New to cannabis and not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know to get started on your cannabis journey.
Beginner’s Guide To Weed: Why Use Cannabis?
Cannabis is one of the oldest cultivated plants in existence and has been used for thousands of years by people all across the world. From rituals to medicine and clothing, cannabis has been grown and used for a variety of different purposes over the millennia.
Today, cannabis is relied upon by many people as a form of potent herbal medicine and as a fun recreational escape. Whether you’re seeking to treat a specific medical condition, or just looking to kick back and relax, there’s a cannabis strain out there that can help you out.
Beginner’s Guide To Weed: What Are Cannabinoids And Terpenes?
How can cannabis produce its many therapeutic and mind-altering effects? With the help of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with cell receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in order to produce various effects. Well over 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant, although most of them only appear in small trace amounts.
The two most abundant cannabinoids are THC and CBD. While THC is known for producing most of the intoxicating and mind-altering effects of cannabis, CBD is known for contributing to it’s sedating and relaxing effects. Both of these cannabinoids have been found to have therapeutic potential in the treatment of numerous conditions and symptoms.
Terpenes, on the other hand, are aromatic hydrocarbon compounds that give plants like cannabis their aroma and flavor. It was long thought that this was the only role they played, but more recent research indicates that they may actually contribute to the effects that cannabis produces through a phenomenon known as ‘the entourage effect’.
Beginner’s Guide To Weed: Cannabis Consumption Methods
There are many different ways to enjoy cannabis. For thousands of years, cannabis was smoked in order to experience its effects. But today’s cannabis consumers have access to many different cannabis products and consumption methods to suit their preferences.
For instance, those who don’t like to smoke can vaporize their bud. Vaporization is similar to smoking and produces practically the same effects, but with less toxic and carcinogenic vapor instead of smoke.
Health-conscious cannabis consumers can also ingest their cannabis via edibles and tinctures as well. Edibles are super-long lasting (4–8 hours) and can produce a strong buzz without the need to inhale anything. Tinctures are typically applied sublingually where they can be absorbed through membranes in the mouth and begin to produce effects within minutes. Both of these dosing options are popular among medical cannabis patients and are a great way to experience everything that cannabis has to offer without having to inhale anything.
If you’re looking for localized pain relief, cannabis topicals can sink deep into the skin without ever making it into the bloodstream to produce systemic effects. These products are great for taking care of sore muscles and joints without having to get ‘high’.
Beginner’s Guide To Weed: Cannabis Cultivars
In today’s complex world of cannabis, there are many different cannabis cultivars (often called strains) to choose from and new strains being bred each day. Since each strain has a near-unique terpene and cannabinoid profile, different strains can produce different effects and feature different flavors.
In a perfect world, cannabis strains would be sorted by their terpene and cannabinoid content. But to make things easier, strains are usually divided into 3 different groups: indicas, sativas, and hybrids. An indica strain can generally be counted on to produce a strong body buzz and deep physical relaxation, making them perfect for nighttime or afternoon use. Sativas, on the other hand, produce uplifting cerebral effects and a stimulating head high, making them better for daytime use. Hybrids provide a mix of both physical and cerebral effects. How much of each will depend on if it is an indica-dominant hybrid or a sativa-dominant hybrid.
You should also keep an eye out for high-CBD strains. These strains can still be divided into indicas, sativas, and hybrids, but will produce very different effects thanks to their high CBD content.
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