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Health Benefits of Microdosing THC

How low-dose THC can help enhance cognitive performance, reduce stress levels, and improve everyday wellness.

For the longest time, cannabis has been used for one of two reasons: as a medicinal remedy, or a recreational pleasure. But in recent years, people have discovered a third use: improving everyday well-being. But many of the products available are still too potent.

That’s where Zeno comes in.

We believe that when THC is consumed in ultra-low doses, it has the power to deliver a variety of mental & physical wellness benefits for anyone hoping to improve their focus, reduce stress levels, and achieve a more balanced mood.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a quick breakdown of how low-dose THC can help enhance mental well-being across the board.

1. Increased Focus & Productivity

Whether it’s casual absentmindedness or profound distraction and inability to stay on-task, most of us experience a lack of focus in our lives. This can feel foggy and forgetful (“inattentive”) or scattered and jumpy (“hyperactive”).

Fortunately, cannabis has been shown to help restore focus to the brain, especially when consumed in lower-than-typical doses. In a randomized controlled trial from King׳s College London, for instance, small amounts of cannabis were associated with “a nominally significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity… a cognitive measure of inhibition [i.e., the ability to tune out irrelevant stimuli]… and a trend towards improvement for inattention.” Or in plain English: low doses of cannabis can help calm the mind just enough to help you stay in the zone.

The scientific research is certainly in its infancy, and in larger doses cannabis has been known to produce the opposite of focus (just ask any heavy nighttime cannabis user). But by consuming tiny amounts of THC — anywhere from one to three Zeno beads a day, or 0.4 to 1.2 mg — the evidence suggests you may find yourself a bit less distracted and a bit more on-the-ball.

2. Reduced Stress

Whether its normal social anxiety, work stress, or screentime overstimulation, most of us know what it’s like to feel on-edge. But it turns out that small amounts of THC might be able to help.

In a 2017 study from the University of Chicago, participants given a low dose of THC reported feeling more at ease during a mock job interview or when given complex mathematical problems to solve. As the researchers note, “our findings suggest [that] a low dose of THC produces subjective stress-relieving effects in line with those commonly reported among cannabis users.” Cannabis helps people relax? Tell us something we don’t know...

Notably, however, participants given smaller amounts of THC reported lower levels of stress than those given placebos.

And what about participants who got higher doses of THC? One of the study’s researchers noted that “participants in the higher THC group reported small but significant increases in anxiety and negative mood throughout the test.”

When it comes to stress, less truly is more.

3. Mood Balance & Uplift

While prescription medication may be suitable for those suffering from severe depression, what about the rest of us? All too often, those with milder or less frequent blue spells will try to push through it, hoping for improvement. Much worse, many people attempt to self-medicate, using excessive alcohol, illicit substances, or any number of coping mechanisms that can be detrimental and self-defeating.

Low-dose THC, by contrast, has been shown to increase dopamine levels in the brain (delivering a mood lift) without causing burnouts, hangovers, sedation, or any of the other typical downsides of alternative methods. And the effects are almost immediate.

In a recent study from the University of New Mexico, for instance, researchers note that 95.8% of users experienced emotional relief after consumption, concluding that “the findings suggest that, at least in the short term, the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects.”

Here too, however, research is new and ongoing, and results will vary from person to person. The report even cautioned that among 20% of study participants, “Cannabis use was associated with some negative side effects that correspond to increased depression (e.g. feeling unmotivated).” In short, further study is required, but early reports look promising.

Notably, the study also found that the THC content of the cannabis plant was the strongest independent predictor of symptom relief, whereas “cannabidiol (CBD) levels, instead, were generally unrelated to real-time changes in symptom intensity level.” Similarly, the study noted that symptom relief did not differ according to which “strain” of cannabis was used, whether indica, sativa, or hybrid.

Conclusion: Low-Dose THC for Everyday Well-Being

Alongside the more well-recognized benefits of cannabis — relieving discomfort, restoring appetite, reducing nausea, and so on — studies are increasingly showing that THC carries potential cognitive and emotional upsides as well, making it a promising choice not just for medicinal use or occasional fun, but for everyday well-being.

And to reap those benefits without any of the unwanted side effects, the jury is in: low doses are the way to go.