With medical marijuana already an established phenomenon and recreational cannabis use legal on the state level in many parts of the country, many people are enjoying their first exposure to cannabis culture. A critical part of this culture revolves around the different types of cannabis products commonly found in modern dispensaries—the enthusiast is no longer limited to smoking joints out of sheer convenience.
With healthy, legal cannabis use on the rise and all of these new options on the table, it’s easy for new introductees to feel overwhelmed or even pressured into consuming more than truly needed to achieve the mind-state desired. To address this, we encourage newcomers to keep an important rule in mind. It’s a rule important enough that we like to call it the Golden Rule of Cannabis.
Know Thy Body, Know Thy Mind
Whether you’ve just began experimenting with recreational cannabis or are a seasoned veteran with years of experience, knowing yourself and how you personally react to cannabis is critical. There are many different types of cannabis, including two entirely different strains of flower, a wide variety of vape concentrates and even edibles available. You should pay close attention to how you react to each and determine what your preferred products and dosages are.
- Flowers, commonly called buds, are probably the cannabis type you’re most familiar with. These can be smoked in pipes, in bongs and in joints. Most people who begin consuming cannabis start with flowers; they generally contain between 5 and 25 percent of the primary active ingredient tetrahydocannabinol (THC).
- Concentrates, also called dabs, honey or oil, are typically consumed either through vape pens or dabbing. Dabbing involves heating the substance on a flat surface and inhaling it through a dabbing rig. Concentrates can contain up to a 90 percent concentration of THC, which means they can offer an overwhelming experience for newcomers.
- Edibles, which come in a wide variety of forms, usually consist of baked goods which have been infused with THC. These can have both high and low concentrations of THC, so the thing to look out for is dosage. It can take up to thirty minutes for digestion to take place, which means it’s easy to eat more THC than you planned for.
These are just a few options you’re likely to see at your favorite dispensary. Each one has subcategories and similar products you’ll want to experiment with at your own pace.
Dosing Responsibly is Key: You Know Yourself Best
Medical science points to no particular dangers associated with consuming more THC than intended, but it can lead to uncomfortable experiences. Recreational cannabis use is popular because it is both fun and enlightening, but like anything else, moderation is key to success.
We often see newcomers introduced to recreational cannabis by veteran consumers who suggest jumping directly to high-powered concentrates. In some cases, the amount of THC consumed in one sitting is linked to whether the user is an “authentic” cannabis enthusiast or not. However, there is nothing to be proved by dabbing a 90 percent concentrate in place of smoking a joint if that’s what you prefer. As with alcohol, gambling and a myriad of other activities, giving in to peer pressure can produce unhealthy results.
The bottom line is that you know you better than anyone else does, and different bodies, and even psychological factors will produce unique experiences for each individual. If you’re a newcomer, spend some time getting used to the effects of cannabis and decide what suits your needs best—and remember: you know yourself best!
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