While there is typically little to no difference in cannabis products offered at medical, recreational, or dual use dispensaries, there may be differentiation in experience, price, quantity allowed, or age restriction. Medical dispensaries require a medical cannabis permit card and patients are often subject to less or zero tax on purchases. Many states also allow patients under the age of 21 to obtain this medical card, extending access in certain situations such as cancer or epilepsy.
Any naturally occurring plant compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors. The cannabis plant produces phytocannabinoids in the form of carboxylic acids. For example, the two most popular cannabinoids THC and CBD in their acidic plant form are called THCA and CBDA, respectively. Until very recently, we thought these were only found in the cannabis plant; however, we now realize that some other plants appear to contain phytocannabinoids as well.
Since every individual is different, and there are also multiple factors to take into account, there is currently no standard dose of cannabis. We all react differently to substances. Therefore, if you are not an avid user of cannabis, your tolerance will be low and the effects will be stronger. It is important to “start low and go slow” when finding the sweet spot that achieves your desired outcome(s). Experts suggest starting with the minimum effective dose (MED) and slowly increasing as tolerance builds.
Some cannabis products can be taken sublingually, which means placed under the tongue. Common products taken sublingually are tinctures, sprays, dissolvable strips, and lozenges. These products can be placed within the mouth, specifically under the tongue, because there are a large number of blood vessels there which absorb cannabinoids. This delivery method offers rapid and effective absorption.
Historically speaking smoking cannabis is the most common delivery method and something that many associate with cannabis use. Smoking cannabis is often considered a controversial delivery method because it contains chemicals and carcinogens that are potentially harmful to your lungs. Some research has found that cannabis smokers do not appear to have an increased incidence of lung cancer. A lack of increased risk, however, does not mean no risk. Chronic cannabis smokers can develop bronchitis. Users should be aware of the risks involved with smoking and should use this method in moderation.
The aroma of cannabis flower can be attributed to its unique terpene (terpenoid) profile. Terpenes are essential oils that occur naturally in plants, trees and flowers. Throughout the growth cycle, terpenes act as a defense mechanism that deter and/or attract certain insects and animals. Once the cannabis flower is dried, cured or chemically altered, these terpenes become denatured by oxidation and are then called terpenoids. These terpenoids give off specific aromas and some cannabis strains have even become known for their unique smells.
You’ll likely hear loads of differing viewpoints on whether cannabis addiction is real or not. One thing is typically agreed upon, however, and that is — if dependency occurs, it is an addiction in psychological terms rather than in the physical sense. In comparison to pharmaceuticals (many of which carry a high risk for addiction), cannabis has a significantly lower potential for adverse side effects, withdrawal and/or dependency.
The length of time varies depending on how often you use cannabis. THC is stored in the body’s fat cells and it also accumulates in the body over time. There are different ways to test for THC and some tests can locate its presence longer than others. THC appears to stay in saliva the shortest amount of time, followed by urine and then hair.
It should first be said that using cannabis responsibly and in small doses can help users avoid feeling any negative effects. Cannabis has yet to cause even one death; however, consuming too much can lead to some uncomfortable side effects. Some of these are very mild, like dry mouth and increased appetite. Other users have reported feeling dizzy or disoriented. Cannabis overdose can cause users to experience feelings of anxiety and slight paranoia.
Cannabis changes over time when it has been exposed to oxygen, heat, or UV light. These changes alter the chemical compounds in cannabis (cannabinoids and terpenes) and the effects the user may experience. This is why proper storage of your cannabis is important. Aged THC, for instance, converts into the cannabinoid CBN. CBN offers an array of benefits, the most pronounced of which is its sedative effect which makes it helpful in treating insomnia.
The chemical compounds within cannabis are altered depending on which stage they are in. Cannabis flower that undergoes exposure to heat (decarboxylation) or time (has been dried and cured) has undergone a chemical change, which in turn alters its chemical makeup. Heat and time convert THCA and CBDA to THC and CBD, respectively.
The chemical compounds within cannabis are altered depending on which stage they are in. Cannabis that has been freshly-harvested, and is uncured (not dried) is flower in it’s “raw” stage. Raw flower is cannabis in its acid form and is comprised of different chemical compounds. For example, raw cannabis contains the cannabinoid THCA (among others), but when its stage is altered by undergoing heat or time (becoming dried), the cannabinoid THCA is then converted to its psychoactive neutral form, called THC.
There are a few things you can do if you find yourself experiencing any discomfort: Keep calm — breathe and remember the effects will pass. Take pure CBD to reduce feelings of anxiety and paranoia. Drink plenty of water. Lemon water has been said to help. Sleep it off — time is the best remedy. Chewing on black peppercorns is a popular, quick fix.
As cannabis products continue to advance and mature, new forms of concentrates and extracts become popular. This is a direct result of the many and varied extraction processes for the cannabis plant. Many consumers enjoy the therapeutic benefits associated with these products because of their potent amount of cannabinoids, and now there are plenty of options when it comes to concentrates/extracts and their consumption methods.
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to achieve a wide range of health benefits. This synergistic interaction is often referred to as the Entourage Effect, which magnifies the benefits of the individual components of the plant. In short, the impact of the entire plant is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, since terpenes and CBD are able to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC, it is thought that the use of the whole plant can amplify the medicinal benefits of cannabis while simultaneously mitigating anxiety induced by high levels of THC.
Interestingly, the studying of the cannabis plant is what led to the discovery of the human Endocannabinoid System, which is responsible for establishing and maintaining our health and affects almost every system in our bodies, which is why cannabis can treat an array of symptoms. This system helps regulate sleep, appetite, digestion, hunger, mood, motor control, immune functioning, reproduction, fertility, pleasure and reward, pain, memory, and temperature regulation.\r\n \r\nEndocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout our bodies, but no matter where they are, they have the same driving force: homeostasis (aka keeping us from getting all out of whack). The cannabinoids found in cannabis assist in correcting deficiencies and restoring balance to our bodies (and minds).
Surprisingly, there are currently many options for those who would like to benefit from the healing properties of cannabis yet aren’t comfortable with too much psychoactivity. A great place to start would be CBD-rich products since CBD is non-intoxicating but offers plenty of medical benefits.. You can begin by exploring high CBD to THC ratio products, like an 18:1 CBD:THC tincture, for example. Eventually, once tolerance is built, higher THC ratios could be less likely to produce psychoactive effects while still benefiting from THC’s healing properties.
There are more consumption methods than ever these days. Some may be considered healthier than others (i.e. vaping over smoking flower), but there truly is no “best” or “one size fits all” method. What way you prefer will be based on evaluating convenience, strength, healthfulness, onset and duration. Since there is such a wide range of options, you can explore each and pick a favorite or two, or tailor your consumption method based on the situation. Also, there are plenty of ways to be discreet about your cannabis use, if need be!
Labs test cannabis for two main reasons: to make sure the products are safe for consumption and to let consumers know about the potency of the products they’re using. The test results ensure that there are no pesticides or other chemicals present as well as accurately gauging the chemical composition of cannabinoids and terpenes. Interestingly, since cannabis is influenced by many environmental factors, two strains with the same name that weren’t grown under the same conditions can have different levels of each compound.
Cannabis strains are different variations of genetic profiles. They often have creative names, like “Durban Poison” or “Pineapple Express”, and have their own cannabinoid and terpene profiles that cause certain effects. Currently, many cannabis companies have lumped strains into three categories – like “indica” (restful), “sativa” (alert), or “hybrid” (balanced). This is a very general concept since the best way to anticipate how you’ll feel is by knowing what that strain is composed of. THC and CBD potency is a good place to start!
The truth is that every individual has unique body systems that cannabis can affect slightly differently. Although there are general common effects that you can expect, there are additional variables to consider that can affect your experience. Cannabis composition
– What cannabinoids and terpenes are present, and in what levels. Delivery method – How cannabis is consumed can change the onset and duration times. How are CBD and THC different? Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most prevalent chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Although they are both cannabinoids, they produce different effects. The biggest of these differences is that THC is psychoactive, whereas CBD is considered non-intoxicating.