A Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis

I have to confess, I have never been a fan of weed. Growing up my drug of choice was always alcohol, even while my friends were getting high. I just wasn’t interested in smoking up. But with Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana I started to get curious. The cannabis industry has come a long way over the years. New products have been introduced, new methods of ingestion. And most importantly, new understandings of the science of cannabis and its components. Here is a quick guide to cannabis with my top three realizations about the new world of weed.

You Don’t Have to Smoke the Whole Thing

If you are interested in smoking pot, you lose some control over how much THC is entering your system. But growers have become pretty darn good at indicating the strengths and effects of various strains of weed. You’ll have an idea of the type of high you can expect.

Smoking has also been revolutionized by vaping. Vaporizers heat the bud to a point when vapor is released, before actually burning the flower. You won’t be inhaling smoke, and it’s a lot easier to inhale the tiniest amount of vapor. It isn’t as precise as using concentrates, but is a whole lot improved over sparking up a joint.

Actually, You Don’t Have to Smoke At All

THC hits me like a freight train. For some people that might be a good thing, but I like to be able to see straight. Fortunately, the science of extracting THC and CBD from cannabis has been dialed in. This allows for accurate measurements of what you are consuming, meaning we can take as small a dose as we wish. With concentrates and extracts, you can start with the smallest measurable dose and observe how your body reacts. You can then adjusted the dose depending on what you’re after.

Edibles are another interesting means of dabbling in the weed world. Although they aren’t legally available for recreational use until October 2019, anyone with a prescription is allowed to partake. From candies to chocolate bars, edibles are probably the best way for an average user to control their dose. Ranging from 2mg of THC in EnchantMints, to 10 mg in double strength gummies, it’s easy to adjust the amount.

Make sure you don’t get carried away though. Start with a low dose and work your way up. It can take a couple of hours after eating for you to feel the effects. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t sit down and eat an entire package of candy?

Cannabis Really is Medicine

I don’t think anyone will forget the media frenzy surrounding legalization of recreational marijuana in 2018. But few outsiders will remember that medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001.

There are decades of international studies supporting the various conditions and illnesses that can benefit from marijuana treatments. Illnesses as diverse as epilepsy to cancer and depression to anxiety have shown improvements in symptoms with cannabis. Veterinarian schools have begun testing the effectiveness of CBD, a major component of cannabis and hemp, on treating canines as well.

What makes cannabis treatments so appealing, is that in many cases the side effects are minimal. Compared to traditional treatments such as Ritalin, with well documented adverse side effects, marijuana is fairly benign.


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