Story at a glance
- THC and CBD-infused health drinks are trending recreationally.
- These drinks utilize microdoses that can be used for homeopathic treatments.
- Microdosing psychedelics has been found to reduce levels of anxiety and pain.
New lines of health drinks are popping up, and while they aim to be social drinking alternatives to alcohol, they can also help reduce your anxiety and pain — with the help of THC and CBD.
Brands such as Cann and Stillwater offer a variety of drinks infused with CBD and THC at different levels. Levels of 5 mg or less of THC are considered microdoses, which when consumed in these small amounts, can offer therapeutic effects without leading to an abundant “high.”
Though there still lacks a considerable amount of empirical evidence, there have been a multitude of studies that found microdosing led to decreases in anxiety, depression and pain in patients.
“Most people don’t know about microdosing,” Michelle Ross, a neuroscientist who advocates for the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs, told Leafly. “They just blast their system with cannabis or high amounts of THC, and that is not always the best approach for whatever condition they have.”
And CBD and THC aren’t the only drugs that have shown promising results when microdosed.
In 2016, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study in which researchers found that a one-time, single dose of psilocybin, offered rapid improvements in the levels of anxiety, depression and dread of death in cancer patients.
Psilocybin, a compound found in psychedelic mushrooms, was given to patients in the 2016 study and resulted in immediate, substantial relief of symptoms that was sustained and documented at their follow-ups more than six months later.
An update nearly five years later in 2020 found that the single dose, combined with psychotherapy, had led to long-lasting improvements in the patients.
Though these drinks are still largely marketed as healthy, nonalcoholic alternatives to social drinking — especially in states where cannabis has been decriminalized and approved for recreational use — a new wave of homeopathic users continues to grow and utilize the same brands. And doctors hope these uses continue to trend in that direction.
“We need to change our relationship with cannabis from something that we use for recreation or to treat severe symptoms to something that we use to stay healthy, like we would a multivitamin,” said Dustin Sulak, an osteopathic physician in Maine who uses microdoses of cannabis in his treatment plans.
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