I Tried Micro-Dosing With Weed Instead of Drinking—and My Mood Skyrocketed

I'd be lying if I said that the highlight of my weekend didn't revolve around alcohol. Whether it be enjoying a glass of red wine with some friends or downing several tequila shots and dancing to Drake, drinking has long been my way to let loose once Friday or Saturday night rolls around. Having a few drinks never fails to give me that euphoric feeling of being uninhibited, confident, and bubbly (my favorite version of myself). The only issue? Having one too many quickly leads to feeling groggy, bloated, and even anxiety-ridden the next day. These days, my hangovers have gotten much worse. I attribute it to getting older (sigh), and I'm no longer down to throw away the entire day after a night of drinking. Nope, I needed to find an alternative that wasn't as harsh on my body.

Now, I realize that simply not drinking would solve all these issues (maybe I'll try it one day, who knows!), but I prefer to feel at least a slight buzz when I'm in social situations. I blame it on being an introverted person. For me, going to a party, a concert, or a bar with a buzz is far more enjoyable than going completely sober. So when the cannabis brand Kiva Confections invited me to enjoy a weekend at Outside Lands music festival testing out its products, I was intrigued. I know that cannabis has been legal for recreational use in California for a while now, but I'd never thought of using it in a social setting like a music festival as a replacement for alcohol before. This year's Outside Lands was the perfect setting to test it out since it marked the first one in California where cannabis was completely legal for the 21-plus crowd to buy and use during the festival. I micro-dosed Kiva's weed edibles without the goal of getting high—and it gave me the subtle buzz I was craving.

What is Microdosing?

I'd heard the term referenced before since it's trending in the wellness community, but what does it really mean? Micro-dosing refers to taking a fraction of the dose that's required to experience any psychoactive effects. My goal with micro-dosing weed was to take just enough to feel something but not enough to feel everything. I wanted to feel a slight buzz without being completely high. Considering that I had a less-than-fun experience with edibles once during college that made me swear them off completely (I'm sure I'm not alone here), I was motivated to try them once again with an emphasis on the micro in micro-dosing.

My Experience

Like I said, I was hesitant to try edibles in general, but Kiva's products made things super accessible and uncomplicated. Each of its mints, gummies, and chocolates has a specific amount of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis), which made it really clear to understand how much to take and when. I tried both the Petra Mints and the Camino Gummies but ended up favoring the gummies for their flavors and specific effects—the flavors are made for different moods like social, uplifting, balanced, and chill.

I rotated between the gummies with a social and uplifting effect, eating half of one (a 2.5MG dose of THC) every two to four hours. I specifically remember having a light and bubbly energy throughout the weekend, but it was never enough to reach that phase of being uncomfortably high. Half of the time I even questioned whether or not the edibles had taken effect—the keyword here is subtle. Compared to having a beer or a glass of wine every few hours, the edibles had a much less noticeable effect on my mood and energy, but overall what I felt was much more consistent than it would have been had I been drinking.

For one, I didn't feel that crash that happens when alcohol begins to wear off. When one of my gummies started to wear off, it was a smooth transition from feeling something to feeling nothing. This meant I could sustain my energy levels well into the evening instead of eventually passing out as I would after a night of drinking. And, as you can imagine, I didn't experience a crazy hangover or any of the anxiety or sluggishness that comes with one.

What I Used

One reason I put the breaks on using cannabis for years was the anti-social effect that smoking too much gave me, but once I tried this sparkling pear flavor (literally formulated for a social, bubbly effect), it changed my mind.

I also really liked the Pineapple Habanero flavor, and I ate just half a gummy at a time for a light but upbeat mood.

I always carry mints on me, so popping one of these felt like a no-brainer, and since they look just like non-cannabis mints, no one gave me a second glance while I pulled them out of my bag.

First of all, these caramel bites tasted so delicious I had to remind myself to eat just one at a time. (Kiva, if you're reading this, please make THC-free versions of these chocolates!) At 5MG per bite, they had a more obvious effect than the lower doses I took.

Shop more cannabis edibles I like:

Formulated for bliss, I'm curious to try out this flavor of Kiva's popular gummies next.

Each of the brand's gummies has the same amount of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis), which makes it so easy—no guessing how much to take.

The citrus flavor is formulated with CBD not THC, so you get all the relaxing benefits without experiencing any psychoactive effects.

Personally, I love a cinnamon-flavored mint or stick of gum, so these seem right up my alley.

What's even more impressive than thinking about how Kiva formulated mints of all things with cannabis is how many flavor options the brand carries. I'm a fan of eucalyptus as a scent, so I'm curious to know what it would taste like.

Next up: This is what happens to your body when you quit alcohol.

This press trip was paid for by Kiva Confections. Editor's opinions are her own.