The Working Man's Guide to Microdosing

The Chill  Maker: Marijuana

The Chill  Maker: Marijuana

Cannabis can relieve pain and decrease anxiety and stress. Where better than the office to harness those benefits.

The Dose

You want one to five milligrams of THC. Based on a 2016 study of nearly 39,000 cannabis samples, that susses out to a hit or two. Edibles are more exact and can deliver a more consistent dosage. (When inhaled, THC peaks in 15 minutes. With edibles, the effect builds over time and can last for hours.)

Pot comes in two strains, sativa and indica. In general, sativa is associated with a more energetic high, indica with a mellow one. But don't get too caught up in all that. "Cannabis is so inbred, the strain doesn't necessarily predict what's in it," says cannabis expert Jahan Marcu. The solution? A weed journal. "Experiment with varietals, and write down your reactions," he says. "Exact records help you determine what works best."

What to Know

Microdosers claim that pot curbs anxiety while boosting creativity. But science says results may vary. While studies suggest that low doses of THC have a stress-reducing effect, says Margaret Haney, a professor of neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center, "there is also evidence of a genetic difference in this response." Some people speed past anxiety-reduction and go to paranoia and self-consciousness.

As for a brain boost, Marcu says, pot is actually proved to help you focus: "If your job is to throw yourself into a subject and filter out extraneous stuff, a little THC could help you do it."

What It Feels Like

I scored a weed lollipop with an indica-sativa blend that had "2.6-ish milligrams of THC," an estimate at once too specific and too vague. To be safe, I ate half. Still, after a couple of hours, I felt drowsy. Then, suddenly, I was stoned — Cypress Hill–level high. That was no microdose! To be discreet, I stared straight ahead at my computer for the rest of the day. Productivity hit a low and never spiked again.


Pot at work is not for me. My job requires personal and verbal skills that fail me under even a small dose of weed. Results, of course, may vary.