Cannabis Basics | PotSaver
Cannabis For Beginners And Users From The “Stone(d) Age”
Have you been wanting to try a more natural solution to ease anxiety and chronic pain or alleviate those migraines? Well, you’re in luck! We have the best information for cannabis beginners ready for you. These common conditions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the numerous ailments cannabis can provide relief for. Since we are approaching the last leg of the marijuana prohibition, it’s important that we’re educated in the scientific benefits cannabis provides.
Now that your curiosity is peaked since you’re still here, grab your notebook because I’m going to help make your first dispensary trip a breeze.
First things first… Cannabis is broken down into three different groups (referred to as “strains”) and they are as follows: Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. While each of these strains have general medicinal effects, the various types included under each strain also have specific benefits. It’s always beneficial to plug the strain name into a search engine to make sure you’re getting the best type for yourself.
The Indica Strains are an overall body high and generally have more sedative effects. I prefer Indica Strains before bed to help with a tranquil, full-nights rest. My personal favorite to get my day started would be the Sativa Strains, as they provide me with a feeling of revitalization. For some people, Sativa Strains work nicely for attending social gatherings. For others, this strain may create a sense of paranoia or anxiety. If these two types don’t tickle your fancy, Hybrid Strains may be for you. These strains are a happy-medium between Indica and Sativa.
Any of these strain types can be CBD-dominant, which is the non-psychoactive compound you find in the cannabis plant. The CBD-dominant variations work best for someone medicating for the first time, as the higher CBD to THC ratio actually counteracts any feelings of anxiety or paranoia that a lot of first-timers suffer from. My co-blogger, Teffy D., provides several strain examples in her own article that is written for first-time herb users. Check it out and let us know which worked best for you!
LAB-TESTED, OR NAH?
Cannabis is a medicinal herb and everything that contains cannabis should be treated as such. One way to do this is to find out if the cannabis, in any form, has been lab-tested and what the results were. Lab-testing can verify the safety of the cannabis and assure the consumer there isn’t any mold, pesticides or other toxins that could be ingested. It can also provide the strains’ specific terpene and cannabinoid profile. If the product has been lab-tested, the business should have the results upon request. A popular lab we use in Southern California is SC LABS.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT ALL
To hopefully make sense of all of this, we’re going to dive into the scientific side of it a little bit:
The three general types of cannabinoids are the endogenous cannabinoids (our bodies produce this!), phytocannabinoids (produced by plants) and synthetic cannabinoids (synthetically engineered in a lab). Many people don’t know this, but our bodies actually have their own cannabinoid system (endocannabinoid system). It is contains the cannabinoid receptor sites and the endogenous endocannabinoids. As stated in the book CBD-Rich Hemp Oil: Cannabis Medicine is Back (by Tina Rappaport, BFA and Steven Leonard-Johnson, RN PhD), “It has regulatory roles in many physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory.” This entire purpose of this internal system is to provide and maintain balance in the body (homeostasis).
TRICHOMES, TERPENES AND CANNABINOIDS
If you look VERY closely, you can see tiny crystals on the leaves of the cannabis plant. They call these leaf crystals trichomes and they carry the plants cannabinoids and terpenes. The terpenes are the component that give the strains their individual flavor and scent. Each strain can vary greatly in many ways, but one thing that remains consistent is the strong aroma the terpenes provide. This can be have a positive physiological effect through aromatherapy.
With all the different options available and all the various needs of individuals, you will find a combination that’s fits you. When you know where your cannabis comes from and its lab-tested results, you will receive the best medicinal results for your individual needs. After all, we are using this herb to treat ourselves. Being aware of what we’re putting in our body, in any form, is key! Our friends at Leafly have provided amazing terpene and cannabinoid wheels that will make your medicinal options easier to understand, which is great for cannabis beginners. Check it out and let us know what you discover!
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CANNABIS?
Now that we’ve covered the scientific side of cannabis, let’s switch gears to some of the fun stuff. Knowing what your wants and needs are will lead you to what’s best for you. Cannabis has been progressing so much since the legalization process has begun and can now be produced/consumed in numerous ways. From traditional flower to various concentrates to endless selections of edibles, you are sure to find at least one thing that becomes your default consumption method of choice.
These days, even the sub-categories of cannabis types have sub-categories. For example, concentrates are a sub-category, yet also come in so many different consistencies and types. There are vaporizer cartridges, thicker consistencies known as “dabs”, capsules and even tinctures that usually go right under your tongue. For me, tinctures offer the quickest results! One of my personal favorite tincture brands out right now is Papa and Barkley! This brand, as well as many others, offer topical products that offer the medicinal relief without the psychoactive effects (CBD Products). These types of products are especially good for patients with existing conditions such as chronic back pain or arthritis, for example.
Edibles are a form of cannabis that can have very potent and long-lasting effects, so it’s extremely important to pay attention to the dosage on the packaging. “Start low, go slow” is a motto a lot of people like to follow in this industry. They list they THC content on the packaging in milligrams (mg). My suggestion for beginners is to start off with a 5 mg dose, wait about two hours and then determine whether to increase the dosage or not. If you do decide to increase the dosage, keep it to 2.5 mg increments to avoid consuming too much. I also suggest having something solid in your stomach before you get started with the edible! If you’re anything like me, you’re going to get the munchies on a whole new level, so make sure you have your favorite snacks around!
If you do happen to get a little overly ambitious and consume too much THC, you may feel some paranoia and anxiety. Try to remain calm, consume foods with high potassium and drink a lot of water. CBD is also has a great counter effect for the psychoactive nature of THC. If it’s your first time trying an edible, have another product with high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Sleep it off. If you still feel some of the effects in the morning, continue with water and high potassium level foods.
While cannabis is a natural healing, “feel good” herb, you should always consume it in moderation and in a safe environment. I may sound old school saying that, but I have been around it all. Nothing is worse than a buzz kill. Being in a safe, inviting place with people you trust is always the best way to go. With the prohibition coming to an end, a lot of people are just starting out. Hopefully you’re going the legit route and getting your medicine from a legal source. You’re able to check the lab-tested levels and have solid information. This allows you to check out the terpene and cannabinoid wheels previously mentioned!
Hopefully this bit of information will make your next dispensary trip go smoothly. Speaking of dispensary’s, you can usually check out your local spot’s menu out ahead of time! “Budtender” might be a new term to you…They are the weed connoisseurs that will be tending to your bud needs at your local dispensary! Think “Bartender”, but in the cannabis industry. Budtenders are there because they are passionate about their craft. They care about providing a service to the patients that come in to their locations. Showing a little appreciation for their fabulous recommendations can go a long way! Especially in the karma department.
Thank you for supporting and believing in the power of cannabis. I look forward to guiding you through this journey!
Feel free to leave some feedback below! I appreciate it!
With love and light,