A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis

The herb is here to stay.

California legalized cannabis at the beginning of this year, and just about half of our states have some laws that have legalized cannabis in some way.  

People are starting to realize that cannabis isn’t as bad as they once thought it was.  If you are one of these people here are some facts about the herb that just might surprise you. 

Not all cannabis will have the same effects

Growing up in Miami, we used to think there were two kinds of cannabis: Regs and Krippy. The main difference was that regs was cheaper than Krippy.  We couldn’t have had a worse conception of cannabis.  Truth is there are over 1024 different types of cannabis, referring to the genetic possibilities of the cannabis plant. But let us not complicate things further. There are 2 main effects that come from the cannabis plant.  That is the effects of indica and sativa.  Indicas are associated with deep body relaxation and sativas are associated with enhanced energy and creativity.

Bear in mind,  the effects of cannabis aren’t so black and white. Most cannabis plants are a hybrid of the two mentioned above.  Sometimes the strain is most on the indica side, sometimes it’s more on the sativa side, sometimes its a balance of both. 

There are various components of cannabis

THC has always been the most popular component of cannabis.  Understandably so because it is responsible for the psychoactive effects.  But there is way more to the chemical composition of cannabis than just THC.  There are over 100 different types of cannabinoids in cannabis.  Although THC has taken the forefront, CBD has grown in popularity over the years. CBD has a vast amount of medical benefits, but doesn’t come with the “high” that THC provides. Cannabis strains are now available with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, providing such medical benefits as, pain management, anxiety reduction, improved sleep, and decreased inflammation- without the high!

Cannabis now comes in different forms

Consuming medical marijuana doesn’t mean you’re smoking joint all day. Well… it could, but it is not limited to that. There are many different ways that you can consume cannabis.  Vape pens are the newest form of consumption. Basically, vape pens are a battery powered form of vaporizing cannabis oil. You can even buy preloaded cartridges at most dispensaries. 

Let’s not forget about cannabis infused products. You can now consume your cannabis in gummies, chocolate, you can slather it on your skin with a lotion or a balm, or even suppository form is available. 

Start small

Cannabis dosage is done by a process called “self-titration”.  That means that everyone reacts in their own way to cannabis.  We all respond to cannabinoids in different ways and, as we saw above, cannabis strains have different effects on us. No matter how you are thinking of consuming cannabis, the golden rule is start small. If you need a higher dose later you can always take more.  Start with one puff, wait 5 min, evaluate how you feel, then take some more if you need. If ingesting an edible, a 5 milligram dose would be best. Be sure to wait about an hour after ingesting an edible before ingesting more.