With so many states legalizing cannabis for recreational use, you might wonder if you should try it yourself. If so, you may have quite a few questions you want answered before doing so. After all, cannabis was illegal for years and there was a lot of effort put toward demonizing the drug.
Here are some common questions and answers about first-time cannabis use and some good products to try for first-time users.
What do Indica and Sativa mean?
When browsing products at your local dispensary, the seller (or budtender) may ask you if you want an indica or a sativa strain of cannabis. The easy way to think about this is that indicas calm you down, while sativas perk you up. The reason for the difference is due to which cannabinoids are more present in each strain. There are also hybrid strains that combine elements of both.
THC is the most well-known cannabinoid and is found more in sativa strains than indica strains. Indicas have more CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is the compound most studied for medical benefits in cannabis. CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties. Even better, for some people, it doesn’t make you high. CBD may even do its part to counteract the “high” that THC brings, but the two work best in conjunction with one another.
Many dispensaries label the percentage of THC and CBD on their products to help users choose the right blend. While a high-THC strain may have up to 20% THC or higher, a high-CBD strain may contain as little as 4% CBD.
How Do I Use a Vape Pen?
Vaporization is one of the safest and cheapest ways to use cannabis. It’s also one of the most effective. A vape pen is relatively simple to use. Simply screw in a cartridge of either THC-rich or CBD-rich cannabis oil, depress the button, and take small puffs until you get the desired effect. Vape pens make it easy to control your dosage.
If you’re already a vaper, many cannabis oil cartridges will also fit on most vape mods – just make sure that you dial down the wattage to around 7. You can also invest in a dry herb vaporizer as well, which vaporizes ground cannabis directly, but these are more expensive.
What is Cannabis Oil?
If you’re familiar with essential oils, cannabis oil uses much of the same process. It concentrates the active chemicals into an oil so you can use less product to get the same effects. Cannabis oil is also turned into two other products, wax and shatter, that let users ingest higher dosages that you could from smoking or vaping alone. There are special vaporizers made for these products.
For beginners, these may be a bit too strong. Using a vape pen is safer, even with cannabis oil, because you only get a little bit with each puff.
What do Edibles Feel Like?
Some people don’t want to smoke or vape cannabis. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to eat cannabis. The primary difference between smoked cannabis and cannabis-infused edibles is the amount of time it takes to kick in. Smoked or vaporized cannabis will hit you quicker but the effects peak and dissipate faster. Edibles take time to kick in, up to a couple hours, but the effects last much longer.
The first-time consumer might be concerned about the potency of today’s strains. For good reason: some strains can push as high as 30% THC. However, like with all markets, there is a solution to people who are concerned about potency. If this is you, you might want to ask the budtender at the dispensary with a balanced CBD-THC ratio.
By the same token, some people are concerned with the high from edibles being strong and long-lasting. If this is you, you might want to start with low-dose edibles. Edibles come in doses as low as 2.5mg of THC. The standard dose is 10mg but that can be a bit much for first-time users and people returning to cannabis after a long hiatus. Start with a small dose and gradually increase as necessary. If you are baking edibles yourself, consult a THC calculator in order to determine the best dosage for your needs.
If you are a first-time user, be sure to let the budtender at your local dispensary know. They can help you find a product that will be best for you. From edibles to oils to flowers that you can pop into your dry herb vaporizer, there is something out there for anyone. Be sure to let the person who helps you know if you have vape mods so they can recommend compatible cartridges.