Cannabis has many characteristics; it can be psycho-active or not, it can be smoked or eaten. It can be in a lotion topical or a transdermal patch. It can be craft quality or it can be mediocre quality. It can have high levels of THC, or little to none. With so many ways to consume it and so many different ways to abuse it, I have comprised of a list of 7 things, you need to know, to get the best experience from any product, the first time.
To give you an analogy, imagine THC to be like proof in alcohol. THC tells you how strong the psycho-activity (high) is. If you’re no novice and looking for something that is going to knock your socks off by all means, enjoy. But, if you are a beginner or haven’t smoked (since like the 70’s) it would be smart to stay away from high THC products. The levels of THC have come leaps and bounds from where “Dad Pot” once thrived. (“Dad Pot” does not mean low quality, only low THC levels). Too much THC could bring on paranoia and anxiety, and, without being prepared for such events, this could, and usually does lead to unpleasant experiences that are entirely avoidable.
Even sophisticated cannabis users can over do it, so be cautious. Look for products with CBD to help offset some of THC negative side effects. More on that later.
Terpenes are the chemical chains, or smells, that come off plants, fruits, and cannabis. Imagine you are trying a new wine for the first time. You give your glass a swirl and sniff to notice the notes coming out of the glass. The oak, cedar and any other smells are the flavors that make fermented grapes taste unique and delicious.
Cannabis has notes as well, but in the form of terpenes. These notes are what actually steer your high! They are the reasons for what makes a sativa, a sativa and what makes an indica, an indica. So knowing what terpenes or smells make up your cannabis and what those terpenes do to your body can give you a blueprint to your weed. Need more info on terpenes? Don’t worry, here is our terpene guide (GO).
Smoking cannabis and eating it are two completely different things. One method, cannabis is processed through your lungs, the latter is through your liver. When processed through your liver sometimes the effects can be 5X stronger. It is best to start low and go slow. We’ve seen people start with as low as 1–2.5mg (pediatric dose) as new users with much success. You could always eat more but you can never eat less. Remember that, though it won’t be the last time you hear it on your journey. Eating too much is how all the horror edible stories that you probably heard of before start.
What is in your cannabis product? These days cannabis is increasingly becoming more and more safe, some even claim it is safer than baby food due to the extreme (but necessary) amounts of testing. Cannabis is tested for heavy metals, chemical, and microbial contaminants to the 1 billionth degree, some of the most vigorous standards in the United States for cannabis.
But there are other types of contaminants that we need to be aware of, especially in low grade oil pen cartridges. Many companies are sourcing their technology from China and other foreign sources, and frankly, their standards for quality are not as rigorous as ours. Many are cutting corners to make a cheaper product and these pens continuously fail testing, by leaking heavy metals into the oil inside the cartridge.
These metals can get into your system and give you headaches and cause bodily harm. Thankfully, California’s testing can catch these faulty products, but with an industry so large many can slip through the cracks and land on dispensary shelves. Look for the cartridges using CCell technology, these seem to be the best quality and most brands are switching to this safer alternative.
Where/who are you getting your product from? A black market grow or dispensary? Was the product tested for quality and pesticides? If not, you need to be mindful of the risks. Legal cannabis is heavily regulated and tested. Did you know that hemp CBD and cannabis CBD are the same plant and species? Except cannabis CBD is tested for all the things we talked about above, and that hemp derived CBD IS NOT which leads to improper labeling and may have pesticides, and in some cases lead being present in the product. Most of the products in grocery stores are negligently labeled and have little to no CBD.
Does the flower you are smoking come from a licensed farm sanctioned through the state? Are they following strict standards for human consumption? Did the grower cultivating your flower properly flush out the salts they may have used during cultivation process from the leaf? If not, you are smoking a low quality product. It will be harsh on your throat and your lungs.
Was the flower properly dried and cured for the tastiest smoothest smoke possible? Was the product grown with harmful pesticides? All things to consider when making purchases. Our tip: support the farms who have been doing this for awhile and follow them on instagram, learn about their process and try different growing methodologies and see the subtle but impactful differences for yourself.
The activity you’re doing while high:
Are you going to the park, movies, to bed? Each activity can be maximized through the right cannabis cultivars or products. Cultivars with strong scents like pine (pinene), citrus (limonene) will give you a sativa (daytime) high, perfect for going to the park. Strong smells like lavender (linalool) or hops (humulene) have more sedative indica effects. Smell for the earthy notes, that is myrcene, and check the label to see if there is a concentration of .5% or more. If so, you can almost guarantee it will have stronger indica effects, so enjoy the couch lock. Myrcene is also the most prevalent terpene in cannabis and its benefits are truly amazing. Check the terpene blog (LINK) here to learn about all its amazing qualities.
There you go. Now you know how to maximize your cannabis experience. Let us know in the comments how you maximize your cannabis experiences.