It’s normal to have questions and concerns about using medical marijuana, especially if you’ve never used it before. This isn’t something to jump into headfirst without doing the proper research and asking the right questions.
Although more and more research is finding that medical marijuana has the potential to cure and treat the symptoms of a variety of conditions, it’s important that you ease your way into it. Even seasoned ACMPR growers in Canada who have been using medical marijuana for decades say the same thing.
Whether you’re an ACMPR grower cultivating your own medical marijuana from home or you’re purchasing from a licensed dispensary, follow these tips for using medical marijuana for the first time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you’re new to this whole thing, you probably have a lot of questions. Ask them, and don’t be afraid to seek out the answers you need to start using medical weed with confidence. There’s a lot of information out there, so you can either do your own research and use Google as your best friend or buddy up with an expert and pick his/her brain.
Whatever you’re feeling confused or uncertain about, there are plenty of ways to get some clarity and find all the answers. Try to have a solid understanding of different consumption methods, strain types and the differences between indica vs sativa, and the potential health benefits (and risks) of using medical marijuana.
Always Consult with a Professional
Even if you feel that you’re ready to start your journey with medical-grade cannabis, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional beforehand. This even applies if you live in an area where cannabis is completely legal, especially if you’re suffering from a serious medical condition.
For those of you who are taking medication for treating a condition, it’s important to have a full understanding of how cannabis could interact with that medication. There are always certain risks and potential side effects when starting a new drug, and marijuana is no exception. Ask your primary doctor or specialist about the implications of using weed as treatment.
Start Out Low and Slow
Just as you would with any other medication, starting out slow with low dosages is a great way to see how your body reacts. Not only that, but it also helps your body to adapt to the new substance being introduced – both mentally and physically.
First-time users will benefit from starting with low doses and low levels of THC. Not everyone reacts to THC well since it can create psychoactive brain activity, which can lead to anxiety and paranoia in some users. You don’t need to avoid THC altogether, but try to find a strain or product that has an equal or higher amount of CBD when compared to THC.
CBD offers a lot of the same health benefits of THC, just without all the psychoactive effects. Products that contain an equal or higher ratio of CBD to THC are likely to cancel out any mind-altering symptoms. Start with this type of product before trying anything containing higher levels of THC.
If you’re using a product that comes with dosage info and recommendations, be sure to follow it – and of course, start out on the low end of what’s recommended. If your bottle of CBD oil says to consume anywhere between 3 and 6 drops, start with 3, follow that recommendation for at least a few days, then maybe you can make your way up to a fourth drop.
Practice Proper Storage Techniques
Now that you’ve gone through the early steps to figure out if medical marijuana is right for you, it’s time to think about the logistics. So many people fail to properly store their medical cannabis which can cause contamination and loss of potency. On top of that, it leads to a greater risk of children or pets getting their hands on it.
For storage, airtight glass containers are a great choice. Using mason jars will not only keep your medical marijuana protected and fresh, but it’s also an affordable method of storage. Just be sure to keep the jars in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
Only Purchase from a Trusted Source
The ultimate way to know exactly what you’re using is to grow medical marijuana on your own. This is an easy option with an ACMPR license from Cannabis Growing Canada or other top providers. But not everyone has access to home cultivation, so turning to trusted dispensaries for high-quality products is crucial.
First thing’s first, look into the legality of the source you’re thinking about buying from. Make sure it has all the right licenses and government stamps of approval. Once that’s done, you can look more closely into things like product quality, customer reviews, and pricing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re smoking or chowing down on edible cannabis, make an extra effort to stay hydrated. You should be doing this anyway, but try to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. This is especially true if you plan on smoking, but it applies to all consumption methods.
Medical News Today says that there are numerous studies pointing to the fact that a weed hangover is a real thing. “One study showed that smoking weed can lead to daytime fatigue the following day,” says MNT. “Another study suggested that smoking weed can have significant after effects, such as irritability and feeling miserable.”
Other research suggests that weed hangovers are not a thing, but either way, staying hydrated can help to curb any negative side effects.
Surround Yourself with People You Trust
This last one applies more for recreational smoking, but it’s still something to keep in mind for using medical marijuana. Everyone reacts differently to cannabis, and some people tend to gravitate towards anxiety or feelings of paranoia. These negative reactions are much less likely to happen if you’re surrounded by people that you trust.