cognitive processing, and creative output. For cannabis brands and dispensary owners searching for an entirely new customer, microdosing products could be a valuable introduction.
What is microdosing?
A term most commonly referenced within the psychedelic community, “microdosing” involves taking a very small dose—compared to the “normal” amount of a substance—to access milder, more refined effects. When microdosing cannabis edibles, the range or sweet spot usually falls between one milligram of THC to about five for subtle efficacy, depending on your tolerance level. The correct microdose amount can vary by person, but it should not lead to any psychoactive effects.
While you may still experience a mild THC-fueled head shift, it won’t be anywhere near as noticeable as consuming higher doses of the plant. The products will still interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but instead of experiencing the full spectrum or wide range of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals, you might only feel a handful of the desired and expected effects.
Why has microdose THC become so popular?
New Frontier Data’s 2023 consumer survey revealed that 72 percent of consumers weigh THC potency with extreme importance when selecting products for purchase, which can mean highly potent for some users and microdosing for others. Sixty-one percent of consumers reported using doses that are 10mg or less of THC while 37 percent prefer products with 5mg of THC.
BDSA’s Spring 2023 Consumer Data collection showed similar results: for the year, lower edible doses are the most preferred among consumers in adult-use legal states. Twenty percent of these consumers reported that their preferred dosage was between five and 10 milligrams, with the second most popular dosage sitting between 2.5 and five milligrams.
This shouldn’t come as a huge shock. When you consider the fact that the cannabis consumer base has grown throughout the past few years with market expansion, it’s not difficult to imagine that many of these newer consumers prefer a lower dose of THC.
“While some of these consumers have consumed in the past, BDSA data suggest that a significant share are first-time consumers, who may be more likely to seek out lower dose or microdose products,” said BDSA Analyst Brendan Mitchel-Chesebro. “Our data also shows a rise in cannabis consumption for high-energy, recreational use occasions, such as celebrating special events or having date nights. When looking at edible products, lower THC dosages may be seen as ideal for these more recreational, active use occasions.”
This shift in cannabis culture from relaxing and solitary to high-energy and social explains why we would also see a shift in the desired dose level. But not all the data is as clear as it may seem. Although BDSA and New Frontier Data have both seen an uptick in low-dose THC demand, Headset has seen the opposite.
“We’ve actually seen more consumers gravitating toward higher-dose products, but it’s interesting to think about how people might be actually using them,” said Headset Data Analyst Mitchell Laferla. “For example: if someone buys a 200mg THC chocolate bar, there’s no telling how many sessions they’re using it for. Even if someone microdoses, they might still prefer purchasing larger formats, because in terms of dollar-per-milligram of THC, it’s cheaper to buy more at once.”
4 low-dose and microdose gummies
Whether you’re thinking of working some microdose THC options into your offerings or just decided to double down on higher THC and CBD products, we’ve included some of the most popular microdose gummies on the market for your perusal. Many are marketed around elements like the highest quality CBD, full spectrum hemp extract, gluten-free ingredients, and of course, a very small amount of THC.