Although most people have seen cannabis used on TV or in the movies, it is difficult to know what to expect when first using medical marijuana. There are so many different strains, potencies and mediums of medication that your first time to a dispensary may feel overwhelming. This article is to give you an idea of how to approach medicating with marijuana if you are unfamiliar with current cannabis culture.
Because everybody will have a different reaction to smoked, eaten, or vaporized cannabis, it is difficult to predict what you will experience. For this reason, we highly recommend starting off with low doses of THC and CBD. These are the two main active medicinal compounds found in cannabis. THC is the more common and typical medicine. It will make you feel intoxicated and provide some pain relief. Too much THC can result in some undesirable effects like vertigo, nausea and anxiety. Although these feelings will pass, the experience can be very unpleasant. For further reading, check out our other article: What to Do If You Get Too High.
While starting with a small dose may not provide you with the relief you are looking for, it will help you further understand your relationship to cannabis. You are in charge of your own treatment, so it is important to be scientific or analytical with your approach. Keep notes, try a diverse range of products, and always purchase from a trusted source. Try topicals, edibles, vaporizing and even smoking. Each method of medicating with cannabis will give you a different experience and help you find your most effective method for medicating. With all the potential options of products and the plethora of strains, maintaining a cannabis journal can help you take control of your treatment and ensure you are using the medicine that best suits your needs. To learn how to start a cannabis journal, check out our article: Starting a Medical Marijuana Journal and Treatment Plan.
For many patients, the simplicity of smoking cannabis meets their treatment needs. Smoking is not healthy for your lungs, sinus or mouth; however, it can be one of the fastest and most pleasurable ways to medicate with cannabis. If you’ve never smoked before but would like to try, keep it simple. Purchase a flower that smells pleasant and tasty. Use a small, straight pipe often called a chillum. When inhaling from the pipe, only take a small drag; allow yourself to inhale fresh air with the smoke. Be careful, it will be hot. Don’t hold the smoke in your lungs, exhale quickly. Wait at least fifteen minutes to let the cannabis take affect. You can always smoke more later.
Edibles, or food made with cannabis, works well for many patients. Depending on the edible, the medication can take over an hour to fully go into effect. This method of medication tends to stay active longer as well, sometimes lasting over four hours. For your first time eating THC, it is best to stay under 10mg. When eaten, THC is broken down in your liver into a far more intoxicating chemical. On the other hand, some patients won’t experience any effects until they’ve eaten over 100mg. For more information on edibles, check out our article: Are Medical Marijuana Edibles Right for You?
A fast growing market revolves around vaporizing cannabis. Although vaporizing appears to be better for your health than smoking, the long term effects on your body are still unclear. Higher end flower vaporizers should be kinder on your lungs, but smoking may still give you faster more intense effects. Disposable oil canister vaporizers offer discretion that flower does not; however, vaporizing oil is relatively new and the health risks are unclear. There are also high end concentrate vaporizers. These are intended to vaporize concentrated forms of cannabis to provide patients with immediate, high doses of THC or CBD. For more information about the vaporizing options available, check out: Cannabis Vape Pens: What You Should Know.
As you begin to use cannabis, it is important to stay educated on your medication. The internet is filled with many helpful resources, but it can also provide some less factual information as well. Our blog is constantly adding more articles to keep you informed, and provisioning centers are full of helpful people to steer you into a better understanding of your cannabis treatment.
Interested in learning more about using medical cannabis treatments? Schedule a consultation with an expert. If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, contact the team at Arbors Wellness for a free consultation.