One of the biggest industries on the rise is the cannabis industry and for good reason. As the world moves to legalize marijuana, there comes an insurgence of new information, propaganda, commerce, and an overload to your senses.
Cannabis offers a variety of benefits. It is capable of easing anxiety, improving sleep, and helping manage chronic or severe pain. If you are brand new to cannabis, using marijuana or CBD as pain relief, or a veteran stoner, this ultimate guide is a great place to familiarize yourself with the world of cannabis, and to help you make a better educated decision if you choose to implement these products into your life.
The Difference Between THC and CBD
There are two main chemical compounds found in cannabis. The first is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is the psychoactive agent in cannabis. This is responsible for feeling “high” and helps you feel relaxed. CBD or cannabinol is the agent responsible for pain relief and is used more commonly as a form of pain management.
Both of these compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a cell-signaling system that exists within your body. This system has cannabinoid receptors that allow the THC or CBD to interact with your system. This system still requires thorough research, but experts note that the ECS plays a role in regulating:
- Reproduction and Fertility
It is important to know the distinctions between the two compounds so you can make a better educated decision when choosing to implement cannabis products in your life. Everyone deals with different things and has different experiences. What works well for you might not work for someone else. Do your research, speak with a medical professional—if needed—and listen to your body.
There Are A Variety Of Ways To Use Cannabis
There is a wide variety of options to pick from when deciding how you would like to use cannabis. You can smoke it using flower, concentrates, or cartridges and pens. You can ingest it in the form of an edible or even CBD or THC capsules or drops. You can also create CBD or THC infused lotions and creams to assist in pain relief. The possibilities are endless. All that matters is that it works for you.
This is the most well-known way to use cannabis products. There are a significant amount of unique and diverse strains that offer a range of benefits, depending on what you are looking for. Flower or tree—as it is commonly referred to as—can be smoked or used to make edibles.
When it comes to smoking weed, there are numerous methods to choose from at your disposal. There are pros and cons to each method, but most people have a preference and it should be up to you to decide. Here are some ways you can choose to smoke tree:
- Woods or blunts (rolled with Backwoods, Game Leafs, or other cigar papers)
- Pipes or bowls
Now, it should be noted that there is a risk when intaking smoke through your lungs, especially if you choose the woods or blunts route for smoking. Lungs are not designed to be inhaling smoke, so make sure you do your own research, you know what you are putting in your body, and you are aware of any risk factors associated with your chosen method of consumption.
However, smoking is one of the most popular and common forms of consumption of marijuana. It should also be noted that there are some studies that show there are no negative effects to your lungs from smoking marijuana. Some studies show it can actually improve lung capacity, but there is still further research that needs to be done.
Smoking marijuana is an experience and each strain offers wonderful new aromas and unique flavors. It’s best to smoke by yourself after a long day, early on a weekend to start your day, or with a close group of friends.
Concentrates and Extracts
Concentrates are a rather complicated yet increasingly popular method for smoking weed. To remove and concentrate cannabinoids from cannabis, there are two main methods: solvent-based extraction or solvent-less extraction.
Solvent-based extraction requires the use of volatile chemicals. This leaves behind an extract that appears in the form of shatter, wax, or vape oils.
Solvent-less extraction does not require the use of chemicals to extract the cannabinoids, instead you would beat, rub, or press the plant. This results in the concentrate appearing in the form of kief, hash, or resin. In general, this method is considered more natural and doesn’t not require harsh or volatile chemicals that could have a negative impact on your health.
It should be pointed out that the high you receive from smoking concentrates or extracts is more potent and is not a gradual high like smoking flower. It hits you fast and it can hit hard.
Edibles are an increasingly popular method of ingesting cannabis. It is extremely versatile and you can make edibles out of basically any food, candy, or even some drinks. A lot of people prefer edibles over smoking because they do not enjoy smoking and are worried about their lungs, but there are some things to consider with edibles that is not a factor while smoking.
They are slower acting than flower. It takes at least 45 minutes to an hour for an edible to kick in. This is another method of intaking cannabis where there is no gradual increase in your high, like wax. Once it hits your system, you will feel it and you have no ability to control how high you go. Make sure you know your tolerance level.
Drops and Capsules
The last method for using cannabis are drops and capsules. You can get these in both CBD and THC depending on what your needs are. This method is very efficient, cost effective, and does not run the risk of getting too high or having to smoke.
Both of these methods are a very easy way to incorporate cannabis into you life without the added hassle of cooking or rolling joints.
Indica vs Sativa
In the world of cannabis, flower, or tree, falls under two major categories: Indica and Sativa.
Indica’s are known for their dark green appearance and being short and dense with wide fan leaves. They are known for their more relaxing or calming effects. If you’ve heard of lazy stoner stereotype that is couch-locked all day, this is the type of weed that has that effect.
Sativa’s are known for their lighter green appearance and being tall and lean with long, narrow fan leaves. People feel more energetic and uplifted on this type of flower and it is traditionally recommended for day use.
Underneath these two major categories of flower are hundreds, if not, thousands of unique strains out with many different scents, flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes. One last thing to point out is there is another category of marijuana called hybrids.
Hybrid strains are a blend of an indica and sativa. Most hybrids are either indica or sativa dominant; however, there are some strains that are relatively well-balanced. The benefit of hybrids is the ability to get the best of both worlds. The choice is yours and there is real enjoyment in experimenting and trying a bunch of different strains until you find the ones you like.
The Benefits Of Using Cannabis Products
The overall benefits of using cannabis products is still something that requires additional research, but there are some things we do know. Cannabis has been know to ease the symptoms of cancer patients going through chemotherapy, can reinvigorate an AIDS patient’s appetite, and can help with anxiety, depression, and other mental health related diagnoses, including Alzheimers.
Cannabis and its related products are also known to be quite effective in managing chronic pain and CBD has been known to assist with regulating seizures. There are even studies out there highlighting cannabis’s ability to fight cancer.
The list of benefits is exhaustive and is ever-growing as we continue to pour more research into this plant. But with what we know already, this plant is proving to be a valuable asset in improving the overall well-being of a person.
Rolling Things Up
Hopefully after you read this you feel much more confident moving forward and taking a dive into the cannabis world. There is a lot of information out there and so many exciting things to try that it can feel overwhelming, especially if you are new. Even to veteran smokers, the game is changing dramatically, so it can be hard to keep up at times, and get used to the new acceptance of marijuana.
The most important thing to keep is mind is that you should listen to your body and base your usage of marijuana around your lifestyle. Make sure it is not inhibiting your ability to complete the things you want to do. Using cannabis should be an enjoyable and pain-free experience.
By Hailey Foster