For people who use cannabis for the first time, the initial selection of products can be a little overwhelming, but this is not necessarily the case. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of unique cannabis varieties and a wide variety of variations in consumption. To play it safe and guarantee success, there are a few simple things you need to know.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDICA AND SATIVA
Cannabis is divided into two types: Indica and Sativa. Indica plants are generally small, bushy and contain a higher amount of THC. Dried indica flowers are larger, denser and darker in colour. Sativa plants are generally larger, narrower and longer to grow than Indica plants. Their dried buds tend to be smaller and less dense.
In general, Indica genetics are known for their sedative effects. Therefore, they are best suited to consumers who wish to relax during a summer day or rest after a long working day. The high produced by pure indica grass is generally called “body high” because it can be very physical. This is also the reason why indicas are preferred to treat pain and insomnia.
Sativa genetics is the opposite and is known for its energetic properties. This is also the reason why they are better suited for sports or outdoor activities. The typical Sativa grass high is described as a mental and edifying high.
Most strains on the market today are hybrids, which are mixtures of indica and sativa genes. The appearance of the buds and the effect is often one-way (either indica or sativa). For this reason, expect expressions like “70/30 indica-dominant”, which means that the genetics contain about 70% indica and 30% sativa.
TRY TO BUY HIGH QUALITY CANNABIS
With the legalization of cannabis, which also makes it possible to test products by analysis, it becomes easier for consumers to check their purchase quality. Cannabis cultivation is not witchcraft, but just like the cultivation of vegetables and fruit, pesticides are used. And some pesticides can be toxic if ingested.
If you buy cannabis from a reputable retailer, don’t be afraid to find out about the origin of the products you buy to ensure they are of good quality in terms of bacteria, solvent residues, etc. If you have the opportunity to purchase an herb from a good seller, they can help you to certify the THC content of cannabis products through analytical laboratory tests. This would obviously be the safest way for a beginner to make a responsible decision and not have a bad experience because he has used too much cannabis.
If you do not have access to such detailed information, you should bear in mind that valuable cannabis always has a strong smell and should be slightly moist, even if dried. Craft growers also grow cannabis with more care than the Government weed, so always support your local grower if you don’t grow yourself. You’ll get a better quality product grown with love!
Extremely sticky cannabis is usually also more resinous, which means that it has more trichromes, and trichromes contain the most THC. This often means that the herb is stronger, so be careful.
UNDERSTANDING EDIBLE FOODS
When you smoke or use cannabis, you cause the decarboxylation of the (minimally psychoactive) THCA into THC before it enters your bloodstream. This form of THC causes the well-known euphoric effects of cannabis. When you use cannabis in this way, the effects are felt within seconds and last for up to 4 hours.
When you eat cannabis, the medium (pastry, candy, liquid, etc.) has often been exposed to heat during its production. This exposure to heat converts all the THCA into THC, as if it were burning or evaporating. If you ingest cannabis in edible or liquid form, the effects can last from several hours to 12 hours. If you don’t feel any effects after eating, it is best to wait several hours before even considering further use. It may be that the effects haven’t been felt yet and you don’t want to be surprised and feel an unpleasant high.
Consuming large amounts of THC can be extremely uncomfortable for beginners, as they are not used to the psychoactive effects of cannabis. It’s good to know that we have to be very careful when consuming food, because when we ingest THC through food, our liver converts this THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a metabolite five times more psychoactive than non-THC. Ask about dosage and consider ingesting a single milligram dose of THC when you first do so.
DO NOT START WITH CONCENTRATES
Concentrates, as the name suggests, are a more concentrated form of cannabis. They’re essentially products made by extracting resin from the flowers (and the rest of the plant) to isolate as many cannabinoids as possible.
Concentrates come in different forms and have different names, such as Shatter, Wax, Honeycomb, Rosin and many others. Some concentrates are obtained by manual separation using different sieves (unpressed kief and water mince), while others are obtained using chemical solvents (butane, CO₂, etc.) and processes such as distillation.
The potency of dried cannabis in terms of cannabinoid levels (THC, CBD, CBG, etc.) is generally 5-25%. The potency of concentrates can vary from 30% to total purity. Concentrates are very potent and are not recommended for beginners and should be used with caution.
With new changes in laws around the world, one of the big questions is how cannabis affects your ability to drive (and use heavy machinery). Our recommendation is never to drive after smoking pot. Prevention is better than cure.
Another piece of advice is to spend time with friends or family when using cannabis for the first time. This will help you feel safe.
But above all, sit back and enjoy your first experience with cannabis.