If you’re new to cannabis, this short and quick guide can help you navigate the world of cannabis with ease. Traditionally referred to as “marijuana,” this potent little plant has become highly respected for its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, anti-anxiety, and even anti-tumor properties.
What is Cannabis?
There are many varieties of this plant. Some cannabis produces the flower that has the medicinal compounds, while other varieties, known as hemp, are used for industrial purposes. Hemp does not get you high. The flowering cannabis plant, however, does produce different effects depending on whether it’s an indica plant or a sativa plant.
Sativa vs. Indica
Sativa cannabis leaves are thin and long compared to the wide and short indica cannabis leaves. Apart from the difference in leaf size, indica and sativa produce different effects in the body. Sativa cannabis strains typically make you feel energetic and stimulated. Sativas are perfect for day-time use. Indicas give you more of a sedated and relaxing feeling. Indicas are perfect for pain-relief and insomnia.
What Happens Inside the Body?
Many people aren’t aware that our body naturally-produces compounds that are very similar to compounds found in cannabis. Our natural compounds can make us feel good, increase our resistance to pain, and affect other biological processes. Research has found that cannabis can also help our body produce these same effects. THC, CBD and other cannabis chemicals have been known to provide medicinal value no matter what way you consume cannabis
What are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?
Cannabinoids and terpenes are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that provide the body with all of its medicinal effects. For example, THC, a cannabinoid, can make you feel euphoric, creative, and increase your appetite. CBD, another cannabinoid, can relieve your anxiety, inflammation, pain, or help you sleep better. There are over 85 different cannabinoids in cannabis that are also therapeutic.
Terpenes, can also be considered cannabinoids, but are the oils that give each cannabis strain, and every other plant in the world, their unique smell. If you look close enough, you can see tiny resinous hair on your cannabis flower. That’s where all the good stuff is.
What is the Best Way to Consume Cannabis?
Concentrates can come in the form of oils, wax, shatter, hash, and more. They are highly-purified, potent, and fast-acting ways to use cannabis. Many people use this option to feel more of the THC effects.
Edibles can be long-lasting (several hours) and potent ways to consume cannabis. It’s best to start small (10 mg) and build on from that in small increments to gauge your ideal dose. Effects take up to two hours to kick in and can leave you a bit groggy if taken at night.
Vaporizers don’t burn your flower or concentrate like smoking does, making it a more effective way of getting the cannabinoids in your system. Vaporizers can be portable and discreet ways to consume your favorite strain.
You can also purchase tinctures, salves, oils, suppositories, and the list keeps growing. Once you’ve purchased your favorite cannabis product at your local dispensary, make sure to store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Keep your products in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out, but most of all enjoy.