Stay Safe – Cannabis has a rich history dating back to Asia around 500 BC, where it was primarily used as herbal medicine. Following colonization and advances in transportation and communication, Cannabis found itself in other parts of the world. People began to discover additional benefits and the psychoactive properties associated with cannabis.

Newbies Guide To Safe Cannabis Use 1Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

 

Proponents of cannabis use have increasingly highlighted the many health benefits associated with consuming cannabis, especially since cannabis legalization is spreading around the world. Research found cannabis helps anxiety and PTSD. It can relieve chronic pain and nausea. Cannabis even helps with epilepsy. 

 

If you want to consume cannabis but are totally new to it, looking for guidance is a smart idea.  We have included a comprehensive guide to safe cannabis use for newbies. Below is everything you need to know about cannabis use. 

Understanding Cannabis Strains

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Before you purchase cannabis, it is best to know the different strains or varieties available on the market. This is important as different strains contain varying levels of cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other compounds, which are important for delivering the many benefits, as well as the flavor and potency of cannabis.

 

Generally, there are two main strains, namely indica and sativa, that come from the Cannabaceae plant family. However, dispensaries often experiment with these to produce hybrid strains that combine their individual characteristics. As a general rule of thumb, indica is ideal for relaxation and pain relief, while sativa is great for boosting creativity and increasing productivity.

 

Choosing the strain that works best for you is largely a trial and error process. It is not important that cannabis will affect you the same way as others. That is why we recommend using a small amount to steer clear of any possible risks. 

 

Common names? How about Blue Dream, Purple Kush, Sour Diesel, Granddaddy Purple, LA Confidential, Northern Lights, White Widow, Fruity Pebbles, or Pineapple Express. Make sure to always check the dominant strain within these categories to ascertain what kind of effect you are most likely to experience. 

A pro tip –  store your cannabis in a weed humidor, which keeps it safe from light and ensures that its potency and flavor don’t deteriorate over time.  

Different Ways Of Safely Consuming Cannabis

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While most people smoke or vape cannabis, there are other ways to consume it as well. Just like finding the ideal cannabis strain, the method of cannabis consumption is dependent on personal preference. Below is a list of all the ways you can consume cannabis, along with the pros and cons of each method. 

Smoking 

Most people smoke dried cannabis leaves using a joint, pipe, or bong. They are effective by instantly interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS is responsible for regulating many functions in the body. 

Smoking cannabis, however, may be harmful as burning paper and lighter fluid are associated with a number of carcinogenic properties and may lead to lung problems with regular use. 

Vaping

Vaping cannabis is smoother than smoking it.  The vape mod/coil set up essentially heats the cannabis to the point where it turns into vapor. It is inhaled by the user. Vaporization occurs at a lower temperature than combustion (which happens in smoking), so you experience no carcinogenic effects. 

 

Some users report vaping doesn’t deliver the same strong effect as smoking. Nonsense. And the ease of  a vape’s portability as well as reduced cannabis odor are big benefits.

Always remember to buy vape concentrates from legal dispensaries so as not contain low-quality and/or harmful chemicals. Know your source…always.

Tinctures

Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts that are great if you want to incorporate cannabis in your food and drinks as they are taken sublingually. They are a discreet way of consuming cannabis and allow you to exactly control the amount and dosage. 

 

You can expect to feel the cannabis-related effects after 20 to 30 minutes, and the effects may last for several hours depending on your tolerance. 

 

Always be mindful of storing your tincture bottle in a cool and dark place and away from light so that the cannabis compounds do not degrade.  

Edibles

Just as the name suggests, cannabis edibles are food or drink products that contain certain milligrams of cannabinoids. Its potency is always mentioned on the package. 

 

Edibles usually start to affect the user in anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours, with the effects lasting for several hours. Just like tinctures, edibles are both a discrete and convenient method of cannabis consumption. 

Topicals

Topicals are lotions, creams, balms, oils, or transdermal patches that deliver localized cannabis effects, with onset between 5 minutes and 2 hours, and effects lasting as long as half a day. 

 

These are beneficial for users who want to gain the maximum benefits for relieving pain and inflammation and want to avoid the psychoactive properties associated with cannabis. However, it is important to always carefully read the ingredient list to find out if the product contains any artificial fragrances or harmful chemicals such as parabens, which may sometimes irritate the skin.  

Countering Potential Side Effects From Cannabis Use

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Sometimes, cannabis use can be associated with certain unwanted side effects. When consuming cannabis, always remember to stay hydrated as cannabis affects the production of saliva. 

 

Secondly, cannabis use often leads to “munchies”, which are food cravings. This is why it is best to always have some food around in order to make your cannabis consumption a pleasant experience. 

 

IMPORTANT – If you ‘over smoke’, you try to rub something from your face and it’s the floor? You’ve over smoked. Solution? Have a lemon, or some pine nuts. Why?  These contain a compound called ‘terpenoid‘ that will help counter the high. Then relax.  Stay calm. Try some Pink Floyd in earbuds.  Sleeping it off is also fine. No one has ever died from smoking too much marijuana (in a day).

Final Thoughts

Regulated, monitored and controlled cannabis use can be great for you. As a newbie, you want to start with a small dosage and assess your tolerance before jumping right in. Always try to consume cannabis around a trusted group of people to enhance your experience and avoid being worried. Check your state (or country) laws to protect against possession laws. States and countries vary widely of an approved limit. 

We wish you the best on your cannabis journey!