Face it; there’s a reason we all reach for our coffee mugs and opt for refills and a quick jolt of energy at lunch. Even if you absolutely love your job, stress has a way of catching up with you. So let’s be honest, some of us have traded that caffeine high for something our bosses are less eager to welcome into the office: weed. And we’re not talking about the kind of rip-roaring high you get out of a dabbing some fruity pebbles, but micro-dosing could be the perfect low-key pick-me-up to take the edge off a long day.
According to a survey put out by Mashable nearly 10 percent of Americans smoke weed at work or show up high with 80 percent of them obtaining their cannabis legally as medicine. Meanwhile, the level of Americans who admit to having smoked is rising. According to a report from the New York Times employers are having a tough time finding workers who can pass their drug tests as 1 in 10 Americans report having used illicit drugs in the past month.
“Micro-dosing allows a user to reap the benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.” Says Arnaud Dumas de Rauly of The Blinc Group, a vapor and cannabis tech incubator. “This is particularly useful to alleviate stress and improve focus for high-intensity jobs.”
It’s generally agreed upon by experts and consumers that HERB spoke to that the best option is vaping oils and concentrates. In addition to limiting that skunky aroma, these devices can regulate temperature and dosage which allows you to reach that delicate balance of a productive high.
Shauntel Ludwig, Vice President of Operations for Davinci Vapes, agrees that micro-dosing can be an effective tool in a wide range of careers. “Absolutely!” She says emphasizing that it’s important to find the proper strain and dose. She even takes it a step further to suggest that psilocybin – the main active chemical in magic mushrooms – could have similar effects, but overall the real issue for her is the stigma.
“At this point in time, it’s more about perception,” Says Ludwig, “The stigma of the lazy stoner hasn’t yet passed, so those not enlightened about the benefits of micro-dosing cannabis, or even psilocybin, won’t understand.”
Ludwig’s enthusiasm comes from personal experience with friends who have kicked their prescriptions with the help of micro-dosing – a habit he considers to be much more inhibiting when it comes to productivity. Still, she admits, “there is a fine line between being at your top performance and having consumed too much to be counterproductive.”
Richard Huang, Co-Founder of Cloudious9, a high-tech vaporizer company that developed the first-ever vaporizer with a built-in water filtration, encourages employees to make sure that dosing at work is ok with their employer, but he also acknowledges that the stigma is a barrier.
“I think there are a lot of variables that will contribute to the productivity outcome,” He says, “but there are too many social hurdles to overcome for this to be publicly allowed by too many companies.”
Others like Jeffrey Zucker are certain that cannabis can boost productivity and he’s not afraid that his micro-dosing at work will get him fired. That’s because he’s the co-Founder and President of Green Lion Partners, a Denver-based business strategy firm focused on the cannabis industry.
He agrees it might not be for everyone, but for some people, it’s better than going to work sober. “For me, it helps get my mind moving for the day and allows for creative thinking.” Zucker says, “A lot of my best business decisions have been made while I’ve been medicated.”
He and other patients insist that cannabis at work is different from alcohol and even coffee. “I have personally had experiences where I’ve felt more inspired, more creative, and even more motivated, after micro-dosing cannabis.” Says Christie Strong of Kiva Confections, an edibles company which put out a guide to micro-dosing.
Since caffeine and cannabis are both biphasic, meaning that they have two distinct phases. This means their effects vary widely between high and low doses, but only one of those substances can also be harmful at an excessive dose. All offices have a coffee machine, but there is hardly any outside of the cannabis industry that allows employees to openly dose edibles or smoke weed at work.
“No one thinks of caffeine as dangerous,” Strong points out, “but the truth is, cannabis is much safer. A cannabis overdose has never led to death; the same cannot be said of caffeine.”
The key to a productive high lies in finding a happy medium. All people have different bodies, which come with different livers, cannabinoid receptors, and tolerances. Even external factors like what you’ve eaten or how physically active you’ve been can affect how your body reacts to cannabis.
Zucker doesn’t think that medicinal marijuana should be restricted to those with a desk job.
“I understand the logic,” He says, but he also insists that the bottom line is that it is medicine. “Would you ask someone to go without their anti-depressants or allergy medication while at work? Cannabis is equally a medicine as those things, and not all consumption methods get patients stoned.”
Much of the misconception has come from a lack of knowledge in just how diverse cannabis can be. A lot of focus is placed on marijuana’s psychoactive properties, but it’s not exactly common knowledge that low-TCH/high-CBD medicinal strains can have no psychoactive effects at all. For labor-intensive workers, cannabis may be their chosen treatment for anything from joint pain and stomach problems to a need for energy without any impairing effects.