The cannabis industry is not just thriving; it’s exploding like a supernova. The switch of marijuana from a Schedule IV drug to a Schedule I has led millions of people to start experimenting.
It’s exciting that something that was recently so taboo is now encouraged by doctors as a way to help manage pain, anxiety, and other conditions. For newbies, though, it can be hard to know where to start.
There are more than 700 distinctive strains of cannabis. Some of them have THC in them, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of weed. Others only have CBD, a compound that helps reduce pain and stress.
So, where should you start if you’re ready to give marijuana a try? This guide will teach you all you need to know as a beginner.
Know the Categories of Marijuana
Even though there are hundreds of different strains of cannabis, there are three main categories to know: indica, sativa, and hybrid. These labels separate the marijuana plant based on its overall effects on the user.
Indica is the go-to category of choice for people who want to feel calm and relaxed. When you’ve had a rough day and want to come home and chill, indica marijuana is your best option.
Sometimes, you need a small energy boost to get your day going. For people who want to get a little extra creative and have more pep in their step, the sativa types work better.
Hybrids are a combination of the two main categories. Cannabis growers cross-breed different strains to come up with unique effects. These combine the top qualities of the two parent plants and are always changing.
However, these are just general labels and aren’t to be considered one-size-fits-all terms. You may react differently to each strain, so if one doesn’t work well, try another. You have hundreds to choose from!
Watch the Dosage
When you decide what effect your goal is, the next thing to watch is the dosage.
There are more than 100 cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. Products with equal to or less than 0.3% THC are legal and unregulated by the federal government. Anything with more than that level must be sold by a licensed dispensary.
How much THC or CBD, and the ratio of the amounts, impacts the effect you end up with. A reputable manufacturer knows how to combine all the cannabinoids, the terpenes, and the THC to come up with a solid product.
But as you get started, the best thing to do is start with a low dose and take it slow. Pay attention to the dose you choose and how you take it. You might have a different reaction to a 5 mg edible than you would to 5 mg of smoked cannabis.
Stick with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. When you find a strain, product, and dosage that works, let that be your default option.
Use a Licensed Dispensary
Here’s the thing with any product that has the potential to make someone a lot of money. There are always those undesirables who want to get in on it and make a quick buck without doing the work.
Currently, there is a huge black market for marijuana products. Illicit suppliers will take a shoddy product with lots of unhealthy fillers and stick a legitimate label on it. Then, they’ll sell it at a ‘discounted rate.’
You don’t know what’s in the product, and it could be dangerous.
Why a Dispensary is the Best Place to Shop
As a beginner, you probably can’t recognize quality marijuana by its smell and texture. Instead, use a licensed dispensary. These places have high standards that have to be met in order for them to be compliant.
Using a dispensary also helps you choose what kind of strains to try. The staff is knowledgeable in how every product helps and what the side effects can be. Once you let them know your medical conditions and your goals, they will help you find the best starting point.
Over time, you’ll develop a relationship with your local dispensary staff. They’ll know what you’ve tried, what worked and what didn’t, and you’ll eventually find the perfect fit.
Your body is unique, and how it will react to anything you put in it is an individual response. As you experiment with marijuana, you’ll find strains you like and others you will want to stay away from in the future.
There’s no need to be overwhelmed by all the options, though. Use this guide to point you in the right direction!