With the 5-year anniversary of marijuana legalization in Canada fast approaching, Canadians are becoming more familiar with the special plant known for psychoactive effects, subduing medical ailments, and of course – the munchies. While some have been smoking and consuming cannabis for decades prior, legalization has opened the door for many. And it’s here to stay.
If you’re new to cannabis and the suddenly vast and confusing world of various strains, gummies, dabs, infused lemonade and more, introducing yourself to the product can be a little daunting. And we don’t blame you. All of a sudden, there’s a lot going on. Not only has the range of products skyrockets, but everything is readily available and in the open, with a weed dispensary on every Main street and door-to-door shipping. Even the government is selling weed!
In this article, we’ll break down some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cannabis:
What can cannabis newcomers expect when they smoke for the first time?
Marijuana is a powerful plant, so much so that people have been risking penalty and imprisonment for decades prior to legalization just to enjoy the benefits. Clearly, there’s more to it than just getting ‘high’.
While there’s a generally shared experience for everyone when they’re high on marijuana, the effects can be totally subjective. Plus, the strain you choose and method you use to consume cannabis can also impact how you feel after. Some strains will produce a much subtler high, making you feel calm, cool and focused. Others will put you in a deep and hazy state of relaxation, happiness and general confusion. It totally depends.
While that feeling of being high is quite subjective, there are a number of more tangible effects you can expect after your first time consuming cannabis, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Slightly bloodshot eyes
- Food cravings
- Increased heart rate
What medical conditions are people treating with cannabis?
Since legalization in 2018, the door has been fully opened for cannabis-related research. While medical cannabis research started long before, it has surely become easier for universities and other organizations to deepen their understanding of the plant.
For the most part, research so far is ongoing. But that doesn’t mean that cannabis hasn’t been providing valuable relief for millions of people around the world. Because it has. In fact, early Chinese physicians were using marijuana to treat pain 5000 years ago. Chronic pain is one of the most common medical ailments being treated with cannabis, which also has some of the most promising results from research. Not only can cannabis ease pain in the short term, it’s also widely accepted to be safer than classic pain medication like highly addictive and destructive opioids.
The most conclusive research comes from studying the effects of cannabis on epilepsy. The results have been so convincing that the FDA approved a medication in 2018 used to treat epilepsy, making it the first approved medication with cannabis. That medication is made by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which is currently trading on the NASDAQ.
While epilepsy and chronic pain have seen the most promising results being treated with medical marijuana, people are using the drug to treat a range of other ailments. Crohn’s disease, appetite loss, Glaucoma, posttraumatic stress disorder and Multiple Sclerosis are also commonly treated with medical weed.
What is CBD, and does it get you high?
Cannabis is comprised of 113 different cannabinoids. THC is the most famous one, responsible for much of psychoactive effect, and Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most well known and most prevalent. Derived directly from the hemp plant, CBD by itself produces zero psychoactive effect with zero evidence of public health related problems. That makes CBD somewhat of the golden child.
You can purchase and consume a variety of CBD products, from candies to topical creams to oils. Consuming these products produces zero psychoactive activity, making it a great option for people who don’t want to get high.
Plus, the medical benefits for CBD look very promising. CBD is the main ingredient in the FDA-approved epilepsy drug, and is also being used to treat Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety.
Can you become addicted to cannabis?
What we’ve learned about addiction over the years is that people can become addicted to anything, whether it’s TV, alcohol, pain medication, shopping, sex, and more. To be sure, some things are more addictive than others, but marijuana is generally considered less addictive. However, a widely cited study suggests that about 1 in 10 people develop a dependency.
Especially among those using cannabis for medical purposes, it’s not the worst thing in the world to depend on, when taking harmful and highly addictive pain medication is the alternative. While a marijuana dependence is certainly not a desirable outcome or a good thing, its widely considered as less harmful than a dependence on junk food, pain medication, or alcohol.
What’s the difference between Indica and Sativa?
Indica and Sativa are the two main cannabis subspecies. When you walk into a dispensary, every flower you see will either be Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid of both. Their psychoactive effects vary from each other, but the actual plants look different too. Indica plants are shorter and bushier, while the leaves are wider. Sativa plants are taller and slimmer with longer leaves.
Due to years or irregulated crossbreeding of the two subspecies, there are hardly any true Sativas or true Indicas to be found. Instead, they’re all hybrids that tend to lean one way or another.
In general, strains of Indica tend to decrease energy levels and produce a heavier and hazier high. It’s great for winding down at night, watching a movie, or enjoying music, and is well known as the nighttime strain for its psychoactive qualities.
Sativa strains are basically the opposite. Sativa produces a more uplifting and energizing feeling that’s best enjoyed during daytime activities like creating art, reading, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.
The selection of strains at any given dispensary can be mind-boggling. Be sure to consult your local Cheeky’s budtender to get help selecting a strain – we’re a friendly bunch that’s happy to help!
How long does cannabis stay in the body?
If you’re consuming cannabis for the first time, you may be concerned with how long the effects will last. This is especially important if you’re expecting to work, operate a vehicle, or do any important task you don’t want to be high for. You also may be worried about the drug being detected in your system if your employer forbids consumption of marijuana.
If you’re a first-time user of cannabis, you can expect traces to remain in your urine for a few days after initial consumption. But if you’re a heavy user, marijuana can be traced weeks or even a month later.
If you smoke marijuana, the psychoactive effects take place immediately and can last for hours, typically peaking within 2 hours. Generally speaking, the experience of feeling high begins to subside after 2 hours, but it can take 4+ hours for some people to feel completely normal again. When it comes to driving, the general rule of thumb is to wait 4-6 hours after consumption of marijuana.
If you’re ingesting cannabis in the form of baked goods, drinks, candies or oils, the effects can be more unpredictable. Not only can the psychoactive effects last longer, they can also take a while to kick in. It’s best to consult your local budtender before choosing an edible and the dose.
Cheeky’s Cannabis was founded with the mission to de-stigmatize cannabis by offering an accessible and welcoming shopping experience because a world where Cannabis is legal and regulated is safer, healthier, and happier. We’ve got two locations – one in Maple Ridge and one in Kitsilano. Come say hi and learn from our friendly and experienced budtenders.Browse our menu